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Why I cook

Why do I cook?

I cook because I like to eat.

I cook because I get excited about food. I read cookbooks like they’re novels. I take cooking magazines to bed with me. I lose track of time most days devouring food blogs. I’m at bit obsessive about planning menus and bookmarking new recipes to try.

I cook because it lets me be creative. Adding a dash of cumin to a dish changes the outcome. Substituting one grain for another can change the depth. Broiling vegetables instead of boiling them for a soup totally changes the taste of the soup.

I cook because I like the routine. Changing an ingredient or adding an ingredient can be exciting, but the familiar can be exciting, too. Think back to your favorite meals of all time. It’s probably something that your mom, or dad, or grandma perfected over many years. And if that recipe is passed down to you, you can continue to share. The routine of peeling potatoes for your mom’s potato salad, or shelling peas for your grandma’s bean soup is comforting and familiar.

I cook because I like to know what I’m eating. I love going to restaurants and trying their best offerings. I love going to a friend’s house and enjoying a meal prepared with me in mind. But I also love going home, standing in the kitchen and preparing meals. Going to the supermarket and/or the farmer’s market and picking ingredients, standing in front of the pantry and seeing what kind of grains I have, peering at the spice rack and wondering what will satisfy me today – these things bring me joy. I know that every ingredient in my soup or lasagna has been picked by me.

I cook because of that look someone gets when they enjoy something you’ve made. Or that sound they make when the food hits their tongue.

I cook because it makes me, and hopefully those I feed, happy.

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