Not even a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the movie Julie and Julia in which I revealed my bad attitude towards cooking. In the post, I said of the attitude (not the cooking), “I’ll work on it and get back to you though, like the good student I am.”
I don’t recall consciously working on anything, but I must say that the other day, while making Rosemary-Marsala pork chops for dinner, I had a bit of a revelation. “Hmm…” I thought. “I don’t hate this.”
It appears that I may have gotten better at cooking, through no fault of my own. I’m not entirely sure how this happened. There was some encouragement from my husband who knows not only how not to burn things but also proper cooking techniques. There was some information culled from the recipes that didn’t turn out, which has made me better at judging up front which recipes have a chance and which are destined for the trash. And there was a fair amount of repetition. Sounds like a recipe for learning to me.
As I was making these pork chops the other night, I realized that I didn’t hate the time I was investing in it, because I knew they were going to turn out well. And boy did they! That’s the reaction I’ve had to a lot of recipes lately and that, it turns out, makes cooking kind of awesome. The fact that in my very own, kind-of-outdated kitchen I can prepare something that I would prefer to about 95% of restaurant fare. My favorites are my italian recipes, but unfortunately my husband, for some bizarre reason I may never understand, doesn’t want to eat pasta every night of the week. (He also calls my marinara sauces “bitter” but I think they’re just about the best thing on the planet.) So I am forced to experiment with other things occasionally, and like the pork chops, sometimes they turn out pretty good.
I should add that I’m not making anything too complex. My husband is the one for the Julia Child -type recipes that require hours and hours in the kitchen. I can usually get things done in about an hour. But still, I’ve amassed quite a personal cookbook of these types of recipes that are reasonable for a person of admittedly low tolerances such as myself.
I’ve probably jinxed myself writing this little post and the next thing I make will be a blackened, flavorless mess. But if that’s the case, I will definitely not find myself on the floor crying. I’ll just try again. And that was the attitude adjustment I was looking for. Now if only I could carry that attitude over to other plentiful areas of my life in which I find myself sitting on the floor crying.