Maybe these recipes seem a bit random, but I came to love cooking, baking and all things kitchen. When combined with my family’s love for eating – it’s a perfect match.
Before I had children, I was not cooking nor baking for more than one reason: I worked long hours and I lived on my own. Also, I wasn’t interested in learning how to cook after a 12-hour day in the field and I mostly ate fast food on the go.
My mum, a wise woman and a fantastic cook, used to tell me every time I’d say that maybe I should learn to cook this or that, ‘Don’t worry about it, when the time comes you’ll learn’ or ‘Don’t worry about it, you’ll learn when you have to’. My menu consisted of eggs in 5 or 6 ways, pasta in 105 or 106 ways and three kinds of soup, two of which were from the packet.
Working in Afghanistan where we had cooks preparing delicious food for us didn’t do me any favours either. Until 2011 when my daughter was born. A few months later the time for me to learn how to cook had come.
Mum was there to help as she did and I started going to a local green market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. I started finding my own favourite local producers, buying fresh meat from the butcher’s, fresh herbs and preparing food for our little girl and for us.
I already read a lot about food and knew a little bit about healthy eating, dos and donts of nutritionism so this was a chance to apply my knowledge and expand it. And so I did. I read more about healthy eating, I talked to friends that knew about it more than me, I learned and learned and applied as much as I could to our everyday meal rituals creating new and improving our existing eating habits.
I started cooking, baking, brazing, grilling, kneading, you name it. There was a lot of burning of both me and the food at the beginning. But, I did it every day, trying something new, finding recipes and following them to the letter. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
While exploring cooking, I found that it helped tremendously with my healing too. It had pretty much the same effect on me as my therapy – my mind had a new focus in which I could fully engage not only because I was learning new things but because I could be creative in a brand new way.
Two years ago we moved back to the UK and it was then that cooking truly became my new passion in a sense that I started exploring, creating and combining ingredients outside of the recipes I had. I gained enough confidence to test combinations and my knowledge and I am so happy and proud of myself that it’s working! Wooooohooooo!
So here I am – sharing my own recipes! How cool is that! If somebody had told me only two years ago that I’d be doing this, I would have laughed out loud to their silliness and throw them out for daring to ridicule me in my own house in front of my own kids secretly wanting them to be right after slamming the door behind them…
Cooking makes me happy and is one of the things that gives me a feeling of achievement at the end of the day. There will be plenty more food to prepare and enjoy and many more recipes to share…