I’m not a cook.
I can make a few things. Spinach and cream cheese lasagna, Eggs Florentine (I live in Florence, and this is one of the few things I can make, so I find it funny), and pretty good sandwiches- I count sandwiches as cooking! I can even make a mean “healthified” crock pot macaroni and cheese. It’s safe to say that Clay does 95% of the cooking around here.
I grew up in a household with a mom who loved to cook and bake, along with two grandmas less than 10 minutes away who also loved it. I was well fed, but I was also an only child and very involved, so I never learned how to cook. In college, I lived off of Taco Bell, Subway, whatever I could grab at the campus events I covered for the student newspaper- usually free pizza, and Wesley Foundation food (Wesley Foundation is like a youth group for college kids in which I served as a student leader).
Junior year, I lived with three other Wesley Foundation girls in a villa, and every Tuesday night after Wesley Foundation, we got dibs on the leftovers because all of us were so involved and happened to live together. It’s amazing how far we could stretch leftover church food. Pretty soon I started dating Clay, who moved out of campus housing and regularly cooked. He was quite a score- living off campus AND able to cook :).
A couple years ago, I guess I realized I was growing up and set some goals for myself, and one of them was to become more comfortable in the kitchen. I still hate to cook, but I do love baking and have made some pretty neat creations. I’ve even learned how to make recipes healthier by using Greek yogurt or applesauce instead of oil and whole wheat flour. Cooking still makes me anxious, but baking and making desserts- that’s relaxing.
A few weeks ago, my friend Rachel made Amish Friendship Bread, which is a recipe that involves mushing a bag of dough for 10 days, adding ingredients, making other bags of dough to give to your friends (hence- friendship bread), and baking the actual bread. She had four bags of starter dough to give away, so I definitely took her up on the offer. According to folklore, only the Amish have the recipe for the starter, and since the Amish don’t have Google, they can continue to believe that ;).
Rachel gave me the starter, and I mushed and added ingredients for ten days. I didn’t know how this would work out, because I like instant gratification and waiting ten days just to bake the bread is pretty tough! I held out, and on the 10th day, I made Amish Friendship Muffins using the same recipe as the bread (with Greek yogurt instead of oil and whole wheat flour instead of white). They were delicious, and my coworkers really liked them :).
Thanks to finding an awesome modification on Google (remember, don’t tell the Amish- it’s our secret!), I only made one starter, which I gave to my mom. She’s giving it back to me when she bakes her bread, and I’m contemplating making chocolate muffins with it like Rachel did.
We’ll see how it goes!