Opening my Nintendo Ds to play one of my favorite game called Cooking Mama, the game is about mastering dishes. Every time I would play, I always imagined how it would be like to cook in real life, if it was this easy. I became very intrigued with this game and also watched cooking shows with my brothers, this is where I developed my very first interests in cooking. However, my middle-aged mother at the time was the main influence in my fascination, because I would always be in the kitchen watching her cook so many traditional Mexican foods. On one specific day coming home from elementary school, as soon as I stepped into the house it felt like I was in Mexico in my grandpa’s kitchen, the aroma was delicious, I had asked my mom saying, “Mama, que hiciste de comer hoy? Vuele muy rico!” then she answered, “Hice sopa de fideo, tu favorito mija,” as soon as she said that my face lit up and I sat down awaiting my bowl of soup. When she put it in front of me, I picked up my spoon and began to eat. It tasted as good as it smelled and a thought came to my mind, how does she do it? How does she combine the right amount of ingredients to get this? I then asked, “Ma me puedes enenes a cocinar?” she responded with, “No mija todavia estas chica para cocinar ahorita mejor cuando estes mas grande, mientras me puedes mirar haciendo la comida y te excplico lo que hago,” when she said that, I was very sad but, at least she let me continue observing her.
When I turned twelve, my mom taught me how to make my first dish, which was sopa de fideo, just because that’s something I constantly watched her do. To get started I put a good amount of oil in the pan, set the temp on high, and finally pour the fideo in and every 30 seconds I had to stir it so it wouldn’t burn. While that was cooking, I needed to make the sauce, my mother told me to blend the following ingredients; two tomatoes, half an onion, two pieces of garlic, two spoons of knorr chicken powder, and then add 3½ cups of water. I knew it was time to pour the sauce in because I always saw her pour it once the fideo turns to a golden-brown color and when I checked the fideo it was somewhat burned but, I still poured the sauce and more water to fill the pan because she always told me to add water to even out the flavor. Once I did that, I stirred it a little, put the lip on the pot and just checked on it every 15 minutes. In about one hour of cooking I checked to make sure that the fideo was soft but, when I checked it was a weird texture since it was burned but, it was done so I turned off the stove and let it sit for another 10 minutes so it can cool. I was anxious to try my first dish and so was my mom, she seemed so proud and was surprised at how much I payed attention in her cooking. It was time, we both served ourselves and sat at the kitchen table, we began to dig in. “OMG!! (said with a spanish accent) Mija esto te quedo bueno, pero para la ottra trata de tener la lumber mas bajq para que no se queme el fideo” said my mother and I responded with, “Okay pues para la otra le pongo mas baja.” After I was done eating, I realized that cooking wasn’t as hard but, wasn’t easy either because you have to multitask and also know what temperature to keep cook certain food on. The more I made this dish the better I got and the more comfortable I got too cooking in a routine.
The second dish that I made was a potato soup recipe from someone on YouTube but, I still had my mom help me if needed anything. The first step was to wash, peel, and cut the potatoes in small bite size pieces into a cooking pot to boil with water and when the potatoes were soft, I had to add some knorr chicken powder to it and on a seprate pan cook onion, garlic, butter, and flour but, when I did this the constancy had to be thick and flowy and mine came out thick and clumpy, I asked my mom what to do and she suggested to add some water from the potatoes to see if that changes the clumps. To my luck it did help, once that was ready, I added it to the potatoes and mixed it well. Next, was the bacon and to cook it I just used the previous pan. Cooking the bacon took less than 15 minutes to make and when they were done, I put them to the side. Right after the bacon, I added the milk and cheese to the pot once that boiled, I added the bacon the and mixed well, so I thought. While that was cooking my mother added chopped broccoli to make it less plain but, when she stirred it in she noticed clumps of cheese at the bottom of the pot and she told me, “Mija abajo de la olla hay boals de queso, para la otra mescal la comida mientras pones el queso para que no se haga asi,” and I said, “Okay mama.” After 15 minutes of it cooking it was time to eat. My mom served both us and my brothers as well. As everyone took their first bites everyone loved it, the only thing was that my mom told me to cut the onion smaller but other than that the soup was amazing. The same thing with the fideo happened, the more I made it the better it got and grew even more comfortable cooking especially because I got to experiment with new ingredients.
Where am I with my cooking now you may ask? Well, to this day I am still learning and practicing how to be better at cooking but personally, I don’t think cooking is something that you will ever stop learning new things about because new recipes always come up, maybe there good or maybe there bad but you will never know unless you constantly try or practice to make it better the next time.
In conclusion, learning how to cook taught me so many things, for example; there’s trial and error, practice makes perfect, and that patience is key to cooking. I say this because the more you practice something the better you get at it because you have made mistake after mistake and learn from it. This too can also corollate to the saying, “practice makes perfect,” because the more time you spend doing something the more willing you are to take on different recipes the more food you know complement each other for creating new recipes. Overall, learning how to cook showed me a new way to express my feelings productively and it is something that I don’t think I will ever stop doing because it is becoming more of a fulltime hobby of mine.