Hi welcome to Platter Matters. A blog about ideas in food as well as recipes.
I started cooking after moving to New York. I couldn't eat out every night and the pre-made stuff isn’t satisfying in the long run. I have to eat every day, and improving ones abilities in the kitchen, ultimately leads to more happiness in ones life. I've been cooking seriously for about three years now and the experience of learning how to cook reminds me of the experience of learning card tricks as a child. The magic of a card trick doesn't come from the method, anyone can look online and learn all the ways magician hide cards, and even try them at home. What separates a professional and a hobbyist is the muscle memory. Most professional chefs cook the same meals repeatedly much like a magician. The difference between a home chef and a professional chef is repetition, the professional cooks a dish repeatedly.
It is good to cook in your kitchen because it means you’re not alienated from the space. Control of what you consume is important. It is easier to judge the quality of ingredients while they are whole and intact, and not in a finished product. Cooking is a process and takes time to cultivate skills. The best meal I have ever cooked is Bolognaise. The sauce is fun, it goes from being a crazy stew to a sauce and it takes 4 hours to do properly. A dish that has failed but I was able to make better the second or third time around has been pretzels from scratch. Pretzels were challenging because they have to be burnt in the oven to get the dark golden brown color and flavor people like. It took me a few batches of gummy pretzels to realize the mistake