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When you are little you think you can do anything, I learned that’s false the hard way. As a child I saw the kitchen as a safe place to be in I later found out that is not very true.  Growing up in my household the kitchen was a place where the whole family gathered around to enjoy themselves  and chat while  enjoying  delicious  meals that are savored in the dining room. As I became older, I realized my only role in the cuisine was eating it I knew that should change. I appreciated food and spending time in the kitchen so much. I decided I was old enough to learn on my own, so I decided to make some eggs easy right? Currently, it was early in the morning I was ten years old had never been close to a stove or part of the kitchen before and did what I remembered my parents doing from memory.I oiled up a pan, turned on the stove ,cracked my eggs in a bowl,mixed them then poured them into my warmed pan. In what felt like a blink of an eye while I got distracted by the TV for a second. I went from having runny eggs to having ruined my food that was also  half on fire. When I saw this, I tuned off the stove I carried a burning pan to the sink and put it under running water this caused huge amounts of smoke to fill my kitchen causing the fire alarm to ring and it awakened my parents. As you can imagine I was in big trouble my parents yelled and were very scared for me “you could have been hurt!” “why didn’t you ask us to help you!” “it is dangerous! You don’t know how to do this yet! you should have asked!” from that day on I made the decision to ask my Mother to teach me so I could learn to cook safely and as good as Mom did. I never could have imagined all the caution,  work, skill,  and danger it would take to create what I enjoyed most about the kitchen the food. 

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My mother is a forty year old, Latina, she is hardworking and the best cook she inspired me to want to learn this ability of cooking properly. Having a homemade meal every day is a routine that is never broken in my household.  Both my parents work every day but my mother would most of the time make room to have a second shift at home that involved cleaning and cooking and spending time with family.I took the initiative to spend more time in the kitchen just like my mother and ask her what I could help her with while she prepared our meals of each day. This way I was still safe and learned new cooking skills every day. I always thought it was easy to cook because my mother made it look painless. For example, I would watch her flipping tortillas on the hot comal with only her hands the first time I attempted that I got a huge blister on my finger. When my mother would warn me “you can never afford to be distracted when using the dangerous machinery of the kitchen” I wouldn’t take it seriously until the miscalculations happened to me. After learning the basics of the kitchen when I was younger like cleaning dishes, seasoning food, shredding cheese or peeling a potato,stirring a pot and other child safe practices the older I grew the more recipes and methods I was eager to observe as well as learn to do. My mother decided I was finally old enough to start getting close to the heat and dangerous tools when I was fourteen. At this time, I was once and for all allowed to cook and a approach a hot stove. I was extremely excited because my mom said, “are you ready to cook some homemade chicken Alfredo pasta with me?”. We started with getting all the ingredients out and turning on a pot in my mind I was a professional sous chef ready to show my mother that I was ready for this. Instead of that happening I had to face the fact that I was not at all prepared for the risks a person takes to cook good food .The water was boiling hot and as I poured the uncooked pasta into the hot water it created a splash that burned the side of my hand it did hurt a bit but when my mother noticed she made a big deal she told me  “Take a break! I will finish up cooking the food.” but that wasn’t stopping me I told her  “I will only learn how to do it by doing it. I’m not in pain.”. We finished up our pasta by sautéing the chicken, making the sauce with a cheese blend and boiling vegetables to finally mix all together. In the end, it was one of the best pastas I have ever eaten because I learned how to do make it with my mother. There was plenty of these incidents where I accidentally hurt myself when I started the process of learning this literacy, so I needed to learn to do things even safer like understand when to use a oven mit and so much more . In the end the meals I made were memorable and the lessons I learned even more memorable. 

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A few years after that I am now seventeen and for the first time decide to make one of my mother’s recipes that is my favorite. I tell my family to expect a home cooked meal made by only me. I start the recipe and I thought it was all manageable.  I was making chiles rellenos with a side of rice and beans and some salsa. This recipe consists of chili poblano peppers stuffed with cheese that are coated in a whipped egg mixture batter and then fried in lots of oil. My mother warned me “it is an advanced recipe so do it diligently” “con cuidado mija” to which I said, “yes I know I know”. I finished making my beans and Mexican rice those were easy because I had learned the right way to make them by creating these dishes plenty of times before .It was time for the most difficult part of the recipe which was to deep fry my first batch of  chiles rellenos. I finally put the chilis in the pot that was a mistake. What I didn’t know since it was my first time making the recipe alone is that the oil in the pot can get too hot and bubble so it can overflow if too much oil is added in this can cause a grease fire and it happened to me! It was my worst nightmare that could have occurred when making this recipe for the first time. The oil began to heat up slowly and then quickly arose to sweltering heat. As it bubbled to the point of spilling over the pan the fire lit up my whole stove and kitchen with hot temperatures. The grease fire, set off the fire alarm, scared my mother who was in the next room  terribly, I got away from it and screamed as if all hell broke loose “FIRE! FIRE! HELP!” my dad screamed from the living room “What is going on!” “WHATS ON FIRE IN THE KITCHEN!” soon enough he ran in to turn off the fire with an  extinguisher we keep nearby . In my household we were prepared  for this possibility because of all the prior incidents I have had. I started this literacy process by getting accidentally scraped, cut, burned, creating fires, burning food etc. After the fact I didn’t give up I just cleaned up the mess started again and learned to ask for help every step of the way until I master it enough in the future to do it alone. In the end my family still got to eat my delicious homemade food and I practiced my abilities. 

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After the bad experiences I just remind myself of what my mother always says, “There is always something new to learn you are not done yet. “and “you will learn by practicing each task.”. Any chance I could get I would take the opportunity to cook firsthand and if I ever think I could do it wrong I ask for help from my mom. In my experience I could not believe how fast things can go bad if you are not handling possibly dangerous machinery with care. There are tools in everyone’s own kitchen that can be used for good the right way or cause harm if mishandled. Safety comes first during cooking I underestimated that fact and had to learn to make sure to be aware of what I do and how I’m doing it. With experience and knowledge, I became more efficient in handling these different devices in the kitchen.When I first started I knew all my the battle scars would be worth it because now I can say I know how to cook and how use the kitchen. I can now bake in the oven, barbecue on a grill, fry with hot dangerous oil and practice new methods safely. I am no longer the cause of danger to others in the kitchen because I learned the correct techniques. If I learned by first getting interested, then asking about it and lastly by starting to do it with the help of someone anyone can do it too. It is important to know how to be safe when in the kitchen and even better to know how to feed yourself and loved ones the best quality of food.

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