Random Observation/Comment #186: I love cooking because I tend to taste a little bit more than I should while making the meal. Cooking for myself makes me half-full before I even have the plate prepared. There is a level of laziness in presentation and utensils when I’m really just trying to learn by keeping track of past mistakes and successes. After the chemistry experiment with these ingredients is over, the enjoyment of these fruits of my labor are not always the same. I am my own worse judge – some times to the point where I ignore that it’s actually tasty and just devour it to fill my stomach and move on to the next activity. Sigh – Es ist eine schade.
If you’ve tasted my mom’s cooking, you’d know why I was a chubby child. Instead of a promise for a new car or a large sum of money to keep me from moving far away for college, night after night, she consistently cooked me wonderful meals that I will never forget. These dishes were one of the main reasons I miss (and still miss) home. I must admit that there were many times where I concentrated on my own “important high school life” instead of observing a master of the art, but I was not completely numb to my taste-buds’ expectations and holiday questions about meals. It’s expected that my hobby of cooking didn’t grow until after I moved to college – how can I compete with the master?
My mom and dad protected me with huge stashes of MSG-filled instant noodles, but I wanted so much more than a reduced life expectancy. I learned to cook to: 1) stay a little healthy, 2) save money so I could waste it on girls, and 3) impress girls. Their cooking discouragements and heavy critique gave me the impression that they were protecting me from this secret to somehow maintain their hold over this part of my world. Psychologically, it was magnificent and an absolutely genius plan, but now that I look back; I don’t think they needed to claim this role in my life as a heavenly, magical food-bringer. They should always know that they have maintained their role as the most selfless and Clemens’-interest voice, and I will always ask them for advice and confide in them my burdens. If not just that call once in a while, they should know that this is my view of family values. I love them and I trust them (especially when it comes to recipes). (They are frequent and dedicated readers of my blog ^^).
Anyway, I started cooking like everyone starts. I jumped in head first and burned a few pots and pans. I’ve suffered through those terrible trial-and-error experiments, and slowly created (or recreated) new (or most likely, preexisting) techniques and systems for making specific meals. Of course, there is need to follow a few recipes in the beginning, but after some time, I was able to walk through a supermarket and just see these ingredients mesh together in some higher dimensional food space.
This particular eye for cooking has just recently begun most probably because German cuisine does not extend further than really tasty coleslaw and wurst (hot dogs, but 10 times better). I currently walk the aisles of the supermarket feeling like an old woman – sniffing fruits and knocking on melons for no apparent reason. In reality, I’m just grabbing whatever the person next to me grabs while I wander around enjoying the music and observing the price ranges. As I pan around each section, my mood greatly determines my meal for the next few nights. I always buy the backup pasta and potatoes just in case I have no idea what I want to cook, but lately, I’ve been looking at trying to make different sauces. It’s hard to go wrong with tomatoes and those canned beans and corn actually combine to make some interesting concoction.
At the end of the day, I’ve made this hobby absolutely delicious and monetarily friendly (plus, girls love guys that know how to cook). It really makes them take off their clothes. Oops, that was supposed to be in parentheses.
~See Lemons Cook