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Who Is This and Where Am I?

There are some aspects of life, where I don't even recognize myself anymore. Take cooking for example. As a teenager, I had absolutely no interest in preparing a meal for myself, aside from maybe kraft dinner. I may have actually started to take an interest during my university years if it hadn't been for my volatile ex. When he went on one of his rants about me studying too much, he would always tell me how domestic chores such as cooking and cleaning were supposed to be my responsibility as I was the woman. Apparently, I should have even been willing to sacrifice my studies to make time to do these things as it would be more important for me to know how to clean a toilet than to know who Charlemagne was, or to know the moral behind 'Macbeth". He was the one who was supposed to be focusing primarily on school as he was the one who would be working. Needless to say, I refused to do any domestic work in protest.

When I moved in with Bren, I finally realized that I had to learn to do these things if I wanted us to have an equal relationship. So for nearly a year, I stuck to a few key recipes - pasta sauce, chicken caesar salad, butter chicken, anything in the Mexican food family and shrimp stir-fry. They were all fairly simple things to do and they faithfully turned out great every time. It was during the past summer that I finally began to expand my interest in cooking. It was provoked by two things. First of all, I received a few cookbooks as gifts at my bridal shower. One of them was huge thing that was thicker than any Bible or dictionary that I had ever seen (It is appropriately titled "How To Cook Everything"). Secondly, Bren and I went to see the movie "Julie and Julia" starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. The movie, as everyone who does not live in a cave must know by now, is loosely based on the decade that veteran chef Julia Child spent in France with her husband, Paul. She enrolled at the Cordon Bleu and eventually published the book "Mastering The Art of French Cooking". I really was inspired by it. Currently, I am reading Julia's autobiographical book, "My Life In France".

After the bridal shower, I started challenging myself to make one new main course a week. In between times I also expected to experiment with desserts, soups and side dishes. So far, this has gone surprisingly well. It has been nearly two weeks and I actually have stuck with this goal so far. In addition, the majority of the new dishes have turned out great! My beef stroganoff tasted exactly like my mother's. My mushroom soup from scratch would be the perfect remedy to any cold. I even put together a very refreshing chilled cucumber soup (I had been dying to try this ever since I read "The Wide Window" (The third unfortunate event in "A Series Of Unfortunate Events". In this book the ill-fated Baudelaire orphans are sent to live with a new guardian, Aunt Josephine, in a lakeside town. Josephine is a major neurotic who is afraid to turn on her stove so she only prepares cold meals - no matter what the weather outside is like. The Baudelaires arrive at her place just before a hurricane.) The book did not exactly make the soup sound appetizing, but since I had never heard of cucumber soup at this point, I was curious to try it out. In addition I have put together a tasty casserole, filling enchiladas and some orgasmic desserts. I still have many more dishes that I would like to try. In all honesty, I think this just may develop into a lifelong love affair.

It's amazing how my attitude has changed on this subject. This time last year, I had very little interest in cooking. Now I have a desire to try and cook any dish that is within my capability to do. I am curious to know where this interest will take me.