Some Assembly Maybe Required: Teaching Myself How To Cook
Written By: Ash Catcher
This maybe kinda a weird thing to write about, but if you do not know by now I have this undesirable need to create things: That does include dinner. On nights that I am home I tend to get pretty creative in the kitchen. I like spicy, mostly vegan, or vegetarian meals and access to some weird “basket ingredients”. Lately I have had a bit more time to myself so I went thru all of my cookbooks. I have quite a bit now, but for the longest time I would just buy them and never make anything from them. It wasn’t until I was in college and had "my own” kitchen that I finally began cooking and baking. If you follow me on social media you can see me making drinks, and food all the time. It has become a very fun outlet for me- my hands don’t always feel compelled to paint or draw, although I do a fair bit of journaling and collaging, cooking has become a great creative channel, not to mention makes for some oddly unique content.
Food for me is important, as a cancer watery sign hot moody mess food became this thing that I used to associate with self care. I spend most of my day caring for other people, and my cat banner- but when it's time to eat at the end of the day that seems to be the best time for me to hyper focus on myself, and nourish myself a little bit. I do travel quite a bit on my off days, summer is coming and I will be disconnecting more and more, looking forward to sunny days, hiking, and lots of beach trips- I tend to grab quick little things on the way to my destinations. Usually a coffee/ Americano and a carb of my choice. I always take fruit when I go for walks around the neighborhood, or go out for an easy 5 mile walk on the canal with my cat. He loves to look at the water, and marvels at all the trees. I want him to enjoy the rest of his life, that includes a fair amount of grilled chicken dinners as well.
I come from like 3 living generations of amazing women who excuse my French but uh…. “Fuck food up.” Dinner when I was younger was some of the most memorable times of my life. My mom made everything with such a profound amount of love that it was immeasurable, there wasn’t a measuring cup on the market that could hold the amount of talent she has. Food was seasoned to perfection, I had never grown up knowing that Salt and Pepper shakers were actually used and not just for cute decor. Nothing needed adding to it, it just stood flawlessly on its own. Dessert was always included, as well as coffee or tea. My grandmother(s) also bring their A game when it comes to cooking, with both Russian and German heritage while food growing up at my grandparents house was vastly different. There is something straggly comforting about the commonality of Eastern European food. I still go to Russian supermarkets, and enjoy other supermarkets aside from my defaults: Aldis, and Trader Joes ( Literally blew through a bag of mini cucumbers the other week, we all got a vice haha).
I like to playfully call this stuff Kitchen Witchery: while some assembly maybe required and at times I may over do it on ingredients, I got this down pat, a lot of failure and trial and error, a lot of late night creating alone in the kitchen all seems to be worth it to create a lasting memory all associated with food. Our relationship at times like any has been rocky, but lately with some careful consideration, and creating with intent. My kitchen game is pretty on par. I love creating, and cooking with other people- I think maybe that in itself shows what some time spent coexisting together and creating a tangible outcome. It is quite something to make something from nothing.
In 2020 I wrote a cookbook myself, and I would love to get it properly published. I have been sitting on this project because HONESTLY I am a little unsure if people would even be interested in what I have to say. Some weeks I feel like I am talking to a brick wall, other weeks I get the feeling more people read these things then let on. I love when people wish me a Happy Ash Wednesday it is truly humbling. I am going to continue to write every week for as long as Long Shots allows me to be feasted for! Feeling particularly grateful this week.