On Cooking

Life is not all about work. So far, this blog has been...But today, that changes.

One of the things that I enjoy doing, when I'm not working, is cooking. Growing up, both of my parents cooked. Mom usually during the week, and Dad on weekends and big occasions. Starting at a young age, I was encouraged to help out in the kitchen, and I started with breakfast. It was a nice, easy place to begin, but still allowed me to learn different techniques and kitchen skills.

My favorite thing to make for breakfast was Palacinky (pronounced pahl-uh-CHINK-ee), which is a form of pancakes from my grandmother's church cookbook. From there, I expanded my repertoire, if slowly. However, what I learned from this is that it doesn't really take much to learn how to cook. The ingredients are obviously important. A recipe helps, if you don't know what you're cooking, or if you're just starting out. (As time goes on, recipes become less important, unless you're baking. Baking is far more like chemistry than cooking is!) If there's something in the recipe that you don't understand, then a dictionary will come in handy. For example, if you're not sure how to sauté something, then look it up. Of course, now that we're always able to get online, it's easier to find the definition. Better yet, go watch it on Youtube!

Growing up in a half-Italian, half-Ukrainian family, I got to learn about food from both cultures. So I grew up eating pasta and antipasto as well as potato pancakes, pierogi, and halupky.

As time went on, I learned how to make all of these recipes, and more. Building up my skills, I gained confidence in my cooking abilities. Of course, moving from New Jersey to Texas for college, and further, moving into an apartment where I had to cook for myself (instead of eating dorm food) caused me to become far more self-sufficient in the cooking realm.

This culminated, last weekend, in an entire day of cooking Sunday Gravy with homemade pasta for my roommates. It's not a light meal, but boy was it good! I wish I had more time to cook.