What do you look at in your kitchen every day? Are you lucky enough to have a window to the outdoors? Do you paper your refrigerator with cheerful photographic reminders of parties and good times? Do you have a favorite piece of art?
If you're looking for something to fix your focus upon in the kitchen, artistically speaking, here's one message I wish you would consider.
Take a look.
It speaks for itself.
If you have just a tiny corner of space over your counter or above your trash can, would you consider this message? I don't think that there's much better for a cook to look at.
We all, after all, know more than we think we do in the kitchen. Even the most nervous and insecure beginner knows what she likes to eat the most — even if it's the simplest mac and cheese or takeout stir-fry. Those tastes can guide you.
Every time you cut an onion or brown a chicken thigh, you're amassing knowledge in your hands and instincts. Every time you follow a recipe to a T and discover a new taste you love; every time someone sits at your table and digs into food you've made, it's another little bit of knowledge on your cooking map. When you turn a cake out of the pan in one piece; when you make a whole dinner on a sheet pan and feel like a genius; when you successfully deglaze a pan for the first time; and yes, even when you watch one of those teeny-tiny frenetically paced cooking videos on Facebook — you're learning something.
And I wish every cook had a reminder, when stuck or suddenly insecure, to remember those little moments of accomplishment or delight and the fact that she knows more than she thinks she does. Sure, you can run right over here to The Kitchn to get your question answered (we do our best to always have a good one for you!) or phone a friend or look it up in a cookbook. More knowledge, more learning.
But sometimes all you need to do is stop, and look up, and remember: you know more than you think you do.