I grew up with my grandmother - who is an excellent cook - preparing the majority of my meals. She'd make an array of classic dinners, from beef stew to chicken with rice. I took it slightly for granted as a kid, but now I recognize that she has mad skills. She's also a killer cake baker.
My sister took after her, always inquiring about how to prepare certain dishes, particularly traditional, Lebanese plates that my grandmother only made on special occasions. Marie is definitely more talented than me. But she's also always had more of an interest in the art of cooking. I've always been more like my mom; I can put something simple together, but my passion for eating always outweighed my passion for putting food together.
I don't know if it's been the chillier than usual temps this winter, or just a newfound inspiration in the kitchen, but I've been making food at home a lot more. And yes, I'm enough of a newbie that I need to brag about it (at age 34). There are always the usual reasons to cook meals at home: You'll save money; you'll be healthier. However, I've compounded a list of additional reasons I like making food at home.
- My computer is nearby, as are my books, papers and anything else I might need to jot down a poem, take photos of my food without receiving withering looks from a tableful of people, etc.
- Genessa often comes home, asks what I'm making, and sounds mildly impressed when I announce the evening's project.
- The grocery store is apparently a good place to meet men, or so I hear. I haven't met one there yet.
- I can listen to Pandora.
- The smell of the food cooking pretty much counts as an appetizer. I think I eat a little less at home, because I'm not as frantic when I finally sit down with my plate.
And, if you're wondering what I've been making as of late, it's nothing to get ALL excited about. Here, a short list.
- French toast with a side of oranges
- Salmon with Brussels sprouts tossed in balsamic, olive oil and bacon bits
- cheese and onion omelet with toast
- steak and eggs with a side of spinach
- fajitas with steak and bell peppers
So, as you can see, I'm still a beginner. But I'm getting better. I didn't mean to make a resolution for 2014, but I think I've come up with one without meaning to: Eat at home at least a few times per week.
And flirt with a man in the grocery store.