For the Love of Cooking
by Meghan E. White
I love to cook. I can’t believe those words came from me. Years ago, that was not the case. As newlyweds, my husband Tom did all the cooking. Sure, I would occasionally try a recipe here and there. Mostly, I handled any baking. I still love that, but cooking, no way. I was not super interested, and a bit intimidated. Tom was our resident chef. Life and food were sweet.
Everything changed when our first son was born. I was a new momma, trying to figure out a baby, and this new role in my life. Adding chef to my title was not a consideration. Tom would come home after a long day of work, and commuting, and cook dinner. That only lasted a couple months, and change needed to happen for some balance in our lives.
So, my cooking journey began. With some fear and trepidation, I jumped in. Made lots of mistakes. Burned many meals. Overcooked. Undercooked. Good recipes. Bad recipes. And this was before YouTube. I was using cookbooks and lots of experimentation.
Twenty years, and countless recipes later, I can happily admit that I like to cook. It is so much fun for me to cook good things for my family, and friends. There is something so satisfying about making delicious meals that bring smiles to people’s faces. It is an act of love to take the time to prepare homemade food. I delight in the care and consideration involved. The meal planning for a dinner, holiday, or celebration bring me joy.
Cooking has been a creative outlet for me. I am a creative person by nature, and don’t always get to express that. When I spend a lot of time in the kitchen with flour everywhere, and sauce stained pots, I am an artist for a moment. Except tomatoes, garlic, and onion are my medium, or flour, eggs, and butter. What used to overwhelm me, now fulfills me.
I don’t get to cook every day. I am busy, like many of you. I have been known to throw a frozen pizza or two in the oven, and there will be many more days like that. But I also make lots of homemade pizza. Ask my sons. We really love our pizza, in any form.
Chef is not a title I deserve or will ever receive. Home-cook, that’s me. There is still so much for me to learn about sauces, meats, dicing, sautéing, frying, grilling, and pretty much everything in between. I press on. I keep trying new things. New techniques. They challenge me and try me. Some new things work, and some don’t. I fight on in the kitchen with love and perseverance.
God blessed us all with wonderful food to eat and enjoy. There are approximately two thousand species of edible plants. That is a lot of variety. So many recipes, so little time. God knows that we need to eat, but He went above and beyond by giving us so many choices.
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food,”(Genesis 1:29, ESV).
What a blessing to be able to cook for my family. If you are like a lot of people out there in the big wide world, you may not enjoy cooking. That’s completely fine. Heat something up, pop a frozen pizza in the oven, grab some take out. But at least, sit down with those you love. Break bread together. Share a story. Share laughter, tears, ups and downs. That’s what food does. It brings us together.
I’m giving you two super simple, non-cooking type recipes. Pico De Gallo and baked tortilla chips. I love the use of fresh ingredients. If you can use a knife, you can make these delicious recipes.
Pico De Gallo
2 to 3 medium tomatoes, finely diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 small fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
1 clove of chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ tsp. salt
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste with additional jalapeno and salt.
Notes: I prefer to use the food processor for the jalapenos. I recommend using a small amount of jalapeno at first. Let it sit for a while, taste it, then add more jalapeno if you like.
Baked Tortilla Chips
12 6-inch corn tortillas
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush both sides of the tortillas with oil. Stack the tortillas and cut the pile into sixths to make chips. Spread the chips in a single layer on two large baking sheets and season with salt. Bake until golden brown and crisp. Rotate the baking sheets once for 12 to 15 minutes.
Notes: Use a thin baking sheet. The chips will come out crispier.
About the Author
Meghan was born in Southern California where she spent most of her youth. After several moves during her childhood, she ended up in Oregon, where she stayed for many years. Meghan never dreamed of being a writer, but God told her to write about Joey.
After a few years of writing, it was time for a change of scenery. So, Meghan, her husband, and two sons picked up and moved to Texas. If you listen close you might catch her saying “Ya’ll” from time to time. She loves encouraging kids and adults through writing.