How to love cooking for those that don’t–Part I (My introduction to the culinary world)

So I guess before I explain the above title let me explain a little about me and the Moose.

Before Moose and I started dating, even when we were just friends, I ate a pretty bland, borderline rabbit food diet. I had never really liked food that much even as a child. My parents used to have to cut all the “crusts” off of everything, even taking the breading off of chicken nuggets. I drank water and apple juice and that was pretty much it. As I got older a few more things made it onto the very slim list including salads, breading, and Chinese food. I’ve never liked pizza, fried chicken or sweet tea (how anti-Southern is that of me, bless my heart….)

Looking back now I know why I was thin and my mom had to literally iron my pantyhose/tights for dance class so that they didn’t wrinkle and sag. I was always doing at least one very active activity. Well along comes high school and even late I that game I was picky, my now husband, then best friend, started educating my palate with Greek/Mediterranean food at a little restaurant that no longer exists (much to our dismay). The owner, a man who could have been the basis for Costas “Gus” from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, was so warm and welcoming and told me I was picky only because I had never had Greek food before, “I cook something for you…..”

And so he did, and I ate. Any weekend night Moose worked, our very own “Gus” would tell him to call me and have me come down and he would cook for me. Chicken Alfredo, chicken Marsala, pesto, Greek yogurt with honey, Greek salad, feta cheese, crusty bread with “good” olive oil and balsamic vinegar all became weekend staples, thank God for tennis or I would have been as wide as I was tall. He would never let me pay for a meal unless if was with a bunch of friends. I owe the man more than the sum of all those meals for educating my palate.

From there I continued to discover new food with Moose and when he left the engineering route and went the culinary route I actually developed a love of food. Sedentary lifestyle of a nursing students and the Moose’s rich and delicious food = 40 lbs that I’ve never quite shook for long. I lost weight when I became a floor nurse but gained it back when we got married and moved back home and I began nightshift. More school, a baby and now I’m 50lbs from my high school weight and 30 lbs from where I’d like to be but I really still love food.

Part of the problem is that I’ve always hated cooking or at least thought I had. Turns out I just didn’t really know how to cook and was completely uninterested in learning how. Lil Bit changed that, I wanted to give her the most nutritious food while she was growing in the womb and just as organic and nutritious while I was breast feeding. Once she was old enough to eat I began making my own baby food and then her meals. My husband started a healthy lifestyle change and began bodybuilding about two years ago and now we are much more health conscious with our cooking in general; however when I want something comforting or savory, I have to cook it. Thus began my culinary journey and a love/hate relationship with cooking.

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