The girl who could not cook...

I was the girl who could not cook. I went away to University, leaving home for the first time at 18 and I can genuinely state: I had never cooked one thing. I spent three years at University living on 'Crunchy Nut Cornflakes' and 'Danish Blue' cheese on rye bread (that's the Danish heritage kicking in). It's not that I had a bad relationship with food, I just had zero interest in cooking it. Luckily as a student I lived with friends who took me under their wing, but still my repertoire was limited. I was however always an ingredients junkie - I used to buy Parma Ham and mozzarella without really knowing what to do with it. My pasta dishes became legendary in their simplicity; pasta and one ingredient. That was it.

photograph by Aran from Canelle and Vanille
I met and married a man who cooks. I now realise this sort of man is a rare commodity. My husband cooks for real. He can make a decent meal out of not very much. He did a Home Economics A-level (for those unfamiliar with the British educational system this is a specialist level study you do at ages 16-18; that's early commitment to the culinary art!). Anyone who has ever stayed with us or come for dinner has been treated to his foodie expertise. The man can cook.

photograph by Aran from Canelle and Vanille

Meanwhile I managed to get through my twenties without cooking; I heated stuff up but had no clue about anything else. Even motherhood initially did not change this. The requirement to feed my child was met with the dreaded 'jarred food' - there you go I have confessed, yes I fed my first born on processed, shop-bought monstrosities. Then the second child came along, and with him some semblance of parental awareness and maturity. I became ensconced on the 'ice-cube' stage of motherhood and by this I mean the bizarre pursuit of pureeing fruits and vegetables and freezing them in ice-cube trays ready for a tiny mouth's consumption. I loved the ice-cube stage. To this day I swear that the process of pureeing everything from peaches to butternut squash taught me how food behaves when you cook it. It was a revelation.

I started to cook. I learned and created and now...well now I can cook. However the myth persists amongst those who know me well - that I am incapable. Everyone knows that he cooks and I just do the frippery that surrounds food; like laying the table and serving drinks. They seem surprised if I manage to put anything resembling a meal together! However as this weekend we are hosting a dinner party for 12, I think I will labour under the no-cooking illusion and let him take the reigns...