Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On cooking and self-confidence

I love my husband. I love that he truly believes I can do anything. When he believes it, I believe it too. Sounds strange for someone so in love with DIY, cooking, and crafts - all activities that require believing in oneself.  I haven't always been so self-confident though.

If you knew me in high school or college, I was quite the opposite.  I am the youngest of four sisters, that meant I never had to cook anything.  If I had to contribute to a family meal, it was usually Jell-O.  Wow.  Even when I lived on my own I seldom cooked.  I survived on cereal, take out, and pasta.  Mmmm, healthy.  And the guy I dated in college did nothing to increase my confidence in my cooking skills.  He didn't even think I cooked pasta properly (c'mon, what kind of bonehead can't cook pasta.  And more importantly, what kind of ass criticizes how someone cooks pasta).  So my main cooking dishes were butterscotch brownies for my dad; grilled cheese; a pasta dish with angel hair pasta, jarred sauce, and pre-cooked chicken; or my boyfriend's mom's chicken recipe.  I refused to try cooking anything else because I was sure it would suck.

Fast-forward to 2012 and I am making homemade chocolate pie and lasagna from scratch.  My how times have changed.  My husband and I have cooked together pretty much since we started dating.  And I never wanted to admit I didn't know how to cook something, so I would just figure it out.  And it turned out, I'm a pretty good cook.  Not everything has been a success, but for the most part, things turn out pretty well.

The first big, monumental success was chocolate pie.  We had been dating about a year and my husband invited me to a family holiday.  I asked what I should make.  He asked if I could make a chocolate pie, his grandma used to make them when she was alive and it was his favorite.  I had never in my life made a chocolate pie, unless you count dumping chocolate pudding into a graham cracker crust and topping it with Cool Whip.  But I said sure I could make him a chocolate pie.  I then proceeded to panic.  I tried at least three different chocolate pie recipes that all sucked.  Then my ever intelligent dad told me to use my Betty Crocker cookbook.  What a smart man my father is.  My oldest sister made the pie crust (one thing I still haven't mastered) and I made the filling.  It was a hit.  It's still requested for family dinners.  For a long time I kept the pie crust "recipe" a secret from my husband.  Now that we don't live close to my sister, he knows my secret, and now I use a Pilsbury crust.  I'm going to learn though.

But he's always believed I can make anything for dinner.  And I always try.  If I don't know, I search for a recipe.  Or I read the directions on whatever he's brought home.  I had definitely never fried fish the first night I cooked that in his apartment at the lake.

He's always believed in me, period.  And I am a better person for it.

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