I always thought it would be so cool to be able to call myself a chef. That would require graduating from a culinary school -which I have not. I did attend a technical college for chef training when I was 19…disappointing but I chose to quit before I graduated for reasons beyond my control. Now, in hindsight, if I had not been such a Mama’s girl I wish I would have gone to The Culinary Institute of America . My sweet husband completely disagree’s as he said he wouldn’t have wanted to share me- love him <3
Well, one thing for sure, I have come a long way from my 8th grade cooking class in Junior high though… I got a “D” for my efforts.
I started to really learn to cook after meeting Craig. We immediately enjoyed cooking great meals together. When our first daughter Chelsie was 9 months old I started weight watchers. I started to implement my food preparations to lean towards the program. This program definitely taught me a few things about food and I continue to always keep that in mind. The biggest turning point for me was when our daughter Allie needed her allergies tested when she was in the 4th grade. By doing this we were hoping to get some answers to help her. Her results left me completely challenged.
Frustrated I started with a 2 hour trip to Cub foods with me doing nothing but checking labels. This was astounding because it seemed as though everything I looked at was a problem. I went home dumbfounded as to how I was going to make this work. As I stood in my kitchen I realized that that the answer was simple- if I lived on a farm I wouldn’t have access to what was in the stores – there was no possible way that by pulling a potato out of the ground and cooking it that it would have all the things she was allergic to in it. I decided right then and there to cook as if I lived on a farm.
Coincidentally, a commercial on TV at the time suddenly made complete sense – it was for Breyer’s Ice cream… these darling little kids were trying to read labels from the back of an ice cream carton with absolutely no way in pronouncing any of the words in the ingredient list. Then one of them read the Breyer’s label- milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Period. That is where it all began for me- if I could not pronounce it, then I shouldn’t be eating it.
So now began the journey in preparing my families food. Craig has always been the one to continually push me in food choices, how its handled, how its grown and how its prepared. Some days I’m ready to set him out on the curb as I am not easy to change. Most everything makes sense after a while and I just keep learning- he just wants the best for our family and he knows I can do it. Not everything is perfect… I do try to convert old recipes to adapt to years of food challenges and new knowledge.
It’s funny, now when I go grocery shopping and for example I see a carton of cookies I will not buy it… I will go home instead and make them… yes I know, I should be not making them at all, but they have fresh good ingredients in them and I can say everything on the ingredients list… thats got to account for something, right?!! Besides- even though I’ve always had a weight problem I do love a good cookie. Also , I take pride in knowing that I am one of the 5% of American families that actually cooks a family supper- scary number isn’t it?!
When someone recently referred to me as a chef, I happily answered back- “No, I’m someone who likes to cook good food with fresh ingredients for people I love” and finally it’s something that fits and I’m proud of <3