"Learn to cook -- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!"
Happy New Year, friends!
A lot of people joke that they wish I could "teach them how to cook." I get this all the time, and it always confuses me. What could I teach anybody?? I have zero cooking knowledge that can't be gleaned from a few cookbooks and a lot of practice. Despite having an Italian grandma who was a great cook and a Scottish grandma who is a great baker, I did not grow up in the kitchen, learning how to make tantalizing meatballs and buttery shortbread while sitting on my grandmas' counters. The idea of cooking didn't even occur to me until college and I didn't become passionate about using organic, local, seasonal produce until after motherhood. So I say this based on personal experience: as long as you are interested, you can learn to cook and can enjoy every step of the process.
So make "learn to cook" your resolution for 2010. Avoid the typical (and usually empty) resolution to lose weight and go with "learn to cook" instead. Cooking -- being comfortable in your kitchen, being confident that you can pull together a delicious, nourishing meal -- is a lifetime skill. Even better, cooking for yourself (and spouse, kids, friends) is that rare experience that is equal parts good-for-you and pampering. Which sounds healthier: fried chicken fingers with a sugary dipping sauce from the local chain restaurant or a salad of baby greens with walnuts, goat cheese, and pomegranate seeds, topped with a juicy grilled chicken breast? Even better, which sounds more decadent and pleasurable? See what I mean? When you can simultaneously indulge your desire for pleasure and do the thing that is best for your health, life is very good indeed. Cooking for yourself gives you that luxurious, wholly satisfying experience.
So, your resolution is to learn to cook. Now here's your plan: During the second week of each month, I'll publish a "Learn to Cook" post aimed at helping you take baby steps towards your goal of being comfortable and confident in your kitchen. We'll start off in January with just "assembling dinner" and then move onto pasta tosses, one-pot meals, and vegetables. By the end of the year, you'll be making risotto, soup, and your own pizza. Really. I promise.
So tune in every month and get ready to spend some time your kitchen this year.
P.S. In case you are wondering: my resolution is to blog every single week. Oh, and to get more sleep. And since it is now past midnight, I predict that my first and second resolutions will be in constant conflict with each other . . .