When am I going to learn to actually cook: a reflection?

Belen Yager
2 min readOct 17, 2020

Being in the kitchen is honestly so therapeutic for me, I enjoy being over a stove, kneading dough, (not) measuring spices. Going from ingredients to products is a genuinely rewarding process in my eyes. However, if someone asked me if I knew how to cook or bake or anything in that realm, I would probably say no.

I don’t know if the reason I would resist admitting my abilities in the kitchen comes from not wanting to boast, or if I really don’t think I can do it. When it comes does to it, I believe I have actually followed a recipe maybe 3 times in my life. Once when I made an olive loaf for the first time, once while making brownies from a box, and the final would be a cookie recipe that my boyfriend wanted to try together.

Halfway through the cookie recipe I decided it wasn’t good enough and started to improvise through the remaining steps, which is why I say maybe 3 times because I am not sure if ½ counts.
The cookies still turned out pretty good though.

Don’t get me wrong I have completed many dishes and bakes. I have cooked for hungry collegiate football players, baked for a dorm of hungry freshman and on the occasional anxious night, made impromptu chocolate scones simply for the opportunity to knead dough; however, I don’t know if this means I can cook/bake.

When I was home living with my abuela, I was equally expected to stay away from the kitchen and let her work as I was to be knowledgeable about not only the science of what was occurring in the kitchen but how to recreate it. It is quite difficult to live in these two realties of being aware without being present — however whatever Spanish grandmother mind games she played seemed to have worked. The first time I lived on my own and had to make something, I assumed I would have no idea how to do so… but it just worked? All those years of watching from afar seemed to seep into my brain and make it pretty easy for me to just make do in the kitchen without much to go on. But I still am not sure if this means I can cook.

Finally, I realized that I can’t simply wait for Gordan Ramsey to knock on my door and hand me a whisk that has ‘cook’ etched on the handle. So, I decided that I think I am going to purchase a cookbook and work completely through it.

Once I have done this, perhaps I will accept that I am competent in the kitchen? Who knows though?