In cruising around the internet recently, I found a link to an article on how to write a blog. I thought I needed to read it. The article recommended finding a "niche" that was appealing to a specific audience. One of the topics that many people apparently want to read about is cooking, and cooking was the only topic listed about which I know anything at all.
Sometime ago a friend of mine and I were discussing cheesecakes. I told her about this great cheesecake recipe I'd made, and she said she didn't even own a spring form cake pan. When I told her that I owned three different spring form cake pans, she said, "Oh! You're a serious cook!"
I'm not certain that owning a cake pan makes me a serious cook. Many years ago I asked my mother-in-law the secret of making good biscuits. She told me, "You have to have a biscuit pan that's at least 25 years old." I knew at that point that light, tender, fluffy biscuits were not in my near future. My biscuit pan now meets the age requirement, and I have to say that my biscuits have improved with each year. She knew what she was talking about.
From watching cooking shows I'm of the opinion that some people will eat just about anything. I once watched Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel eat a cooked iguana in Mexico. He said it made him want to stick his head in a bucket of lye. I've had meals like that, too. There are some foods that we will not eat at our house: cumin, cilantro, snails, eel, steak tartare, and I will never cook a live lobster. Nor an iguana.
When I'm faced with an exotic food dish, I often say that I'm not that hungry yet. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I may find myself destitute and noshing on raw turnips in the garden, but so far I've been blessed with enough food to be able to choose what I actually like to eat. I don't have any points to prove about my creativity when I'm cooking.
By some people's standards, since I'm not willing to eat just any old thing that can be caught, skinned, and put in a pot, I'm not a serious cook. I do have standards, though, and they include fried pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, turkey and dressing, and fried squash.
People who consider themselves serious cooks might question my standards. At my house everyone knows supper is ready when the smoke alarm goes off. I had only one witness, my daughter, when I was toasting some hamburger buns under the broiler in the oven. We watched in anticipation, mouths watering for the juicy hamburgers, but when I pulled the buns from the oven, they were afire. Yes, flames actually shot up from the buns, and I whipped the dish towel over them to snuff out the flames.
Part of my retirement duty is to cook supper every evening. So far things have turned out pretty well with no major disasters (if you don't count the ham on Christmas Eve which got just a wee bit well done). Each afternoon when I start into the kitchen to fix supper, I feel a little like Grandpa Jones on Hee Haw when he was asked, "What's for supper?" He'd smile and list great fare like country ham, fried potatoes, collard greens, cornbread, and blackberry cobbler for dessert. I'm not a serious cook; I just like to eat.