Usually "help," as with with children, means lick off cooking implements and stir things. I frequently get yelled at or smacked when I assist in Becca's culinary endeavors, but that's alright. We both enjoy ourselves. Partly because we're usually singing at the top of our lungs, and partly because we have fun together entirely aside from the role reversal. We already knew that Becca's really the big sister, though, because she's an inner first-born, and I'm an eight year old masquerading as twenty.
And neither of us have even half this much hair anymore O.o
This was all spawned because I've just assisted in the making of tieramisu (one of my favorite things ever) for the previously mentioned dinner party. I put lady fingers in the pan, whipped the cream, and licked the bowls and things. Also checked the coffee repeatedly the see if it was ready and then forgot to get it when it was done XD
This stuff. It's beautiful.
I, dear readers, am what I like to refer to as an undomesticated female. Probably less than I think in a lot of ways, but I don't really cook as such. I make food, which is an entirely different process. But the thing I've realized is that food is basically the basis for my family's existence.
Life in my house centers around the kitchen. It's where we hang out most often, which is partly because we don't have a tv or much in the way of videogames or entertainment, but largely because we prefer interacting with each other. Whenever people come over, we generally feed them.
There's a kind of unspoken open door/open fridge policy. We don't really know what to do with people who act like guests--knocking on the front door and asking polite permission for things and such.
I was watching second season of Bones not that long ago (a show that I frequently ask myself why the deuce I'm watching, since I take serious issue with maggots and such), and Stephen Fry (one of the coolest creatures ever the grace the planet) appeared in a bunch of episodes as Boothe's shrink, and he was talking for some mysterious reason about how the word "hearth" originated with the idea that it was the heart of a house, which I thought was kind of awesome. It's pretty much true for my family.
We also don't rely on recipes.
I had to laugh when I realized that my process when cooking or baking or anything of that type is essentially this:
1) Look painstakingly for the perfect recipe (one with doable ingredients and estimated time)
2) Print or otherwise transport to the kitchen where I set it somewhere accessible and visible
3) Vaguely follow said recipe for about five minutes before I disregard it and just cook
It's only in my house or the houses of my older siblings that I've wandered into the kitchen, discovered that food is in the works, asked "What are you making?" and gotten "I have no idea!" as an answer. Usually that's followed by an overview of what we threw in, like chicken or tomatoes or whatever.
Recipes are meant more as suggestions and starting points than definitive instructions. Unless of course it ruins the thing you're making to mess with the proportions. But I pretty much cook from instinct rather than making anything recognizable or specific. I feel like the main merit of food is that there's infinite variety. It should be made with creativity and experimentation. Sometimes you stumble on something really awesome. Which seems to be true in a lot of areas of life. It's funny how much everything overlaps. But I pretty much haven't made anything inedible since I was about six, which is more or less when I started cooking for myself. I had to stand on a chair to reach the stove or cupboards XD
And now there's a slight crisis with the main course. That being that we're out of things, so I shall end abruptly as is my habit, but with reason this time. I must make an emergency grocery store run. So until next time, theoretical audience. I half apologize for the general pointlessness of my rambles, but I trust if you made it through you were amused, so you're welcome.