Monday, April 7, 2008
Loving Cooking and Eating
One of my hobbies is cooking. I really enjoy cooking. I cannot say that I am always successful, but at least I try! Especially, when I am happy. Since I cook often, I guess that means I am happy most of the time. There are times when I think of quitting my job and open a restaurant, but I think it's too much work and therefore, I think cooking would become a job rather than a hobby. At this point, no business adventures :)
Sometimes when I come back from work tired, I want to cook something just to let the stress out. But sometimes, I am so tired that I don't feel like cooking at all. That's when I bring out the food I had cooked over the weekend. My husband doesn't mind eating food that's leftover, but I am not a fan of leftovers. I love freshly cooked food with fresh ingredients. I always use fresh ingredients except when I cook ethnic and have to use the prepared sauces and sometimes canned veggies such as bamboo shoots. I do not use any kind of frozen veggies, meat or any kind of canned foods (exceptions occur when fresh ingredients are not available). For example, I prefer to use the beans and chickpeas soaked overnight and boiled to get the correct texture instead of using the canned versions. I know it is time consuming, but I know it is fresh and I know what is in it. I don't have to second guess what could be in there aside from the preservatives.
Cooking can be even more fun when you involve your spouse, friends or family members. My cooking adventures started in graduate school when on the weekend there was no food provided in the dorms. I am embarrassed to say that, at that time, I basically lived on ramen noodles on the weekends. Come on, they are so cheap and so tasty. I wasn't so health conscious at the time. I was eating everything. When you are a student living in a dorm, you do not have much of a choice. You eat what you can get your hands on. There was a small group of friends from other countries in the dorm and we all started to cook together on the weekends. We'd go to the grocery store together and purchase the ingredients, split out the bill and then cook and eat together. They came from countries where they did not eat in a hurry, rather taking their time enjoying the food. In Turkey where I come from, people take their time eating. So I really liked that. Because during my undergraduate school, I was also living in the dorms. We used to go down to the cafeteria to eat with friends and they would finish their food so quickly that sometimes before I sat down they would be finished! I had to adjust to them; otherwise, I would have to eat my food alone! Yeah, I learned eating fast so well, but also my stomach was never happy. So, this was a big change to have people sitting around and enjoying the food. It was fun! I still miss those days. Then, after I graduated and started working, I had my own apartment and I attempted to cook all the Turkish food that I missed. There were disasters of course, but by time I learned to be creative. I was lucky to have grocery stores that sold Turkish cooking ingredients around. Today, I am still enjoying cooking different types of food.