Reason For Not Eating Out #49: Because Everyone Is the Best Chef of Something

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this said in the last month or so. Last weekend, it was a friend who boasted of her hummus. A week ago, it was thirty people who made macaroni and cheese for a cook-off. Today, it was the founder of a startup based largely on that idea, called Kitchensurfing. I’ll wager that your mom cooks the best version of something on the planet. And that no one can touch you on something you make, even if it’s just the perfect cup of coffee in the morning.

Be proud and say it. “The best” is only subjective to you, anyway. Say you only cook the same three or four things, and only twice over the course of a year. Why do you do it? Because you’re the best. Alright then, let’s get cooking on growing that skill.

Cooking can be a great source of personal confidence. I don’t feel happy or accomplished when I order out when I could have satisfied my tastebuds at home. The more I do the latter, the brighter, more energetic, and overall more self-worth I feel. The winter is a particularly good time to get the blues now and then. Not to sound too glum, but I’ve had my share of bouts with the ‘ughhh’ syndrome and have felt lazy and lame at times, too. Early in January, I went out with friends and had a hamburger and some unnamed bar. The thing poisoned me and kept me waking up to puke over the night. I made a delayed New Year’s resolution then to forego hamburgers for the rest of the entire year. It didn’t last, because a few weeks later, my boyfriend had a serious craving and urged me to make hamburgers one night. I grudgingly obliged, then went out and got ground bison, ruby tomatoes, the best brioche buns I could find, and we had a spectacular dinner that left me feeling good (physically, as well as emotionally). It was a real high.

I understand that in most cases, you should receive this from a restaurant that takes the care into their hands to prepare you a meal. It’s a luxury that you’re supposed to bask in, because you have the means to live as well. The greatest thing to bask in, though — and this is coming from me and pretty much everyone I know — is making something (often, for someone else as well as yourself) that is the best darn eats on this earth.

Maybe it’s fleeting, and maybe you’ll taste someone else’s paella at some point in time that will make you blush, it’s so much better than yours. I’m certainly not going to stand here and say that I made THE best burger I’ve ever eaten in my life that night. But it was spot-on for the right then and there — crisped on the outside from a cast-iron skillet, seasoned with coarse salt and pepper, and I like to throw the tomato slices on the pan for just a second to catch a little mailliard reaction themselves — and that’s all that matters. In fact, I think a burger is a great example of a food that everyone can make to their own personal standards of “best”-ness. However that may change over time.

Aside from that, what else are you the unequivocal master of in the kitchen? My fave dish to feel the best at making? Probably dumplings, though I never make them the same way.

9 Responses

  1. Sue

    Well said! I agree that cooking your best dish does make you feel confident (and happy). Especially when you share your food with others and they enjoy what you made 🙂

  2. Kat (Eating The Week)

    Love this idea. I’m the Scone Whisperer around our house, and at several annual vacations with friends where the chocolate-chip banana ones fly off the platter. While I may be useless with anything grilled, I can turn out tasty scones like nobody’s business.

  3. Erik Michielsen

    The scone whisperer? I love it! Sarah Foster down in NC better watch out! 🙂

  4. l.v.

    My husband doesn’t cook so much, but man does he make himself an incredible cup of coffee every morning. It involves a French Press, a sauce pot, cardamon seeds, chai masala, fresh-ground gourmet beans & I don’t even know what else. It’s pretty awesome.

  5. Shira

    Love this! Great piece – I like to think I am the best at a lot of things, but only because I get so much joy at seeing the smiling faces around the table! Sometimes when it just hits the right spot, it literally is the BEST, at that fleeting, wonderful moment. 🙂

  6. Jiwon Choi

    I love this idea that we are the best chef/cook of something, especially if it’s something that we grew up eating and/or learned how to make from our family. Sometimes we forget that we have the expertise to feed ourselves quite well and we don’t always have to rely on eating out or ordering in (even though sometimes we have to!) to get the experience of eating delicious food.

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    I agree with the reason you gave, thank you for sharing.

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