By danijane on May 06, 2014
I graduated from a 12 week, intensive cooking class. It was called, Diplome Culinaire and I was living in Tucson, Arizona at the time. I was 24 years old. My live in boyfriend paid for the classes. Plus all of the supplies I required to practice my techniques and recipes and complete my assignments....at home. These supplies included a complete set of copper pots and pans, the highest quality of cooking utensils and an entire set of Henkel’s knives. I was the shit.
The class met 2 nights a week for 3 hours, plus one weekend day of free cooking and coursework that was completed at home. I was living a puritan life at the time. Trying to outwit and outlast my RA by receiving "alternative" therapies. I was swallowing hundreds of drops of different tinctures and eating only "real" food. No wheat. No refined sugar. Etc. It was positively monastic.
I took this "lifestyle" and tried to modify the amazing FRENCH recipes to fit my current dietary restrictions. Upon "graduation", I received an award for educating my fellow students and successfully re-mastering recipes to be "healthier". Boy was I proud.
This cooking diploma is somewhere.......
I love to watch cooking shows. I used to plan my entire morning around "Caprile's Cafe". I can watch a show, never take a note, and make the recipe....IF...I do it the same day.
Here is the reality of my life today: I no longer follow the monastic diet of the late 1980's. I no longer have a single piece of my spendy cooking/baking/prepping equipment. If pressed, I highly doubt I could de-bone an entire chicken OR bake a soufflé that would NOT fall. However, I did know how to and actually fully mastered these aforementioned things at one time, so somewhere...they are still in there.
I like to make stuff I see on TV. I just made a dish from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa a few weeks ago.....I have skills.
But I have so many other people in my life that can cook and bake and they really pride themselves on these talents and that is so fine with me. I applaud their mad skills and lavish praise on their creations and it is all authentic and super appreciated. I do not feel the least bit competitive with great cooks. It was never about that for me anyhow.
Today.....it is not "effortless" for me anymore. It is difficult. My hands are weak. I need help opening stuff and pouring things and stirring....yikes...
Baking, cooking, prepping...while home alone....well...it's unlikely. I usually need my daughter to open stuff for me...my husband to mix stuff for me....someone to wipe my brow... (kidding). It's just a lot. Have you seen my aprons? I have the cutest aprons….
Today we are having spaghetti with turkey meat balls and a salad. I will probably make some cheesy garlic bread because we have a loaf of sourdough and it will get stale if I don't use it. I will make the meatballs but I am pretty sure I am going to use the jar of puttanesca sauce that I bought weeks ago. I learned how to make homemade pasta in my cooking class. I even had my own pasta press. Remember when I told you a few paragraphs ago that I was the shit....what I meant to say was my boyfriend was rich.
Anyhow.....what was the writing prompt today?
I can cook. I can watch a show and make the recipe. I can grab some ingredients and whip up a dish that has not been written in a cookbook. I own several cookbooks as well. I like being in the kitchen but I am no chef. Effortless cooking is in my past. I have moments of tremendous pride over some of my creations. I once made meatloaf for my husband and he hated it and I cried. My girls will eat anything...pretty much. Although Grace likes "buns" NOT bread and Lea is on a cheese revolt.....or so she said but I did see her whip up a plate of homemade nachos yesterday so her revolt may have ended. I am losing my focus....
This blog is done and not surprisingly, I am hungry. I should make something but most likely I am going to grab a yogurt and continue to toil away at my desk....