Finding my Inner Cook

by Sarah Franzen

by Sarah Franzen

I never really thought of cooking as being “my thing.”  Stopping by a restaurant or picking up something to eat was far too easy and became our normal routine after working late and facing a long commute home.  After 5 years of marriage and only a handful of attempts at having dinner at the table, I had myself convinced that I couldn’t cook and didn’t like to anyway.  I felt there was some gene along the way that skipped a couple of generations from my grandmothers to me.

The Spark

I can’t pinpoint what has created the shift, but recently I am stepping out of my comfort zone and trying my hand at cooking.  Moving to a new place, a change in schedules, starting a family, and thankfully having more time at home have all helped lay the foundation for us to not eat out every night of the week.  Wanting to give my man more than just macaroni and cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner has motivated me to take action.  As old-fashioned as it sounds, I do have an inner desire to be that loving, domestic wife and homemaker.

Starting with the Basics

Lately, I’ve been perfecting some old classics and my husband has not complained nor come down with any foodborne illnesses; that in and of itself I am considering a success.  For the last few months my husband has been well-nourished, we have saved money, and it has given us more time at home together.  Mile marker one complete, I know that just like anyone else I am competent to read and follow directions and therefore am able to cook from a recipe.

The Next Step

A couple can only cycle through spaghetti, chicken with rice, and hamburger casserole for so long before feeling stuck in a rut.  With my confidence up and interest piqued I was ready for phase 2, working from scratch and adding my own flare, the true signs of a “natural.”  Recently, I found out that Sloppy Joes are one of my husband’s all-time favorite foods.  Shocked at the simplicity (and very grateful he hadn’t said Beef Wellington or a cheese soufflé), I figured this was something I could handle.

With ground beef in the fridge and plenty of condiments and spices, I set out to make my man happy and make the matriarchs of my family proud.  Continually tasting and adding a little of this and a little of that, I finally got it to a place that I liked it and could only hope my husband would too.  It was the perfect storm, he’d had a long, stressful day at work and was famished by the time he walked in the door.  He was excited to see the homemade Sloppy Joes and to my utter relief, he loved them!  It was an amazing feeling to know that my cooking had brought joy and happiness, not disappointment and profuse vomiting as I had feared.

Discovering the Love

During the tasting and testing I had probably already ingested a full burger before my husband even got home, so the rest of the pan I left to him.  He ate every bit of it, and I was now beginning to see why my grandmothers had loved cooking so much.  Having your work appreciated and providing for the ones you love is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.

I tried to take notes, and I pray that I can recreate those landmark Sloppy Joes someday in the future.  I can do this, I can cook; and I’m actually already starting to even enjoy it.  I know not all dishes will be a huge success, but even my grandmothers had to start somewhere.  I’m headed to the grocery store now to pick up the ingredients for enchiladas, lasagna, and several other family favorites.  I feel like a door has opened to my hidden passions of being a good wife and future mom.  I am excited for this new journey and invite you along as I share some recipes and my successes and struggles along the way.  I thank the Lord for the time to experiment and for the patience and iron stomach of my husband.

Be sure to subscribe to the feed or signup for email notifications by clicking on the orange RSS button in the upper left-hand corner so you don’t miss any steps along the way as I continue to seek out and discover my inner cook.   You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Google+.  I’d love to hear about your cooking journeys, as well. If you have recipes you think I should try or great success stories of your own please let me know.  I’d love to share our experiences as we grow and learn together.  Feel free to comment below or contact me through email or social media.

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