I want to cook. I have wanted to for some time now, it's been a desire of mine, just like my desire to learn to play the cello. But recently, I've really gotten more and more desire to cook, and here's why.
I've been watching the show "Masterchef" on Fox, it comes on at 8 eastern, 7 central......and it's really inspired me to want to cook, more than ever. The people that are contestants on the show are people just like you and me, common everyday people, with dreams of becoming full time chefs.
The dishes they've presented to the judges, in most cases, in my opinion, are nothing short of miraculous. These 3 guys are all well known and respected chefs, at the top of their profession, and for them to find the common person's concoctions to be worthy of the food served by master chefs is really extraordinary. But it just proves to me that *anyone* can be a good cook. And I want to be one of them.
I don't have aspirations to be a world renowned cook like Gordon Ramsay or Graham Elliot or Joe Bastianich, but I do want to be a 5 star chef in my own home. When I entertain guests, I want to be able to cook food that will make them want to come back for more. I want MY house to be the place everyone wants to go for parties, for the big ball game, and for holidays too.
But most of all, I just want to know how to cook for myself, because I like to eat, and I want to be able to cook some of the awesome food I've seen online and in restaurants and on television. I want to know what a brisque is (if I've even spelled that correctly lol), I want to make the perfect souffle. And for no other reason than I want to be able to cook a large variety of dishes, so I never get bored eating the same thing all the time.
I wasn't taught much about how to cook as a child. I was a boy, so what would I need to know other than how to boil water, or scramble an egg, right? My wife would cook for me, so I didn't need to know.......or so I thought. My parents didn't seem to lean in either direction, to try to teach me to cook or not, so I only learned the most basic cooking skills, by observation. They always thought I'd be a doctor or lawyer or something, I was the "smart" kid, see. Cooking was not high on their list of things I needed to learn about. And likewise, it was not on mine either. I didn't develop a desire to cook until fairly recently, when I struck out on my own.
Which brings me to the issue at hand. As many of you know, I live with roommates at the moment, with one of my best friends and his girlfriend. They own the house, and pay the mortgage, I rent a room. Just a room, and the use of the guest bathroom. C (the girlfriend) is very particular about her kitchen however, nothing can be out of place, and she gets highly agitated if anyone tries to cook other than herself. So, I decided to save myself the trouble of dealing with her attitude, and adopted a diet that is mainly food that doesn't require any stove top cooking. The microwave is useful, but I can't really buy frozen microwavable foods either. There is little room in their freezer for me to store anything of mine, because of how much of their stuff is in there. So, I am left with almost no ability to cook anything at all, and I eat mostly canned and prepackaged food that does not require freezing or refrigeration. (read: lots of Chef Boyardee and PB and J). I also have a collection of snack foods, 90 percent of which is completely unhealthy, but in my situation, I have little choice. C just hates for anyone to cook in her kitchen.
So what I need first is my own apartment. An apartment with a nice kitchen, maybe even a house with one. One with a lot of storage space, and a full stove and oven. I don't know if I can find something like that around here, from what I've heard from friends, most apartments in this area don't have kitchens like that, especially in a studio apartment. I don't need a big place, but I guess I'll need to get one if I want a decent kitchen. So my first goal is to move out of where I'm living now.
Then of course I'll need all the tools of the trade. I used to work on cars, so I know a thing or two about tools. The kitchen is no different. They are just tools that by nature are required to be clean before use lol. I don't even know where to start though, do I first buy a good cutlery set? Or do I need pots and pans first? Do I need a cutting board, or will the counter be ok? These and many other questions have been rolling around like a wayward rolling pin in my head. Crap, I'm sure I'll need one of those too, I mean I love to bake. I've done a few of the "roll the dough" type of baked goods, but for the most part it's been the box cakes and premade cookies, the ones that you basically pull out of the package and throw in the oven. But I want to make those things from scratch, I want to be able to say that I made it, and not just say I opened the package and stuck the contents in the oven. That's not original, and that's not me.
The personal touch, something created by me, that's what I want. Culinary creations. They can be works of art too. Haven't we all said at one time or another that something was too "pretty" to eat? Sure we have, and that's art. Like I said before, I don't paint or draw or sculpt, but I bet I can learn the ability to sculpt a pretty good meatloaf. Mmmm, now there's one I'd like to learn early, I love a good meatloaf.
One day soon, I'm going to move out, and I'll start cooking for myself. I just hope my food turns out edible, or it'll be back to the Chef Boyardee, and trust me folks, it sucks to have to live off of food like that. I am reminded of something Yoda said in the movie "The Empire Strikes Back". He said "How you get so tall eating food of this kind?" I feel the same way about my self imposed diet. It's not healthy, and if I were a child, and still growing, I'm certain I would not grow to my full potential.
Cooking is not rocket science, hell, it might be harder in some ways. I know I'll be able to figure out the proportions of ingredients pretty well, and I am motivated to learn from my mistakes. I can't wait to get started. All I need now is the means to rent my own place.
I put in a job application today, the first time I've done that in over a year. But while I enjoy working at Walmart, and have a passion for putting new freight on the shelves, it does not pay well enough for me to accomplish my goals. So I am getting a second job. With the extra income, I can save up to move out, and get my life going in the direction I know it is meant to go. Action, not words, that's what I'm about these days.
Soon enough, there will be pies in my oven, and stir fry on my stove top, and maybe, just maybe, there will be something worthy of a real chef.
My place. My kitchen. It's going to happen.
Next up, the cello. Being creative through music, and not in the "classical" sense.....................stay tuned........