But, years later, I couldn't live the way I do without having some cooking skills. My food is 95% unprocessed, so a lot of it requires cooking unless I want to be eating only raw fruits and vegetables all day. And raw sweet potatoes simply are not appetizing!
To avoid turning to fast food or take out or frozen meals or anything preprepared and frozen and full of chemicals, I had to rely on myself.
Over the years, through trial and error (oh, the error!), I'm a decent enough cook! Learning how to develop flavor was number one, and something I think I understand decently well. But the hardest thing for me was learning how to cook meats and vegetables without over or under cooking them.
I used to panic and stand over a piece of meat, continuously poking it and putting a thermometer in it and worrying, eventually cutting it open to check it's done.
And after a long, long time of not knowing how to cook meat, all of a sudden it feels second nature. Last night, I was sautéing porkchops in the cast-iron skillet. I was running around, making a couple of other side dishes and trying to keep the kitchen clean, ha ha.
I was a little worried, because I wasn't hovering over the skillet like a hawk, waiting till they were perfect. I just use my instinct and pulled them off the heat when I thought they were done, though I had a fear they were overdone since I had been distracted. But they were great! Cooked through and tender and not too chewy. It made me think about how cooking has become second nature to me after over a decade of relying on my own cooking.
The side dishes turned out well, too! I sautéed haricot verts with onions with a little bit of salt and pepper and garlic and lemon juice. I also made mashed sweet potatoes by boiling them in a flavorful broth, blending them when soft with a little bit of that broth and a touch of butter and salt and pepper.
I really, really enjoy making a flavorful and healthy Paleo dinner for me and Chris, it doesn't take a lot of effort or lot of time, especially now that I have the skills I worked on for so long.
Chris is a pretty good cook, as well! The fact that we both like each other's cooking means that we almost never look outside of the house for meals!
Lost almost a pound of bloat from the extra salt and sugar I ingested over the weekend, whew.
Ok- off to walk the dog! Also, wish me luck, I'm taking the last part of my test for the city tomorrow!