Friday, August 16, 2013

Finally Loving the Kitchen

I love that I have finally taken over my own kitchen. For the last 10 years or so, it was my able kasambahay who largely decided on and cooked my family’s meals, and on special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, it was always somebody else taking charge of my own kitchen – either my in-laws or my mother. I would just be a happy observer, almost a guest in my own house. I was scared to cook dishes other than the simple ones I knew, and I was too lazy to learn . I was not fond of watching cooking shows nor did I take interest in the cookbooks I received as wedding gifts. It was enough that I knew how to fry, cook rice, and do basic Filipino dishes like tinola and sinigang.

I had no keen interest in renovating the kitchen and buying kitchen stuff. It was my husband who did all the job. In one trip to Singapore when kitchen wares were on sale at Tangs department store, with discounts as much as 70%, he spent hours window-shopping and then buying pots, pans, cooking utensils, cutleries, and even a pasta maker! I was somewhere else hunting for shoes and bags. We came home with huge boxes of WMF wares and other quality kitchen stuff he bought at bargain prices. He was very pleased with his purchases especially after checking that they cost him less than 2 times the price tag here in Manila.

But things have changed since July when, as you know, I have become a stay-at-home mom. The nice pots and pans that my husband bought, which had been kept away, are now out of the cabinets. The pressure cooker that he also bought years ago is finally being used. And the other kitchen gadgets have been taken out of their boxes as well and put to use. My kitchen is now fully functional.

I now also personally know what my refrigerator contains because I myself cleaned and organized it recently. I don’t have to ask for a grocery list. I know exactly what is lacking or running out of supply. And it feels so good to be in control for the first time.

My kitchen, although far from being complete, inspires me to make delicious dishes. I have mostly tried dishes I picked up from watching shows on Food Network channel and  from recipes shared by friends. I do not attempt to copy everything and buy all the proposed ingredients. There’s room for some creativity, and the trick is to taste the food as it cooks and add seasonings bit by bit. I surprise even myself! For instance, I thought lasagna required special cooking techniques. My first attempt was a big success, meaning everyone who tasted it really liked it. It was such a hit, I just might make another one to share with friends like you. :-)

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