Saturday, September 13, 2008

Let the wild mess begin!

I am not a cook.

I have never studied at a culinary institute, nor have I taken a cooking class at a community college. I’ve never been a part of the food industry at all, except when I’m screaming at the drive-thru at Taco Bell, or just stuffing my face at one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I’ve never been a waitress or a hostess or a dishwasher or a cook. The closest I’ve been to selling food for profit was when I had to make popcorn for a summer job at a wax museum (and the time my sister and I decided to sell cotton candy—made from my kiddie cotton candy machine—during one of my mom’s yard sales). So, there you have it. I’m as far from an expert as you could possibly get.

So what’s up with the blog? Basically, I really, really like food. Lately, I troll around on the internet to find new recipes. I rip them out of magazines and call my mom to jot down old favorites. I have dreams about this one perfect warm goat cheese salad. I also have dreams about fields of frolicking skunks, but that just speaks to my general unhinged-ness.

I’m also unhappily unemployed. I just graduated this spring with a journalism degree, and I live in the greater New York City area, which all add up to joblessness. So this summer while I’ve been job searching, I’ve also been trying to figure out what I want to do with ALL of my glorious (read: excruciatingly boring) free time. I’ve dabbled in yoga, which I really like, actually. I have literally Netflixed every available episode of Grey’s Anatomy and Heroes. I have finally been able to read neglected books that have been waiting patiently on dorm room shelves for four years. (Not that I didn’t love my class reading lists—with the exception of Eat, Pray, Love—but it’s nice to read a book leisurely instead of racing to finish it in one night.) But my biggest summer discovery is that I enjoy cooking.

Before this summer, I always had a sort of pride in my cooking ignorance. I thought that by bucking the 1950s homemaker stereotype, I was somehow more interesting and a better feminist. But seriously, does cooking make you a 1950s housewife? Not so much. It just means that you eat better food (most of the time, anyways). I’ve realized that if I want to be in the kitchen, then crafting a meal doesn’t make me a slave to my stove. There isn’t some government conspiracy (merely institutionalized sexism!) to keep women in the kitchen and out of the workplace. Although, in most families I’m sure it is still the norm for the mother to cook dinner even if both parents work, but let’s not go there.

With all of this time on my hands, I think I’m finally starting to figure out how all of the pieces of my personality fit together…I like to bake little ladylike cookies, but I can still let out the raunchiest burp you’ve ever heard. I’m currently a housegirlfriend (not wife, times are a changin’) and sometimes I even enjoy it, but on a deeper level I’m merely a struggling writer. I obsess over health studies, but somehow manage to convince myself a 5-pound bag of Sour Patch Kids is a good buy. Basically, things are a little messy in my world, and in my kitchen.