Making Something Out of Nothing

Cooking is an art that many people think they have mastered. But ask yourself something first, can you really master something that has an infinite amount of variables and outcomes? The answer is a hard no. You may never be able to fully master the art of cooking, but through hard work and time you can sure get pretty damn good at it. When you’re cooking in the kitchen, you have the luxury of actual equipment and supplies. The sky is the limit when you are cooking so don’t hold back. You can venture online looking for recipes that suit what you are in the mood for or you can simply do what I usually do, wing it. I’ll visualize a dish that I had at either a restaurant or at someones house and head off to the store in search of ingredients. What you can do if you eat at a restaurant is bring a little notepad, write down what ingredients you can actually see or what tastes you might detect, and write down the ingredient that you think it is. I know it sounds kind of silly to do it like that but the mystery of what all the ingredients are and trying to recreate that is a good and fun way to learn the different textures and flavors of certain ingredients. If you eat at someones house, it doesn’t hurt to ask for the recipe. Gathering the ingredients is another good way to learn and experiment with. Following a recipe online step by step will get you your ultimate end product but while you’re at the store, pick up a few extra ingredients to put in your dish to make it your own.

Cooking with someone else is also a good way to learn different styles or good habits that they might pass on to you. I have this friend that is Filipino that I absolutely love to cook with because the style and flavors he uses differs so much from what I was taught. Cooking brings people together regardless of where you are from, you also get to learn and experience the different cultures and styles around the world that are just so fascinating and diverse from where ever you might be.

You also don’t necessarily need the best kitchen or the best equipment to make something amazing. As long as you have passion and you put that passion into what you are doing then it will start to show. Some of my best times cooking were actually out on the road or up in the mountains far from the best gear or supplies. When I go camping I always bring the following with me; my mini stove, and when I say mini I really do mean mini, my trusty spork, a cooking pot, some matches, a knife, and of course the ingredients for the dish I’m going to be preparing. That’s it, you really don’t need much when you’re out like that. Now when I’m out on a road trip a few of those items get a bit of an upgrade size wise like the stove for instance. But the essentials and basics will never change.

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