Years ago when I was younger, you would only find me in the kitchen if I was tasting what our helper was cooking, or if I was rummaging through the fridge to find something to eat, if I was frying hotdog or Spam, or if I was in Home Economics class, pretending to cook (well I had classmates to cover for me)!
Over the years, even through University things stayed that way. I guess I never really found the necessity nor the urgency to hold a laddle and a pan. I had people around me cooking for me. I was happy with what they cooked up otherwise I'd resort to my hotdog or Spam. I was so bad at cooking that one time for a Christmas party (where we had to bring something we did ourselves) I opted to do Macaroni salad. From Scratch. I ended up with a big blob of pasta. Why? I didn't know that I had to put the pasta into boiling water. I placed the pasta immediately after I put cold water on the stove. Naturally the pasta bits clumped with each other. It was a disaster I was sort of ashamed of this because even my little sister knew that you put pasta IN when the water started to boil. Oh well. Now I know...
So, after University I moved on to do further studies in Sydney. I lived with a family who cooked. This time I had to make an effort because I was living with people I had no relations with. I helped out in the kitchen. I would volunteer to chop the veggies, clear the table and do the dishes, as well as provide a listening ear to the designated cook of the night, hearing out their stories about heartaches/or love as well as other daily or special life stories. Nevertheless, once in a while I still opted to use the pan but only to cook Spam. (I know, pathetic).
And then, one day... I just felt something change in me. I actually wanted to learn to cook. Not just heat things up, or pour mix over chicken. I took up Culinary for about two months. Lessons I did at night, every single weekday during that period. I would not skip any of my classes (well one night's lesson costed about $80 per day!Burned my pocket!). To think I would have already had a long day at work ending at 530pm, I'd rush to my Culinary Class at 6pm. We would normally end class at 9pm with dinner at hand, whatever we cooked that night. Looking back now, I cannot imagine having done that. At all. What a rigid schedule, but I survived! And somehow, I've learned a few things. Not everything, as practice really just makes one better. And I could only learn some more things in time.
My culinary class sparked that interest to learn about this great thing called COOKING. I may never be the best Cook ever. But at least now I am eager to learn. And eager to try something new. Sure I have my bad days where I would just feel frustrated with how my dish turned out to be. But the next day, I still try again. Try again with the same zest and excitement if not more than the previous day's.
Now, even after coming home from work at about 6PM, I still cook. I enjoy whipping up a pasta dish, with the works (meatballs, basil, mushrooms, mozarella, garlic bread, coke, etc). So far, I can do : Adobo, Sinigang, Chicken Parmigiana, Rosemary Honeyglazed chicken, Spareribs, Longganisa, Paksiw, to name a few..)
Sometimes I have dinner at 9pm. But the wait is oftentimes worth it.
There are times I when I still just crank the Corned Beef can open and fry eggs. But then, of course I had a long day at work.
That day isn't today. I did a 2hour oven baked Aussie Pork Ribs. Yum.. Worth the wait! Now I just have to think about tomorrow night's meal.
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