Anna, 37, New York, USA
Cooking is something I somehow thought I would automatically learn as I age, like I took it as part of the adult package. My mom is a great cook, but she made everything so fast and effortlessly in the kitchen, that I didn’t even notice and I never got curious about it, I just never really cared. I liked eating, I had my favorite meals, but cooking.. it never crossed my mind to do anything in the kitchen except for shaking some Kelloggs into my bowl. I baked my cookies at Christmas, once a year, and that was it - baking seemed way more magical anyway.
Then I started university abroad, living with a flatmate who wasn’t into cooking either, also neither of us had money, so that’s when I learned what I learned: pasta with pesto, fish fingers with instant rice and mayo (it’s a true wonder that I stayed alive when I look back) and sometimes I went full luxy and bought cornichons. Later on I moved in with my vegetarian boyfriend who upped our pasta game to gnocchis with mushroom sauce. So there was some olive oil with garlic happening, and I felt like we were cooking. Fast forward to 5 years ago, when at 32 I met my husband, who on our third date made a salad with 22 ingredients - and that was just the greens, not the dressing. I was mesmerised. Also, the same second I gave up everything I ever knew and handed him the wooden spoon, happily taking over the grocery duties. He taught me a few things since, and now I am capable of doing quick stir fries, but honestly, the most complicated dish I made so far was a daal in our instant pot..
... until today. Today I realised that the chicken we bought from our farmer friends defrosted in the fridge but my husband wasn’t at home. Alarm. Quick phone call which ends with “well do whatever you want with it” - me realising slowly that he actually means I am supposed to do something with that bird. And so after a quick hesitation, I did. I looked up a recipe. And here, ladies and gentlemen. My first ever chicken roast. I can’t believe it myself. It tastes fantastic!
I am sitting here, just ate my chicken, feeling proud. I feel like this… this is the moment when I became an adult. 2.5 year shy of 40, but I made it.