Me and my cookin’

You know how I write a lot about food? Post a lot of recipes? Early on in this Lifecast, I addressed the issue of what exactly my attitude is towards cooking and cheffery in general, but I think it bears repeating. 

I am SO TOTALLY not a professional in the kitchen, and I harbor no illusions about this fact. I got interested in cooking when I was about 13, read cookbooks front-to-back as if they’re novels, and try to make cool stuff for dinner as often as I can…and that’s it, really. I have lots of friends who run circles around me in the kitchen (here’s one of them), and if you ask me how to cook a duck, I’m going to run straight to Epicurious. But I love food, and I love playing with it, and I REALLY love writing about it…and I love telling you about things that I love. 

I wrote this awhile back, in a post reviewing David Kamp’s The United States of Arugula:

“Facility with knives and pots is no prerequisite to genuinely enjoying food, and to being experimental with your tastebuds. I, for example, cook with cookbooks. I can’t go into a supermarket, grab random ingredients off the shelves, and whip something amazing up based purely on the knowledge bank stored in my head. But do I think that invalidates my interest in food and cooking? Not in the slightest.”

Why do I feel like it’s OK for me to write about food and cooking, even though I never went to culinary school and I still have to cook with computer close at hand, because I always forget how to do something or other? Because I think that food is fun. Cooking is fun.

And if you’re new in the kitchen, or just not quite an expert, lots of people will try to make you feel like you don’t belong there (“no, no…you’re doing it all wrong, oh, just let me show you”), and that makes me sad. You do belong in the kitchen. Everyone does! So go ahead: play with flour, try mixing pickles with pasta, maybe even burn your potatoes once in awhile: it’s not rocket science, it’s eating…and it’s supposed to make you happy.

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