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September 19, 2010

I've never been much of a kitchen person. Sure, it was where the food was, but food never interested me all that much. I took a home ec course in middle school, and was generally around to help make desserts, but otherwise I had no interest in being in the kitchen.

Sometimes I wondered if it was just that the kitchen was not a place I felt welcome. Sure, my mom tried to encourage me to use it, but she turned out to be a kitchen tyrant. She hovered. She said, 'here, let me do that.' And eventually took over. I found it very frustrating, but I imagine she did, too. My mother had a system. It worked very well for her, and she didn't stray from her routine. Watching me trying to figure out step 1 when she would have been on steps 6 and 7 simultaneously must have been painful. I didn't end up learning very much.

While Brian was sick I realized just how helpless I was when it came to the kitchen. It was rather humiliating to not be able to cook for him when I came over to help him through chemo days. (not that he wanted to eat, but still!) After we got married, it was HIS kitchen and HIS routine that I had to learn. Yep, another kitchen tyrant, but this one had different food allergies and a primitive style to cooking. ("Measuring cup? I just eyeball it." "I'd be perfectly happy cooking over an open fire.")

The whole first year, I struggled with work, school, a ton of painful commuting, and trying to settle in to a bachelor's house and its subsequent renovations. I avoided the kitchen as much as possible. Brian cooked, or we ate out. I was too exhausted to think about it.

Now it's a year later, and I've left work to concentrate on getting out of school. I have more time and less commuting on my hands, and the insane whirlwind has slowed to a fresh breeze. I have hours alone at home so I can think without having hoverers nearby. I feel mentally ready to take on learning to cook, but it's taken me a long time to get to this point.

I have the feeling that when I'm done, I'll be yet another kitchen tyrant.