Sometime last year, probably in September, I was bitten by the culinary bug. While I wasn’t endowed with Spiderman-esque powers, I’ve had the urge since then to cook and bake rather frequently.

I got the bug earlier in life, but I wasn’t whipped into the same frenzy as my brother until last year. He really got into cooking in home economics classes in middle school and took a cooking class or two in high school. He proceeded to cook here and there at home, coming up with grandiose ideas for anniversary dinners for my parents that didn’t always come to fruition.

Additionally, he has watched the Food Network on a regular basis for the last few years since we got a basic cable package at home, and even became infuriated when the Food Network disappeared for a little while because of a dispute with Cablevision.

Meanwhile, I took to the middle school home economics classes, but didn’t quite have that same zeal when it came to cooking at home. As for my experiences with the Food Network, I watch it now and again, or I just find clips of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” online.

When it came to cooking, I never tried making anything extravagant at home. I mainly stuck to relatively simple variations on eggs for breakfast, along with pancakes, waffles, French toast and the like. There was also baking, but I stuck to three things: chocolate chip cookies, blondies and brownies.

However, that changed when I moved up to the Hillside Community apartments last year, freed from my reliance on the dining halls for most, if not all, meals. This was when the experimenting kicked into high gear and I was bitten by the bug once again.

My first experiment was a quiche for a weekly gathering of people from a few apartments. The theme was a potluck, so I said I’d make a quiche, having never made one before. I went with a mushroom and cheddar quiche and mistakenly picked up a graham cracker crust instead of a pie crust. Surprisingly, this sweet twist added to the flavor of the quiche.

Later that semester, I made crepes, thanks to an Alton Brown recipe and a friend who makes cooking videos. It was probably the first time I made crepes since my middle school home economics classes, and they were rather good. In that same year, I discovered a mean triple chocolate chip cookie recipe and dug out a chocolate chip cookie recipe and a banana bread recipe from home, among other things.

Recently, my experiments have been centered on pumpkin desserts, namely pumpkin spice cake, pumpkin scones and pumpkin pie, along with pumpkin pancakes, thanks to some leftover puree. The reason for pumpkin was mainly that pumpkins are associated with the harvest months of October and November and I wanted to experiment with pumpkin desserts for snacks at meetings.

All of the desserts turned out splendidly to rave reviews — and I never made scones or a pie before making these pumpkin desserts. Additionally, I tried my hand at making penne a la vodka over the weekend, but it turned out too salty because I bungled the recipe, which does happen. Not everyone is a master chef.

What’s next on the recipe experimentation Rolodex? Fudge, courtesy of another Alton Brown recipe, and pumpkin pie-lettes. I have a good feeling that both will be very delicious. To all my fellow cooks and bakers, regardless of your skill level, I wish you all the best in the kitchen.