Learning to Cook


I spent most of my life not really knowing how to cook anything. My greatest culinary achievements included "that pizza dough I made that could be used to build a house" and "that time I caused a kitchen fire while boiling water on an electric range". Companies would have cooking events and I'd pass, saying, "You probably wouldn't want to eat whatever I'd make anyway." The best things I could cook were passable scrambled eggs, burgers that had random stripes of random spices in them, pasta noodles, and reheated anything.

Over the past few years, I've been spending time, off and on, to teach myself how to cook better. But they've been really half-hearted attempts. I'd mostly just improved how I make steak and scrambled eggs -- which actually started coming out pretty tasty. Around October of last year, I had my wisdom teeth pulled and, I don't know if it was the hunger or the desire to eat something that wasn't pudding, but, something changed. I decided I was going to make Thanksgiving dinner for the family. We were originally going to phone it in -- pick up a delicious smoked turkey and sides from a local BBQ place.

So, I started cooking a little more. Then I made Thanksgiving dinner. Then I started cooking even more and made Christmas dinner (which was technically less cooking than Thanksgiving). And now? I've been working on making it a daily activity. I'm organizing week-long menus and buying things from the grocery store. It hasn't worked out fully and I'm not at a point where I could waltz into a farmer's market and invent a menu based on what looks good and is available. But, nonetheless, I'm cooking a lot more and I'm getting better regularly. And, so far, my mistakes haven't been inedible dough or burned-down kitchens.