"It took me until college, really."

"I wasn't ever a picky eater, and my parents were way more than fine with that. So tuna casserole with those crunchy canned onions on top, beef stroganoff a la Hamburger Helper, taco salad or Lean Cuisine frozen meals it was. My mom used only margarine and tended to cook meat to death. I do think my mom tried her best (with being in one of the most abusive marriages I've heard of). So it all cascaded to me just eating at my sorority house for 2 years. My first year after I dropped the sorority I felt myself at the edge of a dangerous cliff: no friends, no meal plan. I'll learn how to cook, I said. And I did. Cook with the good stuff too. I rode my bike to a nearby Farmer's market. I talked to farmers, and I learned about food. I made all sorts of food, even made my own broth from scratch with chicken feet. My whole eating life was slow, whimsical, comforting and challenging. Most importantly I learned about good ingredients and how to maintain a good kitchen, what kitchen supplies you absolutely need, and what supplies you can forget or go cheap on. I built up a good spice cabinet. All of it was terribly fun. I don't have enough time to live as I did those two amazing years presently, but I still use the Yummly app to collect recipes and compile grocery lists so I can shop at the big box store. I still do a few niche things such as make my own vanilla extract and flavored liqueurs, but nothing compared to my hey day" (source).

"I used to cook omelet for my daughter like this:"

"Super little tiny chopped cucumber, spinach, and MUSHROOM (which is considered as the biggest enemy by my daughter and considered the most healthy by me) are secretly wrapped by the gorgeous egg skin with fried rice together, then of course that omnipotent ketchup! Isn't it cute, healthy and child-friendly? Am I smart? My daughter, 4 years old then, happily ran to my master piece, taking a big spoon...The spoon stopped on its way. 'It SMELLS like MUSHROOM.' Her calm voice continued, 'I like the omelet grandma made.' She always knew her mom was a bad cook." (source)

"The first time I had medium rare beef."

"My mom was an amazing lady. She was widowed with five boys, and made the conscious decision to raise us by herself, her way, rather than remarry (until we were all grown). The only problem was, she was a bit of a germaphobe. She generally cooked the life out of most food, because she was deathly afraid that undercooking anything would leave germs. Consequently, growing up, I thought I wasn't very fond of beef. The truth turned out to be that I wasn't fond of beef which had been cooked to death. Now I cook, and order, all beef with a nice, healthy, juicy amount of red-pink." (source)

"When I realized that eating a healthy, nutritional, balanced meal and eating a satisfying, tasty meal are not contradictory."

"I had mistakenly assumed a false dilemma that the only tasty food was empty and satisfying calories of junk food. But until I dabbled with cooking myself when I left my parents' place, I hadn't realized I had a choice. It's a matter of ranking your own priorities, and I found that good food is worth the effort of preparation to me. My parents have different priorities. My mother is very health-conscious but I did not particularly like the nutritional meals she served me, however, because my mother is extremely impatient and has a very practical, efficient and economic approach to everything she does. My mother never enjoyed being a homemaker but she had three children, so she did cook, but she cooked because she needed to get food on the table, and nothing more. She'd serve ingredients that make up a balanced meal, but she'd prepare them in a way that made them just barely edible. She served mostly bland, overcooked vegetables. I concluded I didn't like vegetables when it was mostly an issue of preparation methods. She didn't use any spices or seasonings or sauces or anything to spice up the food. She didn't experiment with food, she never tried any new recipes or new ingredients. In hindsight, I think that instead of resorting to junk food as a teenager just to eat something else than what my mother cooked, I should have taken an interest in cooking and learned some good recipes much earlier" (source).


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