How I Learned To Be A Great Cook

Hello Fellow Cooking Enthusiast!

I'm Jay-J the cook behind www.soulfoodandsoutherncooking.com. I have been passionate about cooking soul food for as long as I can remember. Nothing excites me more than cooking up a much appreciated home cooked soul food dinner for my family and friends. If you're not familiar with the term "Soul Food" its just good ole fashioned African American cooking, from the heart.

I get asked all the time why I started this Web site. Here's the short version....

My family and close friends have always loved my ability to create delicious home cooked meals. For me the ability to cook was not inherited. It was grown out of love. Over the years, I was coached in the art of cookery by some of the best cooks. Nana, grandma, mama, papa and auntie all provided a helping hand in my education.

Like most southern black cooks, I learned to cook by instinct and by using my sense of smell, taste, touch and sight. Gathering up the main ingredients for any recipe is easy, the hardest part of cooking by instinct is learning when you've added just enough to please everyone.

The recipes I learned to cook from were permanently etched into the minds of my family members. My family always called me the brains for a good reason. I soon learned to "cheat" the process by making mental notes as I cooked.

Later on I transferred this invaluable information which I had committed to memory to paper form. What a great decision I had made. As my aging family began to pass, they took their treasured family recipes with them, to the grave.

So I took the cooking knowledge I had transcribed and went out into the world. I joined the military and immediately my family increased a hundredfold.

Now I had the opportunity to serve up creative meals to people from all ethnic groups, not just southern blacks. To my surprise everyone loved my soul food and southern cooking. I can easily say that my food was thoroughly taste tested by a variety of people with different cravings.

An Idea Is Born

Now I am at the point where my cooking reputation preceded me. I receive many food requests from family, friends and associates. It seems as if everyone wanted a piece of the pie or whatever I cooked that appealed to their taste.

I tried to oblige everyone but soon came to the realization that I didn't have enough time to satisfy my families request, let along to fill orders for friends!

As I burned out from trying to fill family request, I decided to brainstorm ideas. How could I help everybody with minimal effort?

My wife first suggested that I just write out the cooking instructions and pass them along. This worked fine for a while but I was soon overwhelmed with request.

Next, my wife recommended that I start a personal web site and give access to everybody. Better yet she said "why don't you share your love for cooking with the whole world". That is how the idea for creating www.soulfoodandsoutherncooking.com came about.

A Hidden Treasure Is Discovered

Now I had a mission - to establish a cooking web site to share my recipes with the entire world. Sounds simpl, but it really took some effort and commitment.

The biggest hurdle I had to confront was the technical aspect of designing and building a website. After some initial research I became discourage and thought about giving up.

There was a learning curve and although I wanted to do this, I wanted to cook more!

But the Web site idea was too good to give up so I persevered and eventually found Site Build It! (SBI!) which made it easy to build my site. Within two weeks I was happily adding all of my recipes, cooking tips and lots of other information that had been stored inside my head and hand written out on hundreds of pages of paper all these years.

Maybe you have a passion, hobby or interest just like I do and want to build your own Web site and share your knowledge with the world. If so, I invite you to learn more about my actual site building part of the journey. I think you will be excited by what you discover.

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