The Cooking Journey of a New Cook - The Soapbox Filipina
Writing for the blog had to take the backseat last year, ( especially late last year ) when cooking for the family took the wheel. Had the blog been a child, I would most likely be charged with parental neglect.
But my “blogging hiatus” if I may call it, brought me so much learnings, in spite of major league undertakings. I had to put extra attention, on both my boys –my husband and my son.
My son had too many activities, this school year (while my blog readers were left with the supposition that I am a summer blogger of sorts, writing only during summer breaks) .
My husband on the other hand, underwent a procedure on the spine called “laminectomy”.
He goes to therapy, walks with a walking stick and sometimes when he is tired, pushed on a wheel chair. Though things still have the hint of normalcy, including him walking around,showing up and working at the dried fish store, he now has to keep up a certain diet. This meant less dining out for us.
So, the latter part of the year necessitated a “mom cook” from our small family.
Now, this mom cook, mind you, is “ a zero skilled cook”.
My skill could not even get to the bare minimum of the word, “cook” !
My astrological sign I believe, would have been Pisces,the fish— for I.fry.!
Commitment to Cooking
It has been four months since I have committed to cooking. The marriage type of commitment to cooking , mind you—with the entire entourage of verbs encompassing it.
That which included:
watching cooking shows on you tube (like Panlasang Pinoy),
reading cook books,
estimating the time needed to cook,
buying and haggling at the wet market,
doing the dishes, the pots and the pans,
tidying counter tops,
cleaning the kitchen,
then of course, there’s that “shedding of the sweat and the tears”.
But the most important action word in my cooking journey, towering above all verbs, in present progressive tense, is PRAYING!
Perhaps, you may find my needs totally trivial, for having consulted God in all these.
But they say, “ask God like how a child would”. I have never prayed to God every five to ten minutes ( or till the digital timer goes off) than I ever had until I started cooking.
“ Lord, please-please, I hope the pasta is a success”
“Please God, I hope it’s not too salty, too sweet or too sour.”
“May my family be nourished, with what I have prepared for them and may they not “speed dial delivery”.
Praying from Zero Cook to “Yes, I Cook!”
I pray when cooking. It is because more than anything else, I would not want expensive ingredients, precious hours and best laid down instructions go to waste.
I have been through that heart-break many times, in my cooking journey. “Why, oh why, did my lasagna hardened like biscuits?” “I gave my all and followed all the steps!”
Then I hurt, I cry and I go walling on the kitchen corners, in aspiration for, at least one of Meryl Streep’s three prized Oscars.
I would wail like a barn owl and say, “I am not cooking again, ever.!” But then of course, I get up at 4:30 am the next day and do exactly what I just said I won’t do—cooking!
My cooking journey and a number of mishaps in the kitchen, have made me realize how cooking should be an inspiration —no matter how many times you have snipped your fingers, blanched your hands, scald your legs and bruised your pride ( yes, that’s me, previously on “The Kitchen and its TRUE CRIMES…”)!
You just have to rise up and start opening another pack of bacon and cracking another set of eggs. Try and try till cooking becomes you!
I would get really exhausted most of the times, especially when the kitchen, gets in between “my teaching my son his lessons” and “taking care of my husband”. It is difficult to choose which to prioritize. But I guess, I would like to think, I am made of sterner stuff.
Today, I can whip up meals like these:
And my lasagna? Try and try till you ran out of pasta then, voila it will look and taste like lasagna, later on.
My cooking still has hits and misses, with a higher percentage rate on the misses than the hits.
But the exciting part (though seldom) is when I receive “the golden buzzer” from my boys, who undeniably have discriminating tastes. They now have their favorites, like this stir-fry pork loin with mushrooms:
I would be writing about my kitchen mishaps, soon on the blog. But for now, I hope to encourage those who have just started cooking like my self.
It is a daunting task but hey, someone has to do it and it might as well be mom!