I really enjoy grating cheese.

I know, it’s kind of a weird thing to enjoy, but I love it. Even if there is pre-shredded cheese in the refrigerator, I’m most likely going to pull out my block of cheese and use that. It's therapeutic in a way—repetitive and relaxing.

Due to my love of freshly shredded cheese, my ambition to teach myself to cook, and a newly purchased round of Gouda, I decided a logical choice would be this Gouda Mac and Cheese recipe.

Now, I can boil pasta with the best of them, but I had never before attempted to make my own sauce. And with all the horror stories I’ve heard about cooking with milk on a stovetop, I was just the teensiest bit intimidated by what I had decided to undertake. (Let’s be honest, I was extremely intimidated).

The entire time the sauce was cooking, I was second-guessing myself. Is the flour supposed to coat the garlic like that? It seems so lumpy…I can’t be doing this right. I have to pay attention to the pasta, too, but if I ignore the sauce I’m going to scorch the milk and the pan will be ruined and the kitchen will smell awful and there is no way I’m doing this right.

I was. Silly, worrying me.

Turns out, I only made one mistake: Cooking a “serves 4” dish for only me. Because lemme tell ya, I wanted to eat way more than one serving.I’d say that’s a pretty good standard for kitchen success, wouldn’t you?

What’s the first dish you learned to cook? Do you still worry when cooking something new?