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Baby Steps Gourmet, Take One. Yeeeeaaah!

My interesting foray into wanting to become a gourmet cook. Capturing all the burned pots, for your viewing and reading pleasure.

My love/hate (ok, slight, slight affection/intermittent loathing) relationship with cooking started when I was a teenager, at around 14 years old. This was when my mother, the best culinarian in both your and my tri-state area, decided that her two daughters would join her in the wonderful world of cooking. The plan was simple: the three of us would individually cook every other day.

It was interesting, at the start. Interesting in the sense that I’m convinced that my mother wanted to hit me over the head with a rolling pin. The same stubborness I brattily applied to things like listening in math class, cleaning my room, etc., was in full force during our teaching lessons on how to cut onions, or how to make a pan of fluffy rice. (I’m from an African family; rice, stew, soups, plantains, so yummily forth, are staples.)

But deep, deep, deeeep down, I was listening, and I learned what I needed to. There was a slight difference between my sister and I, however: while the love for cooking was steadily growing for her…I was just getting by. That’s how cooking became for me, as the years went on: getting by.

I didn’t feel confident in the kitchen, so I stuck to the basics and nothing more. Cooking volleyed between necessity (when I moved into my first apartment, it was either cooked food or peanut butter sandwiches; a girl was super broke) and sheer laziness (I moved back home with Mom a few years ago, and well, I think her title as Best Culinarian in Dual Tri-State Areas should remain unchallenged)…

Until recently.

I woke up one morning and wanted to be a good cook.

So good that I get to gourmet level.

What?

I have no idea why. Brain tumor? Watching The Food Network and deciding that rather than covet, I would just cook? Turning 34 last month? The fact that my mother traveled recently and I was firmly directed to keep my younger brothers well fed? Who knows? I went from avoiding the stove to envisioning myself standing before a hot stove and happily preparing meals. I even wanted to buy sterling silver cookware. And then…wait for it…

…seriously, wait for it…

I signed up for and took my first cooking class last week.

Whaaaat?

We made chicken and dumplings, all from scratch…

Stuffed tomates with feta cheese, all from scratch…

And apple pie, all from scratch. I

 can honestly say that it was terrific experience. Our instructor was patient, helpful, and complimented my dumplings, yay; the class was nice and intimate, so it felt comfortable. I’ve already started looking for my next class. All of which officially means that we’ve begun the journey to gourmet, ya’ll. I can’t explain it, but I’m actually excited about it. I recognize that realistically, I won’t become Giada De Laurentiis or anything, but I want to try my best and just try.

Which is why I freely accept the tiny baby steps that it will take to get to gourmet, or really, to a place where I can claim confidence in the kitchen. This blog will detail my journey along the way, all the hits, the misses, the burns, and the adventures. One chubby footed, baby step at a time. (My feet are no longer chubby, though, just for the record.)

Join me on this ride, won’t you?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rodney Wells February 07, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Well, you've piqued my interest. I'm very curious to see where this goes.

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