Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Making of a Cook-Wife

When some of my husband’s friends visited us one weekend, I made a comment that made them laugh. I told them I have cooked more in the almost two months I’m married than in all my single life combined.

I don’t cook. That’s where I’m categorized at amongst family and friends. For me then, there is more to life than cooking. I was used to living life to the fullest as able. Domesticity to me is sort of like an imprisonment. A lazy Sunday would mean either a TV marathon, take-out PIZZA plus finishing a good book or a big let’s go to the MALL and watch a movie event, my treat. When we have guests at home, Andok’s never let us down plus a can of ice cream. Spaghetti is the most complicated dish I would have tried that is done on a regular basis. And even when I would be excited to cook something, nobody shares my excitement so I just kind of let it die without trying.

But somewhere deep inside I knew I had some sort of affinity to cooking. When I was able to have my own condo unit thus my own kitchen, I started to discover the benefits of cooking. One is it keeps my mind off things. Cooking helps me focus on the task at hand and not overwork my mind about the emotional turmoil of my life or the mental stress from work. It calms me in essence and that is very important especially for such a hyperactive individual like me. I just can’t sit still.

And now just today, I can’t believe I have spent the entire morning watching cooking shows on TV. I watched interestingly as Danica Sotto made this soup with Dina B. on” Full time Moms” perfect for the rainy season , then I went on to watch “Sarap at home” as they churned out tuna kebabs ,” my favorite recipe” came up with sirloin steak curry and pansit molo and afterwards “Quickfire”s Menudo by Rosebud was a delight by using real tomatoes.

No, I did not grab a pen and paper to jot down the recipes, everything was just mentally stored for future use. I learned early on not to depend on recipes when cooking. They are just guide. I make my own rules. I cook what’s there, what I feel like, and I don’t measure things because I don’t want to repeat myself. I want every dish I cook to be unique never to be replicated because I never remember what I put in it exactly and how much. My main thing is the result and whether my hubby would put his thumbs up. I substitute ingredients very liberally as my resources are limited. The outcome is of course always something different than expected and that’s how I want it to be.

And since my husband is fond of soups, I do not have any fear of things going wrong so I’m a bit brave in this area. You can never burn a soup and/ or cook it prematurely especially when it comes to vegetables. If it’s a little under cooked then its good because raw is better for the health. If you simmer it longer than usual, the aroma sinks in more so it acquires a richer distinct taste. And I learned that when things get really bad, the salt and pepper tandem always come to the rescue plus you can do things over with a little more water.

My boss, who happens to be not that fond of cooking told me it is not really the cooking that turns her off but the cleaning after. And yes, sad to say… it goes with the territory. But through time, you learn to be more efficient, less messy . You learn to not cry when you chop onions or look with dread at all the chopping you still need to do before you combine everything on the pot like what they show in TV or you learn to protect yourself from the mini accidents of hot oil and wounded fingers. Blood and pain is all part of the experience.

My husband will be home in 4 hours. I’m off to cook my Broccoli with toasted almonds version for dinner. We play this game when he arrives, the what’s the name of the meal I cooked. And it’s fun.

We can surprise even ourselves sometimes. We become people we never thought we will be if we just try. So folks, next time you ask me, do I cook? I will reply back…. Like a Pro…:)  And for those who will not believe me, you are welcome to drop by my home and taste my creations.

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