Natalie asked me to introduce myself by writing about an adventure I’ve been on, so I thought I’d tell you about something I brought on myself.
I’d had adventures in the past — learning to play music, figuring out computers — but this time, I taught myself how to cook.
About five years ago, I was an awful cook. Not even a cook, really. I knew how to boil water for pasta and how to heat up store-bought sauce, and that’s about it. I suppose I also knew how to barbecue a hamburger but my skill set was pretty small. I had friends that were really good cooks, and when I told them that dinner would be one of the above, they laughed at me. They really did. ‘That isn’t cooking.’ ‘Do you really think I’d eat that?’ And so on.
After too many years of that, I realized that a) I love food and appreciate a good meal, and b) I have to eat every day for the rest of my life, so it would make sense to know how to cook well.
So I decided to learn.
It took about a year.
It was tough at first: very frustrating and at times, I doubted I could do it. There was so much burnt garlic, dry poultry and watery rice that I considered stopping a few times, but I carried on.
I would pick a simple meal that I wanted to cook, find a recipe for it and try making it exactly according to the directions. If it failed, I’d try it again. Once I succeeded, I’d try again with another dish. And again. And again. And then I’d try making them from memory.
Eventually, I had the same feeling of confidence I had after learning to play music. I could improvise: a bit of paprika here, a dotted eighth note there, braised meat rather than roasted or hold on to the bridge for an extra half-bar, just for kicks. And now I know what I’m doing. Believe me, you can do it too, if you don’t know how to cook and would like to. It takes practice and dedication, for certain, but it is possible and lots of fun, believe it or not.
My name is Lucas. I like challenges and good food. Nice to meet you.
Guest Blogger: Lucas Mailing