"This is my invariable advice to people:
Learn how to cook-- try new recipes,
learn from your mistakes,
and above all have fun!"
-- Julia Child
I've cooked all my life. My mother taught me at a very young age to cook oatmeal. They didn't have instant oatmeal back then, so you had to stir and watch it for a long time so it wouldn't burn in the pot. When I was a teenager, I watched The Galloping Gourmet and mimicked many of his recipes like Chicken Kiev with clarified butter mixed with garlic chilled to a solid to go into the chicken breast, and cutting the piece from the breast bone. He was fun and I loved that show. It's interesting that I never watched Julia Child except rarely.
Julia Child says, "The more you know, the more you can create. There's no end to imagination in the kitchen." I watched and learned and tried a lot of recipes, and then at some point, I just put the recipes in the cupboard and made up my own. I haven't used a recipe in a long, long time.
Do you know what I love about cooking? What I love is that once you decide that you can cook, and you're open to experiment and learning, your imagination is your best guide. I can cook up something special when the cupboards are almost bare. It's just a matter of creativity. Knowing what goes with what is simply a matter of courage and taste.
Anyone who desires to do so can be a chef. You don't have to have specific skills like the TV show hosts, but some basic skills and some desire. What matters is not the presentation, or the method of preparation, or in which order what gets mixed with what. What matters is how it tastes.
The other thing I love about cooking is using real food as ingredients. The produce department is my favorite spot in the grocery store. I love venturing out and trying some new and interesting ingredients I've never used before. Lately, I've really been into ginger and tumeric. Both are well known for disease prevention and once I tried them, I found I loved them. A friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 6 months to live and he discovered ginger and began eating it every day. That was 10 years ago. Some foods are powerful antioxidants, like tumeric.
One of the things that experimental cooking has done for me was to help me to be more confident in my own skills and use of knowledge, however limited. I love Julia Child when she says, "the only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." I know it has served me well, and not just in cooking. . .
"Always Start Out With A Larger Pot Than What You Think You Need." -- Julia Child.
I Have Found This To Be Good Advice. . . On A Lot Of Fronts.
Spread Some Joy Today--by paying extra attention to someone. Just because.