Cooking is something I used to really enjoy doing and I was a rather good cook and baker, if I do say so myself!  I loved cooking for parties, large gatherings, holidays, family, friends, etc.  I made cakes to order and even made my own wedding cake.  I had a knack for making up dishes to stretch my grocery budget and utilize leftovers in new, creative ways.  Cooking was fun and the satisfaction I got from watching people enjoy what I created made it all the more enjoyable.

And then I just got out of the habit…….cooking for one just doesn’t have the same appeal and I end up throwing half or more of it away cause I don’t seem to know how to cook in small quantities.  I’m finding out that cooking isn’t like riding a bike – you can forget how!  I was usually a “little of this, little of that” sort of cook – just like my Mom and Grandma.  I just cooked from memory and if it didn’t come out exactly the same way twice, that was OK, cause it usually came out better when I’d improvise.  Now, I find that I either can’t remember what I used to put in stuff or it just doesn’t turn out right.  It is frustrating!  I also find myself turned off by leftovers, so generally don’t do anything with them.  And then there is my stove – don’t get me wrong, it is a very nice stove, but it is electric and I can’t get myself used to cooking on an electric stove – things just cook better and come out better on a gas stove!  So, I tend to just go out and eat most of the time or make something simple that I can throw together quick and not make too much of.

But, lately, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about cooking.  I have done some research and toyed with the idea of maybe taking some culinary courses after I retire and have the time to devote to it.  I also put in a bid and won two seats at a cooking class with Chef Hamm in an auction benefiting St. Baldrick’s – my friend Lisa is going with me and it will be so much fun!  I’ve had some dreams lately about cooking big meals in the house I bought in my home town and having all my family there to enjoy them with.  I even had a dream the other night about opening a family restaurant.  Then, tonight I watched “Julie and Julia” and got so involved in watching all the great dishes being made that I got online and ordered Julia Childs’ book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” – the volumes 1 and 2 boxed set!  And I fixed the stove problem – I had a natural gas line run to the kitchen in my Albion home and bought a GREAT gas stove with a two piece cast iron grate top and five burners!

Once I’m retired and have the time, I really think I’m going to get back into cooking………maybe a second career could involve cooking or baking or something like that or maybe it’ll just be a cool hobby that I share with family and friends.  I don’t know – maybe it is just a phase I’m going through – something new to think about and consider in my plans for the future.  Who knows!  But, for now, it is something I’m giving a lot of thought to…………and something my family and friends in Albion may benefit from, if I go through with re-teaching myself how to be a good cook and baker!  Hhhmmm – wonder what wonderful food I might dream about cooking tonight!

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