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math, genes, and the art of cooking

21 Oct

my first few attempts at cooking

if my mom were still alive today, i can only imagine the look on her face if someone were to tell her that i actually cooked a meal from scratch—cook, mind you. not heat or microwave. she (and the rest of my family, as a matter of fact) wouldn’t probably believe it. see, i have a notorious reputation for a) not knowing the first thing about cooking and b) bungling up a simple thing such as cooking rice.

i grew up in a family that knew how to cook . . . and cook well. my grandmother is fantastic at baking pastries and cooking meals, my mom inherited her penchant for cooking while my aunt learned the art of baking, my sister is a whiz in the kitchen, and—believe it or not—so is my brother. it truly used to amaze me how they could come up with mouthwatering dishes without having to follow a recipe to a T. they just instinctively knew what ingredients to add to make a regular dish extraspecial. i just couldn’t get it.  i figured i must’ve inherited my dad’s genes when it came to meals, that is, i was always relegated to the role of the dishwasher or  the one setting up the table.

until recently, i rarely had any reason to venture out to the kitchen except to ask when we were going to eat. but circumstances change. my mom has passed away, my brother moved to another country for work, and my sister’s schedule became quite hectic. and here i am, used to eating well-cooked meals. i had two choices: eat out every night or learn how to cook. and since option 1 was not financially feasible,  i learned to cook.

who would’ve thought i would come naturally to me at this point in my life? i’m 27, and i thought i had already resigned myself to the fact that this was one skill i was just not meant to learn. but  i guess all those years of sitting in the kitchen, watching my family whip up all  sorts of dishes must’ve somehow altered my “horrible cook” gene because, to my surprise, i can actually cook! (yes, i was really surprised) and i didn’t have to go through the “overcooked, inedible food” or  the “i almost burned down my kitchen” phase. it wasn’t as difficult as i imagined it would be. i’m no iron chef, but hey, for someone who used to mess up even just frying canned food, i think  i’ve come a long way.

it’s quite exciting, really. in a span of a few months, i’ve managed to change the equation: cooking + me =disaster  ♥