Saturday, June 11, 2011

Labor of Love

As most of you who read my blog know, I love to cook. I wish I had more time to experiment with flavors and new ingredients but I would also like to refine what I know. I've tinkered with the idea of going to school for it but its too pricey for something I don't want as a career. I just want to pick up skills.

Within the last month, I've been given the opportunity to provide a dinner for some of the families at church. I'm pretty sure all of the dinners I made were Mexican-esque dishes with slow simmering sauces or fresh fried tostadas or homemade salsas. Each of them were a little different but mostly using the same ingredients. After we came home from delivering the meals, I could smell rich flavors wafting in the air, coming from my kitchen. Sometimes I feel like I'm under pressure (great song) because once I contact the family, letting them know I'll be making them dinner, they express how excited they are. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, I get stressed out and start over-thinking and over-tasting every single element. Is the salsa too hot? Maybe I should have used just one jalapeno (it's hard to tell if one is super spicy until it's used). I guess I'll have to whip that avocado with sour cream using the stick blender because its not ripe yet. Oh yes, avocado cream with cilantro and lime juice and a dash of salt. Why doesn't my grocery store carry tomatillos all the time?!? Did I strain the sauce enough? How did the rice not cook? How is that possible? I hope they're not allergic to chorizo for some reason.

Once it's all done and I take the dinner to a smiling face though, the stress is gone. Mechanic Hubby notices the hard work and says, "Let's pick up dinner tonight." I relax, leave the dishes for the next day and enjoy watching a kid movie. These opportunities help me grow as a home cook. It helps me test my cooking ability and look for improvement. I have to say though, when cooking for someone else, it always comes out the best.

Can't wait to go home and cook for my family back home, I've learned a lot!

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