My love of cooking all started when I was about 13 years old.
Out of the blue, my mother started calling me from work after school to give me quick instructions on how to cook dinner. (I was just hoping that I would be able to remember all the instructions). I began with dishes like Spanish rice and Goulash. It was kinda scary but exciting at the same time doing it all by myself for the first time. She had never even shown me. She must’ve known it was in my blood.
Then at 14, I began cooking with my best friend. We started out with spinach burgers, a magical blend of spinach, cheese, bread crumbs and eggs mixed together and sauteed. They were a perfect reward for our efforts and inspired our further experimentation. We progressed quickly into making our own pizza (the most revered food of a teenager’s diet) – dough, sauce and all.
That was an exciting time, realizing that I could create such delicious meals.
Before my whole attention was consumed at age 19 by my first child, I was making yogurt, granola and all my own bread. It wasn’t until my kids flew the coop that I was able to resume my explorations in cooking beyond the most bland foods of a child’s palate.
I was thrilled to enter the exploration of ethnic and live cuisine.
My first food preparation class was for my yoga teacher training group. I demonstrated how to make a live blender drink called energy soup, with raw veggies, avacado, tamari soy sauce and rejuvelac, (a fermented grain water I made from quinoa that contained abundant enzymes, probiotics and electrolytes).
After my demonstration, our yoga teacher training group went to a community center to do our monthly service work. She had argued with the Yoga Alliance to have community service service recognized as a fundamental aspect of yoga, and won.
As I walked around, I saw several students relaxing with the teacher on a bank. She asked me if I thought that the energy soup might have anything to do with them feeling droopy and their noses running. I exclaimed, “Wow, yes, but I’m very surprised that the tiny cup each of you had could have resulted in that much of a cleansing response”.
While preparing for one of my classes, I realized why I love cooking so much. I love learning and creating new things, (I make my own recipes all the time), and I also love nourishing people. Cooking fulfills both those needs.
I’ve had many opportunities to cook for people with all kinds of specialized diets. No grains, vegan with no onion or garlic, gluten free, 100 % raw, you name it. It’s exercised my creativity and expanded my expertise.
Cooking our own food connects us to the natural world and to our bodies. We tend to listen to what our bodies really need and also appreciate the food when we are involved with the process. Growing our own food, even if it’s just some tomatoes, herbs and peppers in pots on our deck, is so satisfying. And the freshness makes all the difference in the world as far as taste and nutrition. Veggies start losing their nutrition right after being picked. The produce we purchase in the grocery stores tends to be over a week old before we even purchase them. Tailgate markets are a wonderful alternative.
I hope that my offerings here are helpful to you in discovering healthy, easy ways to create satisfying, fun and delicious foods.