I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking and finding new recipes. It is something that runs in my family. My mum grew up with fancy Italian and Croatian food, since her dad was Italian-Croatian. While she might not make the healthiest of food, it’s no doubt delicious. If I had to pick one thing that symbolizes her cooking it would be a sauce recipe she gave. I had searched for sauce recipes online but the amounts of milk, stock and cream varied a lot. I knew her version of the sauce was really nice so I called her and asked what she used and wrote down the ingredients. As I started cooking, I realized what her secret ingredient was, or to be more precise, the lack of ingredients. Where the other recipes included mostly milk and stock with a portion of cream, the recipe mum gave me stood out because it ONLY used cream mixed with a little bit of stock powder. So, yeah,- not so healthy but I can’t argue that it tasted delicious.
My dad didn’t cook that much until about ~13-14 years ago, probably because mum had been a stay-at-home mum most of the time. The only think I can remember him cooking when I was a kid was pancakes, which to be honest were and still are much better than the pancakes I make. After mum became ill and the following divorce I guess he was forced to start cooking and just found that he enjoyed it. Nowadays he gets together with equally old friends and cook fancy dinners with a lot of wine and fancy ingredients like Kobe meat. Once he accidentally ordered half a kilo of Russian caviar and didn’t have any recollection of it. I think he has too much money sometimes.
As for me, cooking is something I’ve always been interested in but haven’t always been able to do. There’s the financial aspect: buying all the ingredients can be expensive, especially when you’ve recently moved out of home and don’t have all those 50 types of spices and vinegar and whatnot that you acquire over the years. It’s also not that motivating when you live alone and don’t have anyone to share the food with, which is very important to me. I recently moved in with my boyfriend, who happens to be very in to cooking himself, so these days I get a chance to practice cooking new things much more often than before. I often give him grief because he experiments too much with his recipes by adding odd ingredients or doing something so differently that he ends up ruining the food, but when I take a close look at myself I realize that I do pretty much the same thing. OK, I like to think I’m a bit more careful, but I definitely see the appeal of taking a recipe and “making it your own” by adding a new flavor to it.
I don’t think I’m very good at cooking, I just enjoy doing it and I like to try new recipes. When it comes down to it, I imagine learning how to cook is often a trial-by-error thing anyway. Since I became a vegetarian some four years ago, I’ve had to come up with my own ideas when trying to make a vegetarian replica of a non-vegetarian recipe. In many cases there’s already great recipes out there, but sometimes there isn’t, so you have to use your own judgment and then a new recipe is born. Voilá!