Cooking Up Some Bad Eggs
Cooking is an essential part of life. Whether someone does it for you, or you do it yourself, eventually you will encounter the art of cooking and preparing food in your life. Since food is a necessity, and only a scarce amount of food tastes delicious unprepared, cooking is a large part of all of our lives, especially in college. For myself, the story of cooking begins at the age of 10. After coming home following one long day in the 6th grade, I sat down on my couch and started to analyze when my mom would be home from work to bring me food or make me some food, mac and cheese specifically. After about 5 minutes the phone rang, and I received some horrific, heart breaking news for a young hungry boy; “I wont be home for dinner Matthias, you’ll have to be content with fruit until I get home”. “But MOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!” I cried, “Man cannot live by fruit alone!”. “Men also cook for themselves”, my mom answered swiftly.
To this day, I don’t remember what happened that caused her to be late, even though my mother explained it to me, because all I could think about was the fact that I was going to “starve” and most likely die because I wouldn’t have any food for hours. That’s the way it seemed at least, and forced me into a decision. Do I wait it out and distract myself with video games? Or do I venture into the unknown and take the challenge of learning to cook for myself. Up until this point in my life, I had always been provided for. Someone would bring home food, someone would take me to go get food, or someone would make me food. This predicament gave me a huge reality check, that I was way too dependent on my parents. My original plan was to walk to the McDonalds right down the street and get a two tasty cheeseburgers from the dollar menu. Unfortunately, that day I spent the only money I had on a giant bag of candy to enjoy during my math class, so I was flat broke. Another problem was that my time during lunch at school was spent doing homework for my following class because I hadn’t done it. The hunger I was experiencing at the moment of my decision was very intense, and motivated me to accept the challenge of making my own food. I decided to do some quick research, and found that the easiest thing to cook (according to the internet) was an egg. After watching a three minute video, I became confident in my skills as a chef, and went downstairs to start on my journey to freedom. I turned on the stove and grabbed a glass of oil to grease the pan just as the video had said, and spread it lightly onto the surface of the pan. I cracked the egg in and began to scramble it, and within minutes it appeared to be cooked. The smell of warm moist egg and success flooded my house I scooped up the egg with grace and placed it on my plate and flooded it with salt and ketchup, and took a giant forkful before I could realize that I left some pieces of shell inside. It tasted like wet cardboard and paper bag with a dash of living room couch. Due to my hunger, I didn’t even taste the pieces of shell and although it wasn’t nearly as good as I wanted it to be, the satisfaction of being independent and making my own meal was enough for me. Later on I discovered that the “oil” which I assumed was canola, was actually stagnant bacon grease, and I don’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
Learning how to cook an egg was the beginning of my hobby for being a chef. Soon I perfected my egg-cooking skills, and began to move on to cooking more complicated things such as mac and cheese, and microwaveable meals. Each meal I learned to prepare, I treated it as if I was learning how to cook an egg all over again. I made things as simple as possible and built on those simplistic ideas to form more complicated recipes that suited my own tastes and desires. For example, cooking bacon is pretty easy, right? But for myself, I like adding some spices to my bacon when I’m cooking the bacon to be used in a sandwich or bigger recipe. I also use a different temperature to bring out a different texture in the bacon in order for it to go better with its counterpart. Although to be honest with myself, the reason why I enjoy cooking so much is because I enjoy food a lot more. Literacy in cooking is the same with literacy in anything else, English, math, science, baseball, driving, you have to start with what you know, and build on it. I didn’t know much about cooking an egg, but I took time to research and study and gain knowledge on the subject. Most people think you need a teacher or a parent or some other person of that kind to teach you literacy in anything you want to learn, but the truth is all you need is yourself and the brain you were created with to problem solve, become knowledgeable, creative, and literate.
Everyone will encounter cooking in their lives. It is an inevitability because we all have to eat, and most of us don’t want to eat McDonalds forever. My literacy in cooking all came from the one day I was hungry enough to try something new, and take a new step in life, which was teaching myself how to cook. Out of the all the things I have learned, this is such a big part of my life that the narrative of this story will always stay in my mind. As of today, I use this skill nearly every day of my life, and I will until the day I die, and I will always remember the first bite of the very first meal I cooked; a warm, fresh, salty scrambled egg.