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Cooking for the Fun of It!

Updated on March 27, 2012

Julia Childs

The Joy of Cooking... Or Not!

Can you smell the smell…garlic and ginger sautéing in olive oil, fresh basil from the garden, marinara simmering on the stove top, homemade bread baking in the oven?

As someone who enjoys cooking, these are some of my favorite smells coming out of the kitchen. Cooking for JUST me is not really an enjoyable experience, but give me a dinner party or a holiday family get together and I get serious about planning that special meal. Of course my kitchen is filled with cooking magazines, cookbooks, and volumes of recipes collected over the years. Even so, I find myself online looking for recipes when that special meal demands my best performance.

Cooking is a lot of work, plain and simple…. well it is for me, for I like gourmet cooking. Some of the people I prepare special meals for would be fine with a fried chicken and mashed potatoes, but others are up for new and exciting taste treats and for those people, I go the extra mile to prepare dishes they would never get in their day to day lives. Vegetables like parsnips, rutabagas, bok choy and fennel, or cornichons and kumquats are just a few taste treats my family has been exposed to when they dine with me (remember, we are from the south).

I remember one Thanksgiving I served a watercress and arugula salad. With one short, but decisive glance, my brother announced; Sheila, there is not one discernible green in this whole salad. Sigh…..why bother, I ask myself at times…then I rally and say BECAUSE… because expanding ones pallet is a good thing. Plus, I love to look through recipes, figure out the grocery list, plan the cooking schedule, put on some good music, pour a glass of wine and get down to it! With my chef’s apron, cutting boards, sharp knives and food processor, I become Julia Childs of the south. No, not Paula Dean…my cooking is healthy, and albeit foreign to some who experience it for the first time, I have yet to disappoint.

Yes, the kind of cooking I enjoy is complicated, time consuming and labor intensive, but over time, I have come to understand the art of it. Reading a recipe and knowing what to add or change to make it even better, or knowing what foods complement each other and how to choose foods that have a pleasing visual appeal as well as great taste, are just some of the joyous challenges I look forward to when planning a meal for others.

One of my favorite movies is “Julie and Julia”. I too have come to love Julia Childs and after the movie, I loved Julie as well. Her love for cooking, awesome respect for Julia Childs, and beautifully realistic nature and attitude towards cooking, made the movie a joy to watch.

So for those of you, who could care less about cooking or find it a chore, I would suggest finding a friend like me and allowing them to treat you to a meal prepared especially with you in mind. You will come away with a full belly and a better attitude. This much I know for sure! Bon Appetit!!!

Julie and Julia

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    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      My culture always taught me cooking was women's work. However, since childhood, I had a special liking for cooking. I cook for fun, and parents, siblings and friends always tell me my hands are tasty.

    • picklesandrufus profile image
      Author

      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Hi Lord De Cross-your recipe sounds good too. I appreciate a guy who cooks!! Thanks for stopping by.

      I love Chicken Parm too Dream On and it is not hard to make. The marinara is the key to that dish. Thanks so much for stopping by to comment.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 5 years ago

      I will try eating many different foods but I have to admit chicken cutlet parmagian is my favorite and most of the time I am happy to eat the same food I have eaten thousands of times .Hats of to all the cooks who spend their time and energy trying to make a dish devine.I will do the dishes and the pans and set the table for the guests if I can taste the work you sculpted from your own gifted hands.I can smell the food cooking now.What will it be.I know something heavenly.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Overlooked this one Pickles,

      I cook whenever is needed and I sauted my chopped sirloin with onions and garlic. after simmering I add my tomatoes and broccoli. Mamma mia! Your hub just made me hungry, and is was pure enterteinament. Have a great one!

    • picklesandrufus profile image
      Author

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      thanks Pagesvoice. Glad to have a male hubber showing interest in cooking!! Some of the world's best chefs are men. Congrats!

      Thanks so much for stopping by Eddy. So glad you liked my cooking hub.

      Yes Katrine...it's all about being organized so the meal is not a chore, but enjoyable.Thanks for stopping by

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 5 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      I too share your passion for cooking. I prepare all the meals in my house. The funny thing is I learned to cook from my dad and not my mom, except for her scalloped potatoes. An interesting comment you made...and one that is so true to seasoned cooks...is when we see a recipe we almost instinctively know what other ingredients we are going to add or take out. Bam...now we have just put our own spin on a new recipe. I love doing that. Voted up and interesting.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh how I loved this one pickles and a vote up plus bookmark here.

      Take care my dear friend and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • profile image

      KatrineDalMonte 5 years ago

      Cooking is an art. One must learn it, improve upon it, enjoy it, craft it...I love cooking, when I have time I do really enjoy it. But sometimes we do quick dishes, it's all about getting organized timewise, isn't it? Very nice hub.

    • picklesandrufus profile image
      Author

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Hi JTPXT! no catering for me!! Way too much work. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      jtpxt 5 years ago

      Great Hub Sheila! Do I hear "Catering by Sheila"????

    • profile image

      MammaD 5 years ago

      The story of my life! Thanks Sheila

    • picklesandrufus profile image
      Author

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Wolfshadow, we can relate! I do believe if you do it well, there is an art to cooking. Thanks so much for the comments.

      Ann, So appreciate you stopping by! One of these days, I will cook for you...when you make your way here and am already looking forward to it....or maybe we will cook together.xo

    • Eliza57 profile image

      Eliza57 5 years ago

      A toast to you......A Great Hub! Can relate, enjoy cooking for family and friends. I am steady increasing my collection of cookbooks and cooking magazines. A way of taking my mind off of things is to read or thumb through some of my cookbooks. Cooking/baking is hard work, putting effort and a lot of love into your meals makes it all worthwhile.

      I will have to see the movie sometime and Sheila,you may cook for me anytime.....I know it will be the best.

    • wolfshadow profile image

      wolfshadow 5 years ago

      Lol, I have a brother just like that. He'd live happy if all he had to eat were hamburgers and chicken fried steak. I love how you describe cooking as something of an art.

    • profile image

      Ali 5 years ago

      Yay for cooks!