A Wife Loved Like The Church

The art of cooking

Posted on: March 31, 2010

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I’m no chef. I’m the girl who can eat spaghetti with plain tomato sauce and call it a “tasty meal”. Because I love spaghetti with plain sauce. I would eat it every day if I could. And that’s just it: Cooking is about making something you want to eat, not that you need to eat.

That is a lesson I’ve finally learned.

One day last fall, as I served dinner, I mentioned how I followed the recipe to a tee despite not wanting to. I didn’t want diced onions, but chunks, and I thought other spices would have gone better, but didn’t use them. Jonathan said “Sarah, you need to cook what you want to eat.” I do that. Right? I like diced onions over chunky onions. Right? Wrong. I love onions. Especially when in large chunks sauteed to perfection. I love spicy foods. I love vegetables that have just the perfect mixture of tender and crisp. I just love eating. So with that one sentence “cook what you want to eat” I changed how I cook. I stopped following recipes and started cooking based on taste, smell and sight.

This might sound very “chefy”, like I know what spices to always use and what foods go best together. I don’t. Ask Jon. I’ve had some pretty spectacular failures. Like the-dog-wont-eat-this failures. But, when things are a success, they are a success. Why? Because everything I’ve made I want to eat. I want to eat the sauteed carrots in curry sauce. I want to eat the spicy black bean burgers. I don’t need to eat them, but I want to eat them because I like them.

It’s taken time to build my cooking confidence. I’m very fortunate because Jonathan is a gracious eater (and so were the Abdos) so every meal is met with hearty thanks. Even the not so great ones. I started off slowly. Adding garlic with my oil. Giving up diced onions for chunked. Exploring “unusual” spices.

For all you timid cooks I have something to say – you can do it! I was once in your shoes. I thought adding more milk than suggested to my mac-n-cheese was taking it “too far”. But as I ventured out, I became more and more brave. And as I’ve become braver, I’ve falling in love with the art of cooking. The art of cooking what I want to eat.

Bon Appetit!

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2 Responses to "The art of cooking"

Sarah, you give me hope!

I remember the first time I “made up” a meal from what we had in the pantry and it turned out well. I was so proud and shocked! Now, I often err on the side of taking too much liberty…Glad you’re having fun in the kitchen!

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