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Confessions of an Italian Woman Who Can’t Cook

It’s considered with certitude that Italians are masters in the kitchen. However, the cuisine particularly created by an Italian woman is considered with the utmost respect and regard. Therefore, you can imagine the disappointment I have inflicted upon my family to not have inherited this honorable trait. While they embrace me for the individual I am, they consistently would tease me whenever I picked up a wooden spoon or gathered ingredients to potentially attempt to cook. To be fair to their judgement, I literally cannot count the times that I tried to make a meal and burned it to the crisp. I mean, you could smell that some food was burnt in my house for days. 

However, throughout the years of my upbringing, my family and I acquired the knowledge that I can actually bake, just cannot cook sustenance or typical meal food. That being said, when I got a boyfriend last summer, the jokes along the lines of, “Well, let’s hope he can cook food!” where laughed at and shared amongst my traditional Italian family. Now, I may not have inherited the “cooking” Italian-associated trait, I certainly inherited another Italian-associated trait: stubbornness. I mean, I would call it sheer, unstoppable determination, but, sure, I guess we can call it stubbornness for the sake of another joke/laugh. And don’t mistake me for someone who needs to follow the status quo, or conform to this stereotypical “woman in the kitchen” attribute, because trust me that is certainly not the type of person I am. It’s simply that I was just completely and utterly fed up with the recurring insecurity I felt standing in the kitchen, and decided it was time for me to change that. 

Thus, for almost the past year I have been dedicated to improving my skills in the kitchen, specifically for cooking meal food. And, to be honest, I have become quite the chef! So, if you’re reading and relating to this idea of having cookery as your weakness, the kitchen as your kryptonite, I’m here to assure you to not give up and conform to believing that you’re unskilled in the bounds of a kitchen. I, too, was a “lost cause,” and am now a “found effect,” so take the following tips from me!

1. Start With Baby Steps!

Start out with a recipe utilized by beginners! A lot of websites will provide the level of difficulty in the description, however, if the website doesn’t, I’m sure if you take a peek at the details of the directions you’ll be able to determine if it’s an advanced recipe. For example, if it uses cooking terminology that you may be unfamiliar with, let’s assume that’s an advanced recipe. Even so, to make your life a little easier, start your research by typing into the Google or Pinterest “search bar” something along the lines of, “Easy dinner recipes” or “Recipes for beginner cooks.” I understand that sometimes you have to learn how to run before you can walk, but, trust me, cooking isn’t one of these concepts! 

2. Trust the Process!

I would be lying to you if I said that if you stay calm while following the recipe and progressively increasing your level of difficulty, then you’ll never have a bad day in the kitchen. Just like in life, you’ll have times where you succeed, when you make a killer, finger-licking meal, and you’ll have times where you fail, when you’ll simply toss that rotisserie chicken into the trash. If you want, give yourself a minute or two to feel upset, but you should never stay defeated. Never give up; You owe it to yourself and anyone that doubted your cookery skills to prove how amazing of a cook you can truly become!

3. Reflect on Your Progress!

If you’re anything like me, then you are your biggest critic. After every meal you make, reflect on the results. Where can you improve in your endeavors? What were the areas that you did an absolutely amazing job? Acknowledge and praise your strengths, as much as your weaknesses; This is what will fuel progress, and all progress should be celebrated. The day will come where the kitchen is no longer your kryptonite, and perhaps has become a place of sanctuary and/or control. Reflect at where you started in your journey of developing cookery skills, and look at how far you’ve come after every attempt! It’s only up from here, my friend.

I’ve consistently followed these tips, and can rest assured in the idea that I am no longer an “Italian Woman Who Can’t Cook.” 

 

 

Loreanna is an Elementary Education and Mathematics major with an endorsement in Special Education. Proverbs 31:25-26 construct her sense of self which states, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness." Loreanna loves to travel and experience new cultures, spend time with her loved ones and dog, work out and participate in other physical activities, go to the beach, watch good shows/movies, and shop. She hopes you and your loved ones are staying happy and healthy during these unprecedented times.
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