Having Confidence in the Kitchen

Are you one of those people who can dive into the kitchen and whip up an “amazing” meal in no time with ingredients on hand?  No?  Well you are not alone.

Many of us have enjoyed playing a sport or a musical instrument.  Our first attempts were quite different than what we became capable of after gaining experience.  And – isn’t there pleasure strumming some chords on a guitar or playing a backyard game of volleyball?  In these times, we are probably not hesitating to enjoy these experiences even though we are not famous musicians or Olympic athletes. 

Cooking can also offer simple pleasure to one’s day.  Like so many other things we do in our lives, preparing food can be a learning opportunity.  In fact, that can be part of the fun – trying new foods and new recipes and in the process, gaining in ability and confidence.  When I first started cooking on my own, it was basic grilled cheese sandwiches, cookies and omelets. During that time, I received a gift of two cookbooks that I think are great guides for beginners: Betty Crocker’s Cookbook and Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.  I still use both of these cookbooks for the basics. But just like a musical instrument or a sport, as you gain basic skills you can move on with confidence to more complex recipes and to creating your own.

A few years ago, the movie Julie & Julia depicted the journey of Julia Childs and Julie Powell (a blogger), each of whom had their share of frustrating moments in the kitchen.  But like so many things we learn in life, both gained in knowledge in part, precisely because they were willing to stumble along the way.  Don’t hesitate to prepare a dish that may turn out less than perfect because in the process, there is so much to be learned and enjoyed!

So let’s get cooking!

Please comment and share your favorite cookbooks or Web pages that have guided you in your explorations in the kitchen.


Keep the conversation going with your colleagues by subscribing to Kent State Connects. Subscribe here.