Growing up, I never really learned how to cook…
I’m not one of those girls who spent time in the kitchen with their doting moms, bonding over simmering pots of culinary masterpieces, and learning to make exceptional meals passed on from generations.
I envy those girls; with their tattered recipe books and unbridled confidence in the kitchen.
My friend K. cooks with her three-year-old son; she read somewhere that involving kids in meal preparation makes themÂ better eaters (and perhaps superior human beings).
I don’t know about all that, but the kid likes crushed granola over his steamed vegetables – so maybe he’ll grow up an innovative cook.
I’ve always been fascinated with food, and I do recall some experimentations of my own when I was a kid.
One of my best cooking memories is from when I was ten-years-old during the preparations for my oldest brother’s twenty first birthday party.
The night before, his friends built a low open fire downstairs, they baked banana bread wrapped in banana leaves overnight in a giant pot over the fire.
It was like a party in itself; communal, the camaraderie… being among women (and men) cooking together, felt so decidedly African.
I wish I had a few more good memories of being in the kitchen; I’ve always felt intimidated in the kitchen,Â until lately when I allowed myself to cook the way I wanted.
I became comfortable with cooking mostly from reading food blogs, and I just recently started cooking for myself, buying my own food and eating what I like.
It’s been an inspiring experience, trying out new recipes, making bolder choices and discovering foods that aren’t only healthy and nourishingÂ but comforting as well.
A couple of weeks ago I made this huge pot of long simmering stew; lentils cooked with plentiful onions and tomatoes with a bit of garlic, pepper and a dash of coconut milk – soo good!
Last week I had a bit of the lentil stew and roasted vegetables; potatoes, carrots and broccoli – it’s perhaps the most perfect meal I’ve ever put together.
Maybe it was because of the rain and dark clouds outside but it was just the ideal meal to cap a long day.
I feel like I’ve come into my own when it comes to cooking.
I’m not a good cook, not even close but save for that kid with granola on his veggies; I’m the most unconventional cook I know.
Which is why I love sharing my concoctions here, becauseÂ discovering other cooks gave me the confidence to start cooking.
If you haven’t done so already, you should check out some of my favourite food blogs.