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Learning to Cook

2 Jun

This book excerpt from Mark Bittman captures a lot of what I enjoy about cooking and reflects some of the process I am going through as I learn to cook. I probably am bouncing between levels 3 and 4, depending on my familiarity and confidence with a cuisine or technique, though I still do often follow recipes slavishly the first time I prepare a new type of dish.

I did learn to cook from my family as I grew up. This was similar to what Bittman describes — very rarely did I get explicit lessons on what to do and measurements of ingredients. It was more about my parents putting meals together and my watching their daily example.

It seems like cooking is more of a deliberate activity now, seen as something to do because you particularly like food or saw something interesting on the Food Network (or its Arabic-language equivalent, Fatafeat.) But that seems to change once you become responsible for feeding others. At this point, I’m enjoying the cooking and the eating, especially as it is an opportunity to explore the environment and community I live in and to find ways to make favorites far from home.