And yes, I will bake a cake to celebrate.
What is it about August? I think about it, and a lot of very important events in my life have occurred in August. I have moved twice in August. A lot of relationships have began and/or ended in August. Several life-changing moments and days in my life have been in August. I have started jobs in August. I have quit jobs in August.
Yes, I have done all these and much more at times durning in the other 11 months of the year, but not one other month sticks out in my life as a time of change as August.
This year has been exciting and challenging. I have overcome many of my fears and changed lifelong beliefs about myself. As I think back, I still do not have an explanation as to why I wanted to cook in the first place. The thought had occurred to me before, but it was never an urge, a longing, a necessity.
And to be honest, not many people (myself included), thought I would still be doing it a year later.
As a move to a new residence came to be last year (in August), I got the itch. I couldn't scratch it away. I couldn't not think about it. I couldn't stop the thought, the urge, the need to learn to cook. So, I did what I do in all my new ventures, I got obsessive. Most of the time, getting obsessive cures me. I learn and learn and learn about anything and everything about the subject or project I want to do, and then decide it isn't my thing or it is too much work. Why wouldn't cooking be the same? It has never been my thing and it certainly is a lot of work.
But nothing made the need to do this go away.
One of my character traits is the compulsive need to know everything about everything. And that is exactly what I did.
I researched. Everything.
I read all about pots and pans.
I read about mixing bowls.
I read about mixing spoons.
I read about storage containers.
I read about Tupperware.
And then, I began to read about food. This continues. I eat well, I know right from wrong, as far as a diet is concerned. But what can I cook? I know how to eat, will I be able to know how to cook? I read everything I could get my hands on.
Then, I talked to people. Probably until they were sick of my questions!
By this time, I usually lose interest. In fact, way before this point is when I usually lose interest. However, this was different. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I was gaining momentum. I wanted more and more and more knowledge. And I could not wait for the move date so I could start stocking a kitchen and get to it!
I have settled nicely with a stock of tools for my kitchen. I am proud and grateful to own everything I do. I have tried to be smart about my purchases, and the end result is having what I need, and the ability to get something I need when I need it. Starting from nothing, I have had to look for sales, the kindness of my mother, or a lesser brand than the one I truly wanted. My birthday is coming up, though. I have more than hinted at the KitchenAid Stand Mixer in Brushed Nickel. One can hope!
Where does this leave me now? Well, everything evolves and changes.
I still read as much as I can get my hands on. Books, magazines, articles, blogs, recipe forums, cooking forums...
I read for ideas, suggestions, and recipes. I read about products I do not have, making decisions about whether or not they are honestly a need or a want.
I go to stores and write down items of interest and go home and research them before buying (or not buying).
I read books, magazines, and online articles about health. I study when certain foods are in season and shop at farmers markets and Whole Foods for fruits and vegetables. I try to utilize the healthiest possible option for my meals. If I find a food product of interest, I research it before I buy it. For example, I am only using vegan sugar from now on. Apparently, there is bone char in sugar, and that is, um, gross.
This blog comes from my growing desire. I have always been a writer. I am the kind of writer who can only write about subjects that are interesting, unless there was a grade involved. Even then, challenging is a word I would use! Starting a food blog was the most natural step in the world. I had no idea I would be one of millions. I am so grateful for the support of the other food bloggers who have given me support and tips along the way.
My latest obsessive trait around food is food photography. I have been taking pictures of my food this entire year. However, as I gain more confidence in the kitchen, I want my pictures to improve. This is a whole genre of photography! Hopefully, my pictures will improve.
On this day, I think back on this year with gratitude and joy. I appreciate everyone who has helped me with this journey, those I know in person and those people whose writings have inspired me. The cookbook-people of the world. To my mom, my family and friends who have helped me learn and offered ideas to cook, suggestions on how to make something better, and an eagerness to try what I have made, I am grateful and so appreciative for your willingness and words. A special thank you to my brave roommate Kelly, for trying everything with a smile on her face and an kind yet honest tongue. And for even trying things with ginger, just to help me along.
The journey to grow in and out of the kitchen continues. And I am loving every minute of it!