In the last month, I’ve been working hard to expand my cooking repertoire beyond hamburgers and spaghetti. This has greatly amused both my roommate and my girlfriend, as I’ll often ask (or run to consult the interwebs) how to sauté meat or mince garlic.

Jamie Oliver, I am not.

It’s not that I don’t know how to cook. I often helped my mom in the kitchen when I lived at home, but I was almost always to person in charge of the stove. Vegetable and meat preparation were almost completely unknown to me when I started cooking for myself. And since I never really read a cookbook growing up, I never learned what some of the instructions meant. It’s been quite the learning experience.

I’m finding though that I greatly enjoy the entire process, from searching through cookbooks for appetizing recipes to preparing the food and tinkering with the recipe afterwards. I especially enjoy that last bit, as I’m finding that often the base recipes doesn’t quite suit my tastebuds. Being creative and putting my own personal mark on the recipe makes me feel more engaged with my meal (if that makes any sense at all). It’s a bit like dancing, actually. A dance can be rather bland and uninteresting if you or your partner only perform dance moves as they’ve been taught. By experimenting and developing your own personal style, dancing becomes infinitely more enjoyable. How’s that for a metaphor?!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a dinner to prepare.