Sometimes inspiration comes at the strangest times in life. Sometimes, it just hits you like a brick in the face. That’s what happened tonight as I was watching “Jamie at Home on the Cooking Chanel. I realized that I needed to start writing down my recipes for my son who is about to turn 3 years old. Out of this realization came the inspiration for this site “The Everyman Cooks.”
Let me start with a few facts. I’m soon to turn 38 years old. I have spent the past 13 years working in the information technology arena. I am married and a father. I leave the house around 6:00 AM, fight traffic for 40 miles and work an eight-hour day with an hour for lunch. This puts be back on the road around 4:00 PM, which if I’m lucky gets me home at about 5:00 PM. Just in time to start dinner so that we can eat at a sane hour.
That’s right, I come home after 12 hours away from the house and cook dinner, almost every night. No this does not make me super human. I realize there a lots of other people out there who do the same thing every day, the difference is I am a husband. I believe firmly that its time for more men to get off their seats and into the kitchen.
I’ve been on a quest of sorts, to figure out what I really want to do with my life. It has become clear to me that one of the things that I truly love is food and sharing food. For me, cooking is inspirational. I truly love to cook and have been doing so since I was old enough to boil water and not burn the house down. I started cooking with my mom who cooked dinner every night for the family. At first it was simply opening a can or two, maybe filling a pan with water to boil. Then I learned how to use a knife and cut up vegetables. Eventually I started lighting the charcoal grill, and finally I was grilling the meat while Mom finished the sides.
In college, I hated living in the dorms primarily because I didn’t have a stove. I was stuck eating either the food at the dining halls, or with what could be produced in a microwave or with a hot-shot (a water boiling contraption). I longed to go home so that I could actually cook. In my second year, I moved off campus and into my Fraternity house. We were a small house (less than 20 members) and everyone had at least one job. One of mine was cooking dinner three nights a week on a budget of $2.00 a plate. My buddy and I put out dinner five nights a week for 14 guys on that budget and they were “square” meals. During college I also worked in several restaurants where I learned a lot about cooking under pressure.
You might be asking yourself, how did a guy who loves cooking so much end up in IT? That is a long story, but the important part of it is that my experiences working in restaurants in college taught me a number of things. First and foremost, restaurant work is grueling hard work. Secondly, the hours suck. I did not want to be working nights and weekends for the rest of my life. So, I never considered restaurant work as a potential career choice.
My soul-searching has led me to a few other conclusions. It is very important to me that I somehow have an impact on society. Somehow I need to improve people’s lives. I am also driven to be creative. Cooking provides me with a natural outlet for creativity.
So, as I sat here tonight and watched Jamie Oliver prepare a wonderful meal that I knew I could have conjured up on my own, it occurred to me that I might just be able to accomplish three goals in one place with this blog.
Hopefully, I can explore my creativity, inspire others and transmit useful information about my primary passion in life. That passion is food.