SPICEGASM.COM My travel tales and food hunting

May 18, 2010

My first cooking experience

Filed under: Chit Chat — Alex @ 2:50 am

My mom is really a good cook ( I bet all of us have this same claims ) and she never really taught me how to cook. She enjoys experimenting various dishes and occasionally she will ask for my help to grind chilli, onions or garlic. Basically all simple chores. I sometimes look at how she prepare the dishes and became more observant over the years. Everyday she will buy meat or vegetables from a local market near us and just store it in the fridge to be cook later for dinner. She works for the government and she is not available to cook lunch. Every day after coming back from school I would always open the refrigerator and see what she bought and I can always tell what will be for dinner that night. If I see chicken, potatoes and shredded coconut, I would be very excited because I know she will make my favorite dish – Chicken Curry.

My parents do okay but we are by no means wealthy. I think we are comfortable in our daily basic needs but we definitely have no rooms for luxuries. But when it comes to our dinner, my mom will always makes 3 dishes for dinner everyday without fail. Is almost like eating in a restaurant. I have to admit I was spoil by my mom when it comes to my eating habits and have high expectations when eating somewhere else.

Is really quite a funny story how I tried my first attempt on cooking. One day my mom came back from work in the office and she was really in bad mood. She was complaining about how untidy we are and we ( my siblings ) never contributed in the household chores. To me that is not a fair statement as me and my elder brother took turn to wash the dishes. I was also given the privileged of ironing my mom and dad’s office attire each week. I was 14 at that time and being a boy, I have no intention of letting my friends know. Most of my friends have a maid to do all this but my parents simply couldn’t afford one.

Back to the scenario where my mom was in bad mood and complaining about our lack of involvement with the chores. At one point she mentioned something about we being ungrateful where she got to go office daily and still got to cook for all of us. Being a dumb ass 14 years old kid, I fought back by saying “I will cook the damn dishes tonight” ( Not the exact words tho, it is way milder but was said in a very loud voice ). She just broke down in tears and went to her room weeping.

So what have I done and got myself into now. My dad did not say a word or gave me a beating for being a “bastos” to my mom. Everyone is expecting dinner and it is up to me to live up to what I’ve promised. I opened the fridge and found some fishes, okra and shredded coconut. I instantly recognized that my mom intended to cook curry fish for dinner tonight. I know where she kept the curry powder, the pre grounded chili paste and other spices. But I have no freaking clue on how to cook it as I never saw how my mom did it. I normally would leave the kitchen after helping her grindding the onions, garlic and chili. ( I never like helping her to be honest but I just gotta do it to avoid getting nagged ). So I decided to go to my neighbor’s house and ask for simple cooking instruction for the dish curry fish.

My neighbor told me the steps and I mentality noted all the necessary steps. I was really excited to be doing this, not so much of the cooking, but just to prove my mom wrong for saying I am useless ( 14 years old can be such a tool ). I went back and did exactly what my neighbor said and while I am doing it, I tried my best to remember what are the taste like if my mom were to cook it, the texture and the colors. When I am finally satisfied, I off the fire from the wok and put it in the serving bowl. So the main dish is done, but we are used to having at least 3 dishes each day. So for my second dish, I decided to make egg omelet with onions. After tackling the complicated curry fish, making the omelet is piece of cake. So finally I have 2 dishes and I didn’t care anymore for the 3rd dish. So for tonight, our household will eat 2 dishes whether my dad or siblings like it or not.


I was quite anxious to see the reaction of my dad and my elder brother. My elder brother was in school with his sports activities at the time I had my confrontation with my mom. I kept telling him proudly that I cooked the dinner but he just doesn’t want to believe me. On the first bite, my dad started laughing. I was taken aback at his reaction. I thought I did a good job and thought he didn’t like it. My dad and my brothers¬† finished the dishes without any complaints. I noticed they just ate it like how they would eat my mom’s cooking.

Later that night my mom finally cool down and so did I. My dad asked me to go upstairs and apologize to my mom and he also explained to me that my mom might be stressed from office work and when she comes home, she still need to clean up the house and cook for us. I felt really bad at that point when my dad mentioned all these to me. I suddenly felt ashamed of myself for being a major prick and I went upstairs to apologize to my mom and asked her to go downstairs to taste my cooking.

She accepted my apologies and came out from her room and started to taste what I’ve prepared. Her reaction was the same as my dad and she started laughing too. So I made the conclusion that the food sucks and I don’t really care as I never aspired to be a chef anyways.

Next few days during dinner ( wasn’t me cooking this time ), my mom told me that she was surprise that I managed to prepare the dishes. My dad also agreed with my mom. She then finally gave me more valuable tips on how to even make it better. Since Asian never really praise their kids for anything during those days, I think is a save bet to assume that they were actually praising me for my effort. That’s how I got into cooking my first meal.

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