I used to have a long list of “will not eat” – peas (still top of the list), carrot cake (not my fave, but tolerable now), every kind of seafood imaginable (makes me cry to think about all of the Florida trips where I ordered chicken fingers), pretty much all vegetables other than broccoli (complete opposite from today) … I could go on and on. I stayed within my comfort zone, and I liked it there.
Then, I went to Europe. Living in another country for four months, especially one as unfamiliar as Denmark, and traveling to such far-flung places as Estonia pretty much gives you a big, hearty shove right out of that comfort zone. And that was A-OK with me.
Not only did I try hot mulled cider in Germany, and a proper curry in London; a meatball sandwich with peanut sauce in Amsterdam, and macarons in Paris; pine nut gelato in Italy and saffron pudding in Estonia; breakfast baked beans in Sweden and a raw egg cracked over my hamburger in Denmark (I’m both hungry and full just from reading that list!) – but I also had to learn to cook for myself. Armed with only a tiny stove, a microwave, and a mini-fridge, and a grocery store filled with labels written in Danish, I learned to feed myself. The crowning achievement was when my friend and I cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner, complete with sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, baked apples and cranberries, salad, rolls, a Derby pie, and an apple pie, for her host family.
Since that fall of 2009, I have grown to love food (and cooking) even more. Thanks for joining me on my journey through the kitchen – I can’t promise that it will be a journey without bumps, but I can promise that it will never be a journey without chocolate and plenty of adventures.
Breads and baked goods