Dan and I were talking about how much I love to cook recently. He is especially fond of my hobby. Thinking about why I love cooking brings back so many special memories. When I was little, I had the privilege of being taken care of a lot by my great-grandmother. My great-grandmother and I use to cook all kinds of things together. We'd make vegetable soup, carrot bread, cornbread, sloppy joes, all kinds of vegetables, and meatloaf. She would teach me how to do everything and let me be involved in every step. I love thinking of those memories with her... even if it involved me grating carrots for carrot bread for what seemed like hours.
My great-grandmother also let me write my own recipes and try them out. Even if she knew they would be awful, she'd still let me make them...and encouraged it. Some of them turned out to be quite good. When I'm cooking now, I hardly ever use a recipe (in fact, I'm extremely picky about my recipes, I usually rework any that I use).
People often think I'm crazy for how much I love to cook. I really love to cook because my great-grandmother taught me how. She inspired the creativity years ago in me and made me into a natural cook. When I'm making one of the things that we made together years ago, I always think of her. When I'm reading through recipe after recipe and know that there is something that could be made better in everyone, I think of the times when she taught me how to understand measurements and how I can (and should)make any recipe my own. When I'm making something from scratch and without a recipe, I think of how she would encourage me to try things and not be afraid to make something gross.
My great-grandmother is 93 now and still making a difference in my life. I think about the things she taught me about cooking and life. I should always honor, respect, love, and visit the people who raised me and made me who I am today. When reading through recipes, I am reminded that there are going to be plenty of "recipes" for how I should do better at things, but that I should always know that I have to make my life in the way that's best for me... not other people (this is strongly connected with my last post). When I'm making new things, I am reminded that I must never be afraid to fail, no matter how "gross" it could turn out. I will never accomplish near my full potential if I'm afraid to fail.
I'm so thankful to have the great influence of my great-grandmother. I am so blessed and privileged to have grown up with her. Tonight I was really thinking about her- I came home from work, and I've been sick for a couple of days, so I was expecting to lay on the couch and be totally exhausted. I got this sudden burst of energy and ended up cooking 3 meals tonight! It was something that she used to do. Now I have lots of healthy, delicious food in the fridge for the rest of the week! :)