Why Do I Cook?

Some people eat to live. I live to eat. And more importantly to cook. Food is present wherever people gather. A good meal can comfort or console. Flavors dance across our minds eye, enhancing memories, digging up nostalgia. I cook to provide. I cook to better myself. I cook for the joy of cooking. I cook to seize the food of everyday life. 

I have been told by many people that I am an excellent cook, though through my own modesty (or more likely, my own insecurity) I am often dismissive of that remark.  My skill was largely self taught:  watching my mother prepare simple meals, sharing the kitchen with college roommates, trying to make single serving dinners more interesting, trying to impressive a growing and ever evolving group of friends and colleagues.  No classes.  No direct instruction.  Just my own hunger to find flavorful and intriguing dishes.  And a love of old cookbooks and others recommendations.

But life catches up.  Caught up with the day to day droll I began to find myself in a rut of routine.  I cooked a lot.  But more and more I was finding myself rely on the same tried and true classics.  I  was hesitant to branch out, sticking with dishes I new friends and family would approve of.  But over time that homemade marinara looses its zest.  The same brownies become dull.  My classic enchiladas lost their spice.  Beef stew seemed less hearty.

My love of Indian food first opened my eyes to culinary risks.  I stumbled upon a very basic Indian cookbook.  One of the first recipes listed was a Garam Masala...a spice combination at the heart of many an Indian dish.  I gasped to realize most of the spices in the blend were already in my spice cabinet.  After gathering the spices and thoroughly cleaning my coffee mill, I prepared my own.  That risk threw open the door.

This blog was born of a desire to try new variations of classics and to expand my own skill as a cook.  As a New Year's resolution, I vowed to try 100 new recipes in the coming year.  To ensure I followed through and to hold myself accountable, I decided to blog about each experience (including the recipe and the best photos my basic point and shoot camera would allow) whether success or failure.  

AS I continue this journey I find my own confidence building...more and more recipes begin to reflect personal style over to the letter recipes.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure!