I like to cook for other people, don’t get me wrong. I made Thanksgiving dinner for my family yesterday and I couldn’t wait to see them enjoy it. Cooking for other people, however fun it can be, is not my passion.
My passion is cooking for myself. That sounds selfish, but it’s true. Being able to cook is empowering. When you cook for yourself, you only have to make things you like. You can use ingredients that fit your own food ethics, be they political, religious, economic, health-related or just personal. You can use the techniques you like, skip the ones you don’t. Whatever appears on your plate (and how it got there) is entirely up to you.
On this site, I put forth ideas. Not all of those ideas will appeal to you or your own food standards. That’s great; because if you’re reading this site I hope that you’ve taken it upon yourself to at least try cooking for yourself.
Everyone has ideas about “the right way to cook,” “the best way to cook,” or even the right and best way to eat. I take those ideas with a grain of salt, and I hope you do too. The best way to do anything is the way that’s right for you. Unless you are trying to cook professionally, the only person you really have to prove your chops to is yourself.
That said, if there’s ever anything on this site that you’d like to try but don’t agree with an ingredient I chose or the method I took, try it your own way. There’s always an alternative way. Use ingredients you like better. Use equipment you have. Make it using organic, vegetarian, cheap, kosher, gluten-free, [insert specific dietary need here] alternatives or substitutes. Do it however you want. When you do, tell us about it in the comments. Maybe others will like your way too. Maybe it will inspire more people to just give it a try.
Remember, I don’t care what you eat – I just care that you like it!
As an aside: Don’t judge other people for the food choices they make. Eating, putting food into one’s body, is one of the most personal things I can think of. You decide what goes in and you are also the only one who experiences the food you choose to eat. In my mind that means that your food is your business and not really anyone else’s. That is another reason I cook for myself.
About this author: I'm a New Yorker who would rather cook than go out to restaurants. Sometimes I think I may be in the wrong city for that. Then I remember the exotic ingredients I'd be hard-pressed to find if I lived somewhere else. My cooking style is an eclectic range of everyday-American, Italian, middle-eastern, with extensive forays into Japanese cuisine, and some pit-stops into Indian and African cuisines. I love to try my hand at recreating dishes I taste. While I enjoy most anything with a flavor, from high cuisine to instant junk food, I have a soft spot in my belly for home-style cooking no matter the geographic or ethnic origin. Read more from this author...