When I was younger I saw no importance to cooking. All I knew was that when I was hungry a meal was provided, how it got there was not my concern. Getting into my adulthood I had a little problem. I couldn’t cook a meal, I had no idea how to feed myself. Okay for a short while, my hubs (boyfriend at the time) could cook. However a time came when he was working late and if I wanted to eat, I had to cook. At this time I started paying more and more attention to those cooking around me. My Mother in law has always been my base. I have spent many many hours in her kitchen, carefully observing what she was doing and helping where I could.
I had no idea how much I was absorbing, I had no idea how important these observations would be. I remember my hubs and my very first Easter by ourselves. We were away from family and we were having our own little dinner. We had the ham in the oven and I told him that we would need a glaze, he had no idea what I was talking about. I explained to him that when his mother cooked a ham, she always made a glaze. So we called her up for the ingredient list. I knew exactly what to do after that. It was then that I clued in how much I had learned sitting in her kitchen.
It’s these lessons that started me on a path of food education and to value those that love food and can cook a good meal. There are so many people around us that can teach us so much and open our eyes wide. I always watch in amazement when my hubs cooks a meal, he flies around the kitchen like a whirling dervish. He has taught me many tools that I carry close in my cooking tool belt. I learnt my knife skills from Curtis Stone, he had this weird show where he would sneak up on people in a grocery store and take them home to cook a meal for someone. This woman he surprised never cooks and he was showing her all these knife basics, perfect for me!
I’m never too proud to ask those around me about how to cook this and that, or dive into hundreds of cook books for inspiration. You can never learn too much from other people. As much as the ham glaze surprised me, the knack I had from baking bread surprised me, lessons I stored from my vovo. When hubs and I go out to eat, we always choose restaurants that inspire us with dishes from people who truly get food. We have friends that love food and we’re always swapping ideas, or talking about food over many bottles of wine.
I would love to have a cooking co-op. Where everyday someone new cooks and the co-op members can come in and learn. Everyone approaches food and cooking differently, these are lessons we shouldn’t miss. These are the lessons we should take into our own kitchen. These lessons we should hold close and use to inspire us to create our own culinary masterpiece.
Who inspires you? What have you learnt from others? You may be surprised how much you have learned from osmosis!