Next to Knitting, Cooking is also one of those hobbies I never thought I’d have. When I was younger I was quite a difficult eater. Didn’t like this, didn’t like that and never wanted to try new things! And then I became a vegetarian when I was around 13, even though I wasn’t that keen on many types of vegetables. I just needed pasta to be happy. But much has changed since then.
I am still a vegetarian, but now I eat all sorts of vegetables. I obviously still have my likes and dislikes and pasta still makes me very happy indeed! But I try new recipes, new ingredients and new cuisines. I think it all started when I went on a short school exchange to Japan. My parents feared I would starve. But it was amazing! Japanese food is simply gorgeous, even for people like me that have never been keen on fish. My hosts knew what I didn’t eat and were so kind to make lovely food for me – and I tried everything. It certainly opened my eyes.
Still, at home I never really helped much in the kitchen (shame on me!). I didn’t know many recipes when I left for my first year of University. So it was value pasta and cheap pizza for me… My second year was a proper year abroad in Japan and I really miss the food! I lived with a host family and my host mother was an amazing cook. Dinner was family time and it could take up to 2 hours. I learned to eat slowly and simply enjoy the food. This was another change to my eating habits. I still like to eat dinner while watching a TV series, but it is tastes much better when you actually take yourself time. Slow down once in a while.
So when did I start to enjoy actual cooking? When I returned from Japan I lived together with three flatmates. One of them is now my fiancé, but at the time I felt like I had to step up my game “against” the other two (lovely!) flatmates, who were girls. They were both really good at cooking and I felt I was lagging behind. So I tried out new recipes now and again. When the two of us then moved together in our very first “private” flat, I made use of the nice little kitchen we had as much as possible. And I was surprised at how easy and simple some really tasty meals can be.
By now I have built up a broad recipe portfolio, but I still love discovering new ones on a regular basis. I’m not a great cook, but I think I’m quite decent by now and there are actually a few things we prefer making ourselves, rather than going out and buying it (caramel shortcake, for example). So I assume I’ve been successful in my attempt to become a better cook. For those who love eating cooking is definitely a good hobby to have. It’s nice that you also continue learning all the time. I haven’t quite decided what we are having for dinner tonight, but I do have a few recipes I would like to try out some time soon!