My thoughts*

Secret Chef*

If you know me in real life, or follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve become “that” person who reposts all the amazing recipes I see floating around on the interwebs.

Sometime in the last year or two I’ve discovered a real love for cooking. When the Hubster and I first got married, my abilities in the kitchen were… limited. I was barely 20 and survived my first year of university by eating pasta and rice. Our financial situation improved somewhat once we added our combined OSAP and his savings into the mix, so I found we actually had money to buy groceries.

Which was lovely… except that I had no idea what to do with them.

We ate a lot of Hamburger Helper while we muddled through learning recipes, and I learned about my new husband’s lactose intolerance. As someone who has always eaten whatever I wanted, it was a steep learning curve. Initially he was just a little sensitive to dairy, but over the years I’ve found that we’ve had to cut it completely from his diet.

I can’t say that I loved or even enjoyed cooking for the first few years of our marriage. I did it because it needed to be done, but I don’t think I was terribly experimental.

Sometime after we graduated and moved to Pretty City, I found that my time in the kitchen slowly shifted from something I tolerated to something I loved. The Hubster’s sensitivity to dairy increased, and we learned that he needed to completely remove it and soy from his diet, so cooking became a bit of a puzzle.

I made a decision that it just wasn’t fair that he didn’t get to eat the same things I did. So, I got creative.

As I began experimenting with new recipes, methods and ingredients, I began to love cooking. I love tackling a recipe designed for someone without food allergies, and completely transforming it into something safe for our whole family.

Somewhere along the way (after spending far too long reading the ingredients on containers of processed food) I  decided that even though it may take more time, it was just easier to start making things from scratch. Dairy is hidden in everything, so it was just better to make it myself.

And I have found such a deep satisfaction from it. Even though I’m not always terribly motivated after a long day, once I get started in the kitchen I find my rhythm and love creating something.

I’m even getting braver and creating new dishes sans recipes, combining things I think might work together. And occasionally I figure out a way to make something for the Hubster that we had originally stricken from his diet.

This week, it was pudding. Premade puddings or pudding mixes are loaded with dairy products, and he couldn’t even remember the last time he had had it.  I was so excited when I found a modified recipe that turned out beautifully!

Homemade snack packs = win. :)

Somewhere along the way, I began to look at recipes like riddles. In my mind, modifying a regular recipe into something we can both enjoy is like solving a puzzle, and holla–I love me a good puzzle.

So, I’m sorry if you hate those people who constantly post and instagram what they are eating, because that’s totally me.

(…and by sorry I mean really not sorry because I only post things that are awesome. Deal with it. ha)

While I am no master chef, I’m becoming a little braver and have started cooking for people outside my little family, and so far it’s been generally well received. I’m not quite ready to open a restaurant yet, but I’m getting there. :)

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