Today I'm going to cook Alice Water's Fusili with Greens and Sausage. I found the recipe online here so you can be in on the fun. I have her cookbook, and I highly recommend it.
I'm cooking it because I want to eat it, because cooking is fun, and because I need to work on my cooking skills.
The thought has never occurred to me that I could actually be a good cook one day. I grew up in a very modern environment, where cooking was never emphasized as a skill to learn or be proud of. I didn't just get this vibe from my family, but from everywhere...society, peers, extended family, community, etc.
In my world, the concept of cooking just fell to the wayside. It's fairly easy to eat tasty, nutritious, and relatively inexpensive food without cooking nowadays. There are tons of options for buying already-cooked food...everything from ordering takeout at full-fledged restaurants, to counter-ordering restaurants, to buying already prepared meals from grocery stores and stands.
Also, people are too busy nowadays. There just isn't time for cooking.
And also, I think cooking has lost some of its glamour and shine. We don't talk often about the intangible difference a home-cooked meal makes. Some people even might think of cooking as a backwards institution for women, making women nothing more than domestic servants and doormats.
So anyway, this was the worldview that I grew up with, and I think it's kind of sad. The good news is that I can change it now!
So I was wondering to myself, what makes a good cook?
There's no one definition for that, but here's my take on it.
For me, it's not about being able to come up with lots of new and exciting recipes. Not about being able to make complicated or fancy food.
It's not even about making consistently tasty food.
It's not even about being able to look around your kitchen, and being able to throw together something good for dinner on the spot, based on what you have.
I think it's...simply about cooking often...because you enjoy cooking, you enjoy eating, and you enjoy cooking for others.