So I was thinking about cooking, as usual and thinking about how I got started with this whole thing. I guess my biggest influence was my mother. I can remember being five years old and having it be my job to add the spices to the jar when she was making homemade pickles. My Mom was no slouch in the kitchen! She was a "Leave it to Beaver" mom, stayed home and took care of the house, dinner was on the table every night at 5:30pm - always a protein, starch and two veggies.
I liked almost everything she cooked, except I hated red meat... still not a fan of most red meat.. I could sit at the table and chew on a piece of pot roast without swallowing it for an hour lol. The meat wasn't tough.. I just hated it. Boy she would get mad at me. Looking back I think she took it as a personal affront. Anyway, my Mom had me in the kitchen helping her from probably age 3-4 so I learned by watching.
When I was in junior high school and high school, I took a cooking class almost every semester. It was a lot of fun and if you scheduled it right, you didn't have to buy lunch part of the time. :D I was usually pretty good at it and in high school it was even more fun because there were older boys in my class.... I was a puny freshman so hanging out with senior boys was a real treat.
Now days, I am a pretty good cook.. not a chef, but a cook. My favorites are: Ina Garten, Alton Brown, Mario Batali, .. and I love the cooking reality shows - Top Chef, Next Food Network Star, Chopped, MasterChef... try not to miss any. I wouldn't have the nerve to get on any of these, nor do I have that kind of talent. They are inspiring to watch and do give me good ideas.
So who are your inspirations when cooking?