reverb: wonder

Today’s #reverb prompt: 

December 4 {wonder}
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

When I was younger, my mom, brother, and I would always bake holiday goodies for our neighbors. We’d roll gingersnap cookies in sugar, mix together ingredients for sugar cookies, make my favorite no-bake oatmeal, chocolate, and peanut butter cookies, and usually bake mini zucchini breads. It always started out fun; I would stand on our little stool so I could reach the top of our counter, and I remember the counter top was always covered with sugar and flour. Even now, 20 years later, I can see my little brother’s pudgy little cheeks covered with flour and cookie dough smushed between his fingers.

But somewhere during those years of baking holiday treats, I got tired and flustered. I started making silly mistakes* (putting salt instead of sugar in sugar cookies, for example), and I had more fun taking naps during bake-time than actually being in the kitchen.

Flash forward to this year. I got married and realized I actually wanted to be in the kitchen to make meals. Let it be known that my husband is a fantastic cook and baker on his own, but I wondered if I could actually make tasty food.

Curiosity got the best of me, so I started looking for easy recipes to follow. I started with The Pioneer Woman, because she had step-by-step, fool proof pictures for each step of a recipe. I would (and still do) follow recipes to the “T” and read aloud each step multiple times to make sure I have the right measurements and ingredients. But low and behold, I was actually making edible food!

In the past year I’ve expanded to not only using more complex recipes, but I now have an overflowing binder of our “favorite” meals, recipes I’ve torn out of magazines that are on standby to try, I’m making my own creations, and I recently partnered with my sister-in-law to start a cooking blog (The Tale of Two Kitchens).

Before we got married, my husband and I made a pact: I could try making whatever I want, but if it didn’t taste good we would order pizza or go out to eat for dinner that particular night. Well, I’m happy to report that a couple weeks ago—nine months into our marriage—my husband said, “You know, I’m a little bit sad we can’t have pizza, because all of your food has been so good!” That was one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

I’m so happy I got outside of my little comfort zone of eating frozen meals and making simple quesadillas to pull on an apron and stepping inside my kitchen. 

*I’ve been writing this post while baking two completely new versions of cookies from scratch. My house is currently filled with smoke, because the first batch completely burnt on the bottom. And you know what? I’m happy I didn’t give up, but instead figured out the problem and put the next batch in the oven. Here’s hoping they come out golden brown and delicious.

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2 Comments

  1. I'm pretty much the same way! I had zero interest in the kitchen during my tomboy teen years. About the time I finished college, I started wanting to be at least a bit domestic. I liked the precision of baking, and the creations worked with my pickiness, so I started with that. It has evolved into cooking, and I read it aloud and follow it exactly. I've had a few disasters, but none so bad we had to order out. (The first time I cooked for my husband [then boyfriend], my mom told me–in all seriousness–to keep the Chinese takeout number handy!)

  2. I agree with both of you! I wasn't a huge fan of cooking until this past summer, when I started having dinner on the table at 5pm. I'd go to my boyfriend's house early in the morning to make sure he had breakfast and his lunch was prepared in a bento box. He's an amazing cook and baker, too, but I'm glad that he's allowed me to take over the kitchen from time to time. And the pantry is finally stocked with Asian ingredients (I don't like cooking "American" or European foods).

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