Kitchen Encouragement

So you want to be a kitchen expert? Or at least be able to cook yummy meals without nasty preservatives and not burn the kitchen down in the process? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

My goal with this blog is to help people become more comfortable in the kitchen, and with making real, preservative-free (and yummy!) food. I deliberately use the term ‘kitchen encouragement’ in my tag-line, because I strongly believe in that – sometimes we all need a bit of encouragement to get to the next level. Maybe you’ve never made hummus from scratch. Maybe you always make hummus from scratch but are intimidated by baking your own bread. Maybe your idea of making a pie is putting a frozen pie in the oven. Maybe it’s combining frozen pastry and canned filling. Maybe you make your own pie filling but are intimidated by making your own pastry. That’s ok! We all start somewhere!

I used to teach computer skills to seniors (I’ve had a varied life to date) and one thing I always told them, was that you don’t do one arm rep and become Arnold Schwarzenegger; it takes repeated attempts and lots of practice. The same thing applies to the kitchen. You’re not going to win Top Chef the first time you step in a kitchen. You’ll likely burn a few things and make a few flops before you end up with the skills to make delicious meals. And that’s okay!

I’m a perfect example of this. I tell this story elsewhere on my blog just because it makes me laugh to realize how far I’ve come, but when I first started baking brownies, I tried to make rocky road brownies. I had no idea how to use a broil function on the oven but wanted that lusciously golden marshmallow topping on the brownies. So I cranked up the heat to broil, and let the oven do its thang. Its thang was to set the sugar in the marshmallows on fire.

That’s right, rocky road brownies became brownies flambe. It was NOT A Good Thing. But, many trial batches of brownies down the road, I became known for my brownies. My friends always said that a get-together wasn’t a get-together unless Margaret brought her brownies. At that point I could mix up, bake, cool, cut, and pack the brownies (and wash the dishes too!) in 45 minutes. But when I first started? Two hours. Like I said, it’s all about practice.

And who cares if it takes a bit longer in the beginning? You’re still going to end up with brownies! Or pie, or that creamy, creamy hummus that your friends will rave about.

So grab a recipe from the blog, put down the computer, and head to the kitchen! You got this!