Jun 25, 2013

Happiness is Edible

Ansha Kotyk (author of Gangsterland) thinks I can learn to cook. She's even given me distinct directions on cooking rice. I haven't even attempted it, which is a shame. I live with two incredible cooks. My dad is also a fantastic kitchen master.

[Insert statement about lacking the cooking gene].

I posted a few months ago about needing to overcome my fear of the kitchen. This is what lead Ansha to tell me about rice; I said I eat a lot of stir fry. In fact, I eat a lot! Ansha said, "I think there's a lot to be said if you can make your own food... any craving you have... wabam, on the plate."

I know what she's saying, but for me, it's not so much "wabam." It's much slower and more painful. There is never a "voila" when I am in the kitchen. Or if there is, it's because I cut up a bell pepper.

Today, I was thinking about all the food photos I post on Instagram and Facebook. I realized it's pretty depressing that I have not made any of it or at least very little of it. I remember my friend Thom asking me once about how I could make such gorgeous food. I laughed (and cried on the inside) about that notion.

But, what would a blog post be without an internal call to action? I'm gonna cook, dammit. What? I dunno. I suppose I should honor Ansha and start with stir fry.

Another summer challenge I've given myself is to go on at least one picnic a week. I have had four thus far, but have not made my own food for any of them. These picnics are the perfect opportunity to make some easy-breezy food.

If food makes me so happy, then I'd better learn to create my own happiness. (Head-nod from Soc)

Until then, here are some photos of inspiration:

I think I am a foodie.


  1. Good luck with your culinary exploration. If you're just getting started, one thing you should know right off the bat is that there is a big difference between cooking and baking. If you are baking, you have to follow the recipt so the chemistry turns out right. But if you're cooking, you can be more loosy goosy and just throw what ever you want into the pot. Stir-fry is a great place to start because you can use just about anything you have on hand and still end up with a tasty finished product. Grilling is also pretty easy, and fun to do in the summer. In addition to grilling meat, you can also grill veggies, and even some fruits.

    Starting when I was like eight, my parents required me to cook dinner at least one night a week. At the time it felt like an annoying chore, but the benifit was by the time I grew up and was living on my own, I knew how to make all my favorite foods. So start there, learn how to make your favorite foods. And if you need to have the people who normally do most of your cooking for you to help you out at first, ask for help.

  2. Wooo Hooo! You're taking that big scary step, but it's so worth it. Kate is right, ask for help when you need it, the cooks around you can let you in on all the cool secrets, like listening and smelling to know when foods are done and what works well for the dishes you want to prepare and what doesn't... look at it as a sensory exploration. :)
    Here's a stir fry tip: set everything out (cut and wash, all the ingredients) before you turn on the burner. Stirfry cooks very quickly, and it makes things easier if, the rice is already cooked (but hot) and everything is within reach while cooking. Good Luck!

  3. I think you can easily make any of the dishes featured in your photos. I have confidence in you! P.S. Picnic challenge is a good one.

  4. I'm not a good cook, but I'm not terrible, either. My husband is way better at cooking--just ask our children. ;) I like to bake, and some of my favorite recipes are stir-fry recipes.

    Good luck! You can do it! :)