Look, Ma! I Can Cook!

I almost didn’t participate in today’s daily prompt. My intention is to write content that is lighthearted and fun to read. Writing a letter to my mom seemed like such a loaded topic, and I was afraid I’d lose all my followers. There is, however, something I’ve really been wanting to write about but haven’t found the right segue… until now!

This week, my boyfriend began working as a server/bartender, a big change from his usual 9 to 5 in the engineering field. With David not around to do all the cooking (Yes, I know I’m spoiled.), I’ve had to step in and–gasp!–do some cooking myself. And since we have committed to eating healthy, whole foods, I couldn’t just whip something up in the microwave or order some takeout.

Unfortunately, I never learned to cook at home. My mom did all the cooking and never seemed to want help, even though she complained every single day about how much she absolutely hated it. I remember her telling my sister and me that she was forced to help my grandmother, who practically lived in the kitchen, with the cooking at the age of five. Perhaps she wanted to spare my siblings and me from the “misery” of cooking, or maybe she is just one of those people who don’t know how or when to ask for help. I will never fully understand her reasoning, but the bottom line is that I was never taught how to cook.

As an adult, living on my own, I’d say the fanciest meal I made is rice with beans. And by that, I mean I threw some rice and water in the rice cooker and warmed up a can of beans. I was convinced (perhaps through brainwashing?) that cooking is a tedious and unrewarding chore, so I avoided it as much as possible. But here I am in my 30’s, living with David, who is a great cook and actually enjoys it, and I have to tackle the challenge of preparing wholesome, satisfying meals for us both. Yikes….

In this past few days, though, I have made several dinners, all surprisingly easy. And–dare I say it–I may have actually enjoyed the process. I’m proud of how well they turned out and proud of myself for having created something delicious with my own hands that I could share with someone I love. David, as expected, was super appreciative and happily ate every bite. In fact, we had an argument this week because he didn’t save any meatballs for the next day’s lunch.

What this experience has taught me is that, though I may never be the kind of girl obsessed with cooking, like my grandma, I also don’t have to hate it the way my mom does. I can have my own relationship with the kitchen.

In lieu of writing a letter, I would like to send the following text:

“Look, mom! I made it myself!”

Baked rosemary sage chicken legs, roasted carrots, and a kale and mixed greens salad with homemade lemon-tahini dressing.

Baked rosemary sage chicken legs, roasted carrots, and a kale and mixed greens salad, avocado, and homemade lemon-tahini dressing


About Paola Mata

Mobile Developer @BuzzFeed. Co-founder of NYC Tech Latinas. Follow me: @PaolaNotPaolo

Posted on December 14, 2012, in Humor, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Even though my mother is a fantastic cook, I never learned until I moved overseas, and it was sink or swim. Now I can even make my own cottage cheese . . . which I’ll do the second they run out of it at the store.

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