My earliest impression about cooking comes from watching my grandmother roll out dough for crescent rolls with marmalade and me hanging onto her skirt, demanding attention. Patient as she was, she'd frequently let me and my sister have our way with messing up more than we helped out with. Later on, I was impressed with my mom's smooth cream caramel, which nobody has refused to have a cup of to this day. (Even though I didn't realize it at the time, I already knew that each person has a signature dish... and nowadays I'm always eyeing the table of people I dine with for their signature dishes.) Time passed, but I was never asked to do more than home yoghurt (which is as basic as it gets), boil an egg or pasta/potatoes. You get the general picture. It's not that I didn't want to help out, but my mom mostly wanted to do everything by herself (now I know who I take after). That being said, I was often asked to watch, so I have an idea how the dishes come about.
My first serious running with food-making was university, though. On my first semester I and one of my roommates decided to cook moussaka for ourselves and the guys from her home town - all in all 6 people. Our dormitory had one kitchen only and that was the first time we were to use it. Naive and inexperienced as we were, it didn't cross our mind to check the condition of the appliances before we committed to any dish and bought the ingredients. Shock and horror! The oven had only one working thermostat. The initial confusion wore off though and we decided to proceed with our plan. Four hours later, the moussaka was still in the oven and nowhere near cooked - read this as: too watery for anyone to consider trying how it tastes. Of course, we didn't quit, but removed part of the water with a spoon! One more hour passed, while the guys were constantly coming in and out to check on our progress. At one point around 11:30 pm, starved as we all were, we agreed to go for spaghetti. Now, that one we nailed! Needless to say, for the remainder of the year, I didn't set foot in the kitchen, but enjoyed yoghurt and rice with vegetables from the cafeteria.
Moving to Denmark the following year and more specifically the first time I invited friends over for lunch, marked a turning point. Even now, the first thing I do when I invite friends over is to frantically search the food blogs for recipes. It was a hustle and not everything turned out quite as I had envisioned it (My vision is usually two levels above my skills and experience even to this day, which usually ends with a feeling of disappointment and a vow to make it better next time.), but it seemed as if everyone was pleased. With the arrival of my sister and the development of a serious crush on food blogs, I found out just how amazing it is to prepare food in a caring way that's transferred to those who you share it with. I've laughed and been impressed with so many people that I don't know in person, but that have taught me so much through keeping a record of their kitchen experiences. It's not like I've become a chef or anything. I still create the occasional hot mess by adding rakia (Bulgarian spirits similar to vodka) instead of wine to French onion soup that even the chicken wouldn't eat, trying a dessert I'm 98% certain I'll fail to make (disastrously ending with my dad reassuring and comforting words that he could see there was potential), or burning a crust, while trying to juggle too many balls at the same time. But I cook and the food is mostly edible. So, driven by excitement to be part of this community and share a bit of my experiences both in and outside of the kitchen, I would be very happy, if I can be in any way helpful or just a breath of fresh air to the readers of this blog.