Falling in love with the dutches
Truth: When I first started cooking (at the age of 27), I sucked.
I had a few beat-up pots and pans, no wedding registry and no skill. I mean, I was terrified of gas stovetops! That's how much I sucked at kitchen duties.
My first year was Armageddon. Everything burnt, overcooked and chucked. Not okay.
So I collected recipes. Then, learned techniques. Then, asked other seasoned cooks for their tricks. It took so many mistakes, as S would testify, but it was worth every ruined dish to finally understand the art of cooking.
I began enjoying it. All of that commitment and devotion I'd given was appreciating. It became something I looked forward to, because it was a challenge that I could tangibly (and edibly) overcome! If nothing else, I knew how to feed people, semi-confidently. (Also, I began to enjoy the flavors of my own food.)
When we moved houses, 4 years later, I threw out all my old pots and pans and began collecting for my dream kitchen. Things I'd gleaned from many others' kitchens. A few dutch ovens, cast iron skillets and an immersion blender among other things.
I am a creature of observation. Through these years, I've observed that asking someone for cooking advice immediately opened up their hearts! From the crankiest to the shyest individuals lit up when they recounted their recipes and techniques. People loved to share when I genuinely inquired.
Cooking has become this for me. A way into peoples' hearts. Sure, feeding them is inviting, but for me this is the connector. I love listening to young and old, sharing their wisdom and allowing me to reap from their wisdom. This is what no one will ever tell you about cooking.