Why I’m addicted to cooking

Told through iPhone photography. And also words.

Toppings include 3 types of cheese (next time I’m making my own mozzarella), onions, peppers, pepperoni, spinach and parsley.

There’s something about cooking that makes me completely addicted to it.

It’s not that I’d consider myself a fantastic cook — but I’m really good at following recipes and performing some heavy improvisation.

I also don’t think that I’m visually creative in the kitchen. If I can spend extra time making something taste 5% better or look 50% better, I’ll go for taste every time. Some of my favourite meals to cook look like utter crap!

The chicken for a Chicken Curry

I also don’t tend to do it as a money or timesaving venture (although it is that, at times) — my favourite lasagne can cost up to €40 for 6 decent sized portions, and takes about 3 hours of total work (maybe up to 5 once you take into account cooking time). Cheap, but still probably above what could be considered ‘Cheap Cooking’.

And while I enjoy taking photos of the process and end result, sharing them with the world (follow me on Twitter for more of that kind of thing), that’s not why I do it either. Sure, it’s nice getting great responses from people who are (or were) professional chefs, but… that’s not why I do it.

Chicken Itame — original recipe scrounged together by @agammell. I’ve since stolen it and made some adjustments.

Maybe it’s because I love eating?

I mean, I definitely love eating. But spending an hour and a half making a pizza is going a little bit overboard for the amount that I enjoy eating. I could probably go to a pizzeria in town, and the full price would be similar (once you include the taxi).

Ham in marmalade, oranges and rosemary

I think that the reason that I enjoy cooking so much is that I find it deeply relaxing and hypnotising. I have a demanding job (which, don’t get me wrong, I love) and spend most of my free time learning (check out my post about how I took a Harvard course for free — I even got to visit campus). The last thing that most people would want to do at 7pm is start cooking a meal that they won’t get to eat until 9. But for some reason, I just love it (although I always have a frozen pizza hidden away somewhere, just in case).

And those who cook with me will attest that I am pretty exacting with how things get done. If somebody isn’t cutting something right, or stirring exactly how they should, I’ll take over. And I love it.

Turkey with bacon, onions, oranges and rosemary

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Yes! Success! What next?

I have this feeling that drives me. A lot of people I’ve spoken to about it have it too — maybe you do. It’s this feeling that I get after something that I’ve been working on for a long time works. This little zap of elation and happiness followed by a desire to… get it back. I call it ‘Yes! Success! What next?’.