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My Story Of How I Learned To Cook

By: Aesha Adams-Roberts

It never fails. Whenever I tell people on social media that I did not know how to cook before I got married, I get someone who says, "Really?  Then I guess there's hope for me!"

Honestly, I only knew how to cook a few dishes. Eggs, pancakes, speghetti. I added homemade Mac 'N Cheese after a friend taught me how to make it while I was in graduate school. I brought it to every potluck dinner I was invited to!

Most people don't believe that I was clueless when it came to cooking because I share my dinner menu almost every day on Facebook:  Stuffed shells; Crockpot Chicken (a whole, organic chicken stuffed with apples that cooks all day in the crockpot); Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup; Bacon Wrapped Salmon Cakes; Chicken Quesadillas, the list goes on.  I bring gourmet, restuarant quality meals to my family table on a weekly basis. But it wasn't always this way.

In graduate school my diet consisted of cheap, frozen pizzas that tasted like cardboard, a cupboard full of Ramen noodles, canned stew made from mystery meat, and microwave Hawaiian chicken stir fry bowls.  I thought fresh foods were too expensive and I wouldn't know what to do with them if I bought them anyway.

I grew up with a mother who cooked from scratch, without a recipe, but aside from picking and cleaning the greens and "watching the pot" so the food didn't burn, I did not pick up any tips from hanging out in the kitchen. 

My lack of culinary skills made me think that I couldn't get married. What man would want me if I didn't know how to cook? And what would I feed my children? I thought. 

Once I met my husband, I realized I was wrong for two reasons. 

1) Cooking is a skill that can be learned and while it is an essential part of a happy home, it has little to do with whether you are a good wife (you won't find "cooking" listed in my free eBook, 10 Things Your Husband Wishes You Knew).   

2) Modern men are more willing to help out around the house and that includes cooking. In fact, some men are better at it and won't mind preparing the meals for the family. 

My man can cook! He's a "man's man," strong, confident, a natural leader and he can throw down in the kitchen.  In fact, he won my heart when he baked a sweet potato pie for me shortly after we met.  The pie was one of his specialities along with cornish hens, dressing, cabbage, and yams. 

Because he knew his way around the kitchen, we decided in pre-martial counseling that he'd be the one preparing the meals for us.  

I don't remember exactly what motivated me to start cooking. All I know is I started searching for recipes online and testing them out in the kitchen. My first few tries resulted in mediocre meals. My husband was generous, showered me with compliments, and told me he could pretty much eat anything. My confidence was boosted and I kept trying, choosing recipes that looked appealing. I finally hit the jackpot when I surprised him with a romantic Valentine's Day dinner that included Cheese Chips and a creamy tomato tortillini soup.  I'd gone from Top Ramen to Tortillini Soup!  My husband raved over the dinner and it sealed the deal:  From that point on I took over meal planning and preparation in our house.  

Learning how to cook is simple. Find recipes with ingredients you think you'd like, add them to your meal plan and try it out.  I created an "Easy Meal Plan Ideas" board on Pinterest with some fun, easy to follow recipes from my favorite websites.  Check it out and then leave a comment to let me know which one you want to try!  
Happy cooking!