Cooking - Take Pride!

Thursday, December 6, 2012 - by staff writer Mayla Chakmakchi

Have you ever cooked a dish that you felt so proud of? The very first time I made Dolma, I was so proud of my accomplishment. I even took a picture of the pot ("جدر") filled with what I thought was a masterpiece!

Growing up as an Arab-American, spoiled by my mother's delicious Middle Eastern meals, I never had to learn how to cook, nor was I ever pressured to learn. Although, I did help out in the kitchen during special occasions and became pretty talented at presenting pretty side dishes like Hummus Bit'hini and Baba Ghanoush. However, I think my mom preferred to keep the kitchen as her "territory" so I really didn't begin experimenting with cooking until I got married and had a kitchen to call my own.

My poor husband soon became my guinea pig. Luckily for him, I quickly began my collection of recipes thanks to my mother and mother-in-law. I found that cooking "مركة" was a piece of cake and something I could not ruin … unless I went overboard on the salt. However, I did learn a trick which you may already know. If you over-salt your food, while it's still cooking, put a piece of uncooked potato in it and that will suck up all the extra salt. It works like a charm! So anyway, as years went by, I felt a little more courageous and began taking on more challenging dishes, which lead me to my first attempt at making Dolma. It turned out delicious and I was so proud of myself! I never knew such pride could come with cooking.

So, in honor of cooking and all those delicious meals we're fortunate to enjoy, I thought it would be fun to share photos of dishes we're all so very proud of. Here's my photo of my first attempt at making Dolma. Please share a picture of a dish you're proud of!

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