My sisters often joke that I’m the nicest version of myself when I’m in the kitchen creating, mixing and throwing things together. While I think I’m nice 99% of the time, I don’t disagree with their observation that being in the kitchen makes me extremely happy.
Growing up the daughter of an Italian mother, I learned early on that there was more to food than just eating it. I was raised with an appreciation for quality ingredients as my even more Italian grandpa would drive an hour just to get the freshest peaches or find the perfect loaf of crusty Italian bread. This appreciation for ingredients was the foundation for all of the recipes that came out of her kitchen. It wasn’t just cooking, it was love.
While my mother often swatted me away from the kitchen, it didn’t stop me from watching and learning. But the real kicker is that she never used recipes… Ever. A conversation about what she was making went something like this.
“Mom, what are you putting in that sauce?”
“A little of this a little of that.”
“Okay cool mom, good talk.”
Even though I never acquired any hard copy recipes, her style of cooking is now ingrained in my own life. That being said, recipes are SO hard for me to follow. I mostly do free style cooking and use my senses and know-how to adjust. When it comes to savory dishes it’s great and I usually come out on top.. most of the time. Baking is a different story completely. I love to bake as well, but my tendency to stray from recipe guidelines often gets me into hot water. BUT there are the times when it creates something even better!
That’s what I love so much about cooking. Every dish you create is your own design. I hope to share with all of you my passion for cooking in a way that doesn’t restrict itself to rigid recipe guidelines. Instead, learning by creating and developing your own unique style by following your cooking intuition. We all have one and tapping into it is the key to becoming a kitchen goddess/god. For me, that’s what cooking is all about. It’s a process of learning to love the ingredients and trust yourself to make them shine.
I’m all about cooking with my heart and soul. If you suffer from “fear of deviating from recipe syndrome” I encourage you to take a step outside the recipe box and don’t be afraid to make things your own. While it may end in a few kitchen disasters, failing is just a part of moving forward in your chefing journey.