It may not look like much, but it was made by these two hands.
If you’re not sure what exactly you’re viewing, that’s perfectly acceptable. At first, I wasn’t sure exactly what I had concocted in the kitchen either. But if you look closely, you’ll notice the contents of the bowl are as follows: a helping of spinach and garlic ravioli, five cut up Lincolnshire sausages and a topping of custom-created tomato sauce.
I have to say, it’s not bad for a guy who previously got by on kebab cart and providing menial labor to his friends instead of actually sitting down and trying to cook. And more importantly, it tasted pretty good. Not great — I’ve certainly had far better take-out — but it was certainly a start.
Now it may seem curious that I’m here cooking when I had previously sworn to never do it, but let me tell you there’s a good explanation for all of this.
You may have noticed that I previously mentioned that both my mother and brother are professional cooks. Well, unsurprisingly, while that bit is still true, it’s also equally true that I come from a long line of seasoned cooks. My dad regularly grills chicken, steak and hot dogs and, according to my mom, has been known to make a mean Chicken Cordon Bleu in his younger years.
My grandma also makes about everything under the sun, which she learned from her mother. Hence, a long line of cooks that somehow skipped me. Curiously, I’m the only one in the family who doesn’t have to wear glasses or contacts, as well as the only male under six feet on my dad’s side, but that’s another matter entirely.
But this isn’t about my family, or their intense cooking skills.
It’s about my budding ones, which pale in comparison. The reason I bring my family into this is at all is that it was their incessant prodding that made me decide to take the culinary plunge.
After writing my original piece, I proudly emailed the article to my mom and expected a response that only a Jewish mother could give. While she found it rather amusing, she also seemed a bit offended, as she felt that I tacitly tried to blame her for my lack of cooking skills, as only a good Jewish son could.
I insisted to her that it was laziness and/or general ineptitude with life skills that was at fault here, but she was having none of it. I was going to learn to cook, and I was going to do it now. And so I have — I am now proud to say that at least three culinary concoctions spring forth from my kitchen on a weekly basis. I even boil the water before putting in the pasta now, and have been experimenting with adding different types of meats, sauces and vegetables to the mix.
I have a long culinary journey ahead of me, but I will say that cooking is surprisingly empowering. It feels good to actually be able to create and consume something, and even if these own two hands are not good for much else besides for banging away at a keyboard, the kitchen will one day be their domain.
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