Sunday, March 11, 2007

Passions (3: Cooking)

I first became intersted in cooking in the late 80s.

At first it was out of a feeling that some day I would need those skills if I wanted to eat anything interesting. I was living on campus, so didn't need to cook right then. I did some, but I wasn't passionate about it really. Not yet.

In 1992 I moved into my own apartment and that changed. Being partial to eating (not in the gourmet sense, more in avoid starvation mode) I began cooking for myself. Being financially challanged helped out as well. I didn't rely on convenience foods and restaraunts because at that time it just wasn't possible. Developing the skill and creativity to whip up a spaghetti dinner for under a buck was a very real alternative to bending over backwards to have it prepared for me.

I had been raised in an environment where food preparation was an expression of affection. I never really had to explore that, though, previously. As I began having to cook I discovered I liked it. A lot.

It also 'put me in touch with my roots' in a way. In addition to the role food played in my family dynamics, I descend from long lines of farmers. I am proud of that fact.

My ancestors would probably shake their heads at my food choices. The idea of living close to the land (favoring minimally intensivly grown local produce) they'd probably understand, but I'd imagine my love of Asian and African cuisines would strike them a bit odd. That and my vegetarianism, but now is not the place to talk about that.

This is the place to discuss what I eat daily now. Unfortunately, I rely fairly heavily on microwavable prepared meals right now. Why am I, an admitted foodie, eating out of my microwave? Two reasons, common cause.

1) Cooking can be pretty time consuming. I find myself needing a lot of downtime, and there often just aren't enough hours in the day to do more than pop something in the nuker.

2) The act of cooking can be physically challenging in itself. Take spaghetti for instance. Getting a pot full of boiling water off the stove and over to the sink for the pasta to drain is difficult, given the problems I have with lifting and balance.

But I still try a little at least. And I still enjoy browsing cookbooks.

Necessity isn't just the mother of invention. It can also be the mother of passion.

And when you have passion, well ... you do what you can. And sometimes, what you can't.

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