When high school ended, and I was thrust (almost literally) into the riggers of “real life,” without any skills, funds, or safety net to experiment in the kitchen. My meager 50$ per month budget could not be risked on flopped meals.Off brand, bulk food cereal, powdered milk, and 2 for 1$ frozen pot pies then it was on the bus to my minimum wage job at the airport.
When I got older, and left behind the job for a career, I splurged on two cooking classes at a culinary school in Portland, OR: Knife Essentials (Food Prep and Knife Skills) and Flavor Essentials (how to blend and use spices, when and how to add them). It was a pivotal moment for me. Nothing was un-cookable, nothing was a flop. No cuisine unattainable. My confidence soared, and I eventually I even started a food blog (Thought on a Roll).
Gourmet meals would just suddenly come together with pennies and a decent spice collection.
I realized then how unprepared my parents had left me for basic living by not allowing me into the kitchen and not teaching me any basic kitchen skills. Lacking this skill set is intimidating and overwhelming when you’re hungry most of the time. I was not going to repeat this with my own child. Schools in the US do not teach basic living skills like cooking, so I categorized kitchen skills under the job description for myself as a parent. Continue reading