From PR to accidental cook. And loving it.

Five years ago, I was in PR, writing speeches and cranking out news releases for a company in New York. I enjoyed it, but sure didn’t have much time for anything else. Today, I’m spending more of my time in the kitchen cooking (and baking!) up a storm. And loving it. Maybe more than PR. Gasp!

How I ended up in the kitchen instead of pitching the media.

I had no choice. At the PR job market was, still is, extremely competitive and not just for managerial positions. I applied for jobs at the entry level. No such luck. I was either “overqualified,” or they could get someone much younger (and hungrier) at a lower salary, or both. I stopped asking ‘why not me?’ Instead, I decided to focus on doing freelance PR. So far, I’ve had mild success, so a ways to go still. Through all of this though, thank goodness for a supportive spouse.

Since I wasn’t working a regular job anymore, we were definitely on a tight budget, which means we didn’t go out to dinner as much. Which means I cooked at home more. Okay, I’m not the world’s best cook, but I’m also not the worst. Once I got a rhythm going on, you know what? I started liking it! I like coming up with more creative ways to cook a meal. And I do like plating. Once I get it just right, I love to take a picture of my masterpiece. That’s almost as much fun as cooking!

An obsession with the Food Network

I’ll admit it: I watch the Food Network regularly. A lot, okay? It’s where I get my ideas for recipes and discovering spices and herbs that go beyond paprika and parsley! One food show in particular, The Pioneer Woman, has to be one of my favorites. Ree Drummond is a great cook! Like she often says, “I like to keep it real.” Which means no fancy schmancy creations. Just unbelievably delectable meals that she cooks up for her family. And her recipes are so easy. Ree, you are my heroine — so down-to-earth and friendly. Always smiling.

New York Times’ Melissa Clark, I’m looking at you too

Another cook whose recipes I’ve tried is Melissa Clark. Like Ree, she cooks all kinds of things, and her recipes are easy too. Okay, just saw her video on how to make pasta, so I’m tempted to try doing this myself. But first we’ll need to get a pasta maker attachment for the stand up mixer. Hmmm…next time perhaps.

No shortage of recipes on the Internet

But let’s be clear here. I search the Internet for all kinds of recipes, not the just on the Food Network or the New York Times. It’s nice that cooks all over the world are able to share their wonderful recipes and cooking tips. While being on a budget can be somewhat challenging, I’ve always been able to come up with something, thanks to the Internet. Which means, I’m still all about following the instructions on the recipe. I know there are a lot of people who put their own “spin” to a recipe. I don’t think I’m there. I don’t have the self-confidence just yet. Soon.

Where does PR fit into this new picture?

As far as my freelancing in PR, still doing it. But now, I’m branching out in an effort to get better projects leads. I’ve entered the world of contracting, sub-contracting is more like it. I hope that by going this route I’ll have more chances of landing some paying gigs. It’s true what people say: looking for work is a full-time job. I hope that it’ll pay off soon. In the meantime, I’m looking for another good chicken recipe.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.