How it all began

From birth until late 2011, my idea of cooking was boiling ramen, scorching frozen pizzas, reheating boxed dinners, and ordering takeout. Every once in a while, I felt extreme embarrassment about my way of eating and embarked on an hours-long grocery trip, stocking up on fresh fruits and veggies, pantry items, dairy, and meats. However, the amount of time it took to prepare a meal and mediocre taste discouraged me from cooking further. I fell back into my routine of eating takeout food while my meticulously organized groceries raced towards rotting.

In 2011, I was working towards my graduate degree in neuroscience and needed a carefree, creative hobby to keep me grounded and focus on real life, which to me meant life outside of graduate school. I decided to combine my love for writing and recent food experiences in Europe into this blog.  I didn't expect to stick with it for long, but 150+ recipes and 4.5 years later, cooking remains my passion and main source of relaxation.

I now enjoy meal planning and grocery shopping, and cooking when "there's nothing to cook with" is my absolute favorite. I enjoy fuss-free, spontaneous cooking which doesn't rely on specific ingredients or measurements; rather, I cook by feeling and the more I deviate from recipes and traditional flavors, the better. I don't own a set of measuring spoons, so keep that in mind as you read this blog - the measurements are approximate, and while I estimate to the best of my ability, I encourage you to play with the proportions to your liking.

I decided to name this blog "Kitchening Around" within 5 minutes of deciding to write it. It describes my food philosophy perfectly: Mess around in the kitchen with what you have until you come up with something that is a) edible and b) delicious. My very first post was a caprese salad, which epitomizes my favorite kind of meal - simple to create, easy on the eyes, and unexpectedly flavorful. 

Welcome!

-Sruthi Swaminathan