Just cooking away....

Raspberry-Rhubarb Jam
 Being a stay at home mom is tricky.  You have to juggle all of your every day tasks along with raising your children.  And this my friends, leaves absolutely no time for yourself.  And on top of it all,  you have to hear from everyone and their grandma that you need to try to find a hobby.  Otherwise it is true, you really can lose yourself.  That's how I began my love affair with cooking.  I figured if I was gonna be cooking for my family anyway, I could at least put my personal stamp on it and make it special.

  Oh, don't get me wrong now I have been cooking since a very early age.  I can remember standing on a stool baking cookies with my mom when I was tiny.  And, it is still hard to stir cookie dough by the way.  And I always remember helping out in the kitchen as I grew older.  Out and on my own at eighteen, I assumed that I could cook since I was physically making a meal almost every night.  But I was wrong.  I had not even begun to learn.  Oh I could make spagghetti or meat chili alright right out of a can that is.  And who can't whip up some tacos.  But, I had no idea about the care and love that is needed to go into it.  If you asked me how to deglaze a pan or how to roast a pepper I would of looked at you as if you were crazy.  Not knowing the depth of flavor that these little touches can make to enhance a dish is what I was lacking.

  So, since I am a stay at home mom, I am pretty much broke on a regular basis.  Now it's not too bad, our bills are paid, we never go without and my fridge has always been stocked.  But that leaves very little extra money for going out to eat.  And boy, was I ever craving some stuffed manicotti or a nice thick cut of prime rib with some double baked potaotes.  So, if I was ever gonna get some real food, I would just have to learn to do it myself.

 I began by watching multiple cooking shows and reading cook book after cook book.  I paid attention to what they were doing and why they were doing it.  I then started incorporating these techniques and ideas into my very own cooking.  If I had just learned how to properly juice a lemon, guess what we were having some salmon with a lemon basil glaze for dinner that night.  Or if I had just saw the proper way to infuse and peel a garlic clove, I was off to the market to gather up the ingredients for some pasta.  I was and am always ever so eager to test out new ways of preparing food.

  Without even knowing it, I had stumbled on to my hobby.  I realized that I found joy, excitement and pride in something that I was doing for my family, friends and most importantly for myself.  It felt amazing to see satisfied smiles on my families faces as they ate my creations, or to introduce my own jalapeno pickles to a an amazed friend.  The more positive feed back I received, the more I was already planning and  preparing my next meal.  I then began doing preperations and research each week just to write out my grocery list.  Here I had waited my whole childhood to get away from homework, and here I was creating my own homework as an adult.

 There are no right or wrong ideas in cooking, just knowing when and where to apply them is the trick.  So, now that you know how my passion with food began, you can follow with me on my journey as it continues.  I hope that maybe I can entertain your taste buds and motivate you to possibly find my passion as yours.