Cooking: little pleasures, yum!
Today I ran home after my morning classes to prepare lunch... my jobsite just so happens to be right around the block from my house and it provides me with the only exercise you'll ever see me doing here in San Miguel: walking.
I love cooking.
It's one of those rare activities that provide weird people like myself with pleasure and satisfaction.
Just before I left the classroom my boss asked me to stay five more minutes for a quick meeting and I was bummed but he kept his word and made it really a five minute meeting.
When I got home, I took the roasted bell peppers out of the papper bag I'd left them in, and started to peel them, a trick I learned from Tyller Florence from foodnetwork.
It brought back memories... of my life in Costa Rica, up 'till two years ago... of my years as a young bride when I knew nothing about cooking... of the reason why I learned to cook: my husband.
I got married at 17 and didn't actually know how to cook... I would burn my food, mostly it would just be raw.
My husband ate everything I made and ALWAYS said it was good. I couldn't believe it!
If he was willing to eat anything I gave him and NEVER complain about it, I had to learn to cook in return and that's exactly what I did.
I learned to cook because I was inlove with my husband and wanted him to enjoy good food.
I bought recipe books and tried them out and discovered I could substitute some ingredients or add other flavors and make my own recipes.
When I discovered that it was awesome. It felt like I was an artist. I was being creative. From that discovery on I haven't stopped enjoying the pleasure of cooking and creating my own recipes of others... until now, now that I live in San Miguel.
It changed because this city is freakishly hot and being in the kitchen is the last place I'd want to be on a normal day... oh, FYI a normal day here is of 110 degrees so the pleasure in cooking is no longer there.
Yet, my love for the culinary art is still there and every now and then I get this urge to put on my shorts, a no sleeve top, and go in my kitchen with my nice big black stove, and cook me up something special and just be the chef I never was.
Today was one of those days. I was singing while cooking and I did my chile rellenos that BTW I tasted for the first time here in San Miguel about 10 years ago while on vacation, and after watching a movie called "Como agua para Chocolate" or "Like water for chocolate" in which the main character displays such passion for food and cooking and prepares the famous Chile rellenos... it wasn't until 2004 that I had foodnetwork on my cable service and therefore enjoyed the art of cooking with all those wonderful chefs and cooks, Paula Dean, Rachel Ray, Alton Brown, Tyler Florence, Emeril Legase, etc., even more, and only then I actually learned how to make the Chile rellenos, from Tyler Florence, that I so much enjoyed in San Miguel. Weird, huh?
Now I live in San Miguel and now I have my own recipe for the Chile rellenos and I still get that thrill when am cooking, and I still feel like the queen of the world when in the kitchen, and I still fantasize about being a chef... and food and cooking still is one of those little pleasures present in my life... even if my kitchen gets as hot as 130 degrees or more!!!
I reckon it still will be my pleasure to create dishes twenty years from now.