I think everything we do should be an adventure, fun and creative. The kitchen is the heart of my home. To be honest my kitchen is in need of serous remodel. Like time for open heart surgery. Now is not the time for that, and this blog post has nothing to do with that. I have a son that has had allergies. At one point we were gluten and egg free. I worried he might be allergic to tomatoes, pineapple, strawberries and dairy. Basically we had a very strict diet. On top of that we limited our fats, took out soy, all dyes and artificial flavors. I found difficulty in relearning how to cook. Not fun times. I still don’t have a remodeled kitchen, but I have found joy in cooking.
Rules are good and often necessary in life. I prefer having guidelines and freedom to be creative. I have talked with many older generation members and tried to get recipes. You know what many of them told me? They don’t follow a recipe. They cook using their instincts. It might not be exactly the same, but it is good each time. I don’t know about you but I was not comfortable in my ability to just throw things in a pot and make it taste good. I have done that and sometimes it works and sometimes it needs help. The one thing that has changed is I am not afraid to fail. I believe that when we fear we are just setting our selves up to fail. The other thing I have done is stop following the rules.
Breaking the Rules
When I 1st started gluten free, egg free, only God made foods I would take a recipe and substitute the ingredients my family could eat. Most of those recipes failed. I learned the hard way to trust my instincts. It was hard to break out of the thought that “it had to be the same, just different.” I’m no longer trying to cook food like I or anyone else thinks it should be. Real food tastes real good. I make a potato soup with onion, salt & pepper, water, potato and milk. It is simple and good.
I had a music teacher who criticized some popular songs because they are written with the same 4 chords. He thought that was boring. A lot of people enjoy those basic chords and simple songs. The songs have plenty of variation in the melody, chord progressions, rhythms, and tempos that most people like it. My point is that you can do a lot of good things with simple ingredients. Who cares if you are not a gourmet chef? The point is can you cook good healthy food that you enjoy eating? I think with some basics anyone can cook good food.
The most basic easy foods to cook are your veggies and grains. Onion and garlic are a good start to almost any dish. How much you add depends on how much you like those ingredients. The celery, potatoes, carrots are also some of the basics you can use to create a good meal. I think the important thing is finding what you like. I use all the same seasonings for most of the dishes I cook. I just change the proportions to create differences. Once you have your basics you can learn to add new spices and foods in as often as you want. I love cooking now. I hope no matter what your family can eat or what you cook with you can have more confidence and be more creative in your kitchen. What helps you enjoy your time in the kitchen? Happy cooking.