I never cooked a thing in my life until my junior year of college. There had been plenty of kitchen mishaps prior to that…microwave explosions, mostly. I spent the summer before junior year worried about what the semester may bring…and wondering whether or not I needed to invest in renters insurance. A funny thing, happened, though. Once I was on my own and no one was around to watch me make mistakes, I realized I LOVED to cook. I quickly realized that cooking is just like chemistry (my major in undergrad and what I’m studying now in grad school). Making that realization helped me overcome a lot of the kitchen fear I had.
That first year saw a lot of disasters – I didn’t know the difference between cloves and bulbs of garlic and once put 2 bulbs into minestrone. For about 6 months I had no idea you were supposed to drain ground beef after you browned it and ate my fair share of disgusting grease. One of my favorites was turning around while doing dishes to see this tupperware on fire. I had apparently forgotten to turn off one of the burners. We had oil fires, blender explosions, and plenty of spills…not unlike my lab.
The better I got at following recipes, the better I got at improvising them. I ran cross country and track for Marquette University and I soon became the team mom. A few of us would take turns once a week creating a meal. Some of my favorites from my teammates were pumpkin lasagna, spring rolls, and lemon pasta with brie. The more into cooking I got, the more interested I got in eating healthy, all natural food. Senior year one of my teammates paid me to cook for him. That got me really interested in trying to create healthy meals on a budget. Eating organic in Milwaukee was a little too expensive, but once I moved to Bloomington, IN, my eyes were opened to how eating organic food on a budget was completely feasible — if you knew how to do it. Now, after a long day in the lab and after my nightly run I look forward to a little bit of “me” time in the kitchen. That’s where this blog comes in. I figure if I can eat organic on a budget while working 65-70 hours a week, I can share my strategies and recipes with all 10 people who read this and hopefully change some minds about what organic food is and who eats it.