who me?

Who? You? A cooking blog? For real?

The reaction I got from childhood friends when they heard I had a cooking blog was hysterical laughter followed by "You're kidding me right?" Why that reaction? Because for many years all they heard from me was, "I hate cooking!"

I moved from Brazil many years ago, and most of my Brazilian friends did not know I could actually turn on an oven, boil water, or fry an egg. I think they thought TV dinners and fast food were the only things I ate in the land of Uncle Sam.

Now you have 2 options:
Option 1 - Keep reading
Option 2 - scroll down and read FINALLY - how did the blog start?

Option 1 - The short story is I became a "MOM", some twenty plus years ago. Not only that but I moved from Brazil (where I was fortunate to have a cook) to the US where I could count only on myself. My daughter Tatiana was then 8 months old. 

When we were still in Brazil Tatiana was introduced to solid food like pureed fruits, pureed veggies, and vegetable soup, all made from scratch by the house cook. However in the US I was the mom, the cook, the nanny, the cleaner, the well … you know, everything.

During my first week in the US I bought little jars of baby food of course. Tatiana liked the fruit jars but she definitely did not like the savory ones. I could not understand why, until I tried one. It was very different than what she was used to having in Brazil.

So I decided to make a vegetable soup from scratch. I had a vague idea of how to make it (I know, it sounds ridiculous), and at that time there was no internet. Can you imagine that? So, I could not just 'Google it' or 'Youtube it'. Yes, there was a time in human history when we could not Google things up. 

So, my culinary abilities at the time I moved to the US were very, VERY limited. Let's say, frying an egg was almost rocket science. I was like the lady on the picture to the left, "If fits in a toaster I can cook it."

Now back to the soup. I started the soup at 10 in the morning and the soup was ready by 3:00 pm. Don't worry, Tatiana didn't starve. She had the baby food fruit jars of course. However between 10 am and 3 pm I also managed to cut myself numerous times, burn my wrist and two fingers (not on purpose), use every single utensil available in the kitchen, burn the soup twice and destroy two smoke alarms that insisted on reminding me what a pathetic cook I was.

The third batch of soup worked. Nothing burned, seasoning was perfect. It looked and smelled good. All I needed to do was to puree it. With a sigh of relief and expression of pride I put the whole thing in the blender thinking, "Tomorrow will be a better day." I turned on the blender and the world collapsed around me. Not really, but the top of the blender was loose and I ended up with soup dripping on my head from the kitchen ceiling. Luckily there was enough soup left in the blender for a bowl of soup for my daughter (not very big I confess). Tatiana finally ate a homemade veggie soup, AND LOVED IT !!! At that moment I realized that there was no way back to baby food in little jars.

But instead of celebrating I sat on the kitchen floor and cried. "How can I do this  e-v-e-r-y d-a-y? How am I going to survive this cooking ordeal?" I looked at my daughter so tiny and absolutely adorable and decided I HAD to cook. Somehow this had to work. Better yet I had to like cooking, at least a little bit. For her; for my own sake and survival. So I told myself, "Baby steps". And so my culinary adventures began. It was not easy but I survived. When my son was born one year four months after my daughter (that was actually on purpose), I was not burning soups that easily anymore, and my culinary repertoire had expanded (a bit). My kids learned how to love veggies, fruits and all kinds of food. To this day they have healthy eating habits and still like my cooking :)

So IF YOU HATE COOKING there is hope for you. All you need to do is to love the people around you.  Loving yourself a little doesn't hurt either (hopefully you will burn yourself less). There is something magical about preparing a meal for someone you care for (given it's something edible). You will want to learn to make a decent meal. And if you want, you can. I'm a living proof of that.

Option 2 - FINALLY - how did the blog start?
My son and daughter, who are now adults and live in different cities, kept calling me saying, "Mom I'm hungry and I really miss your food. Could you send me 'that' recipe?" And so my blog was born.

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