My First Cooking Experience Essay

Like many firsts in life, this has the unmistakable label of adventure written all over it.

It was a typical hot summery Sunday in Trichy, circa 1970. We lived in a boisterous family, overflowing with severals aunts, uncles and their children – a family so large that often in the conundrum of daily chores people routinely forgot who else lived in the house and what the children were up to. My father, an engineer in the Department of Telecom (DoT) was the supposed patriarch of the house, much feared by many children of the house for being a disciplinarian but extremely kind at heart.

He made it a practice to buy us Chocobar ice cream (which costed just 75 paise in those glorious days) every Sunday.

On this particular Sunday in the summer of 1970, when the Ice Cream Vendor came along with his bell, the whole family suddenly discovered that I had gone missing from home…well, not just home but apparently from the entire locality. I wasn’t indulging in my regular Sunday games.

Meanwhile a couple of kilometers away in a dry thorny forested area, two little heads with twin pigtails each were bobbing over a fire. My friend Gomathi and I had decided that 9 years was a good enough age to venture into cooking and we weren’t prepared to take the “no’s” we’d hear from our family. We were itching to cook – and our mothers and aunts wouldn’t allow us to even enter the kitchen.

So, as I was telling you, on this hot afternoon of a 1970 Sunday, we stole some chutney dal, sugar and a couple of utensils from the house. We built an aduppu (stove in tamil) with some stones and made a fire with the twigs, and made ourselves Kadalai Urundai (Chutney Dal Laddoos).

The laddoos turned out really yummy , though no one has had a whiff of them for all these thirty seven years.

We returned home after a good five hours of relishing this exciting experience. I slowly merged into the large overflowing family – no one really prodded me much – I had a hundred friends and could anytime easily pass off by saying I was with x,y or z.

Besides I was hardly at home on Sundays, except for ice cream (Ah, there are so many more adventures to share 🙂 ).

What about your first cooking experience?

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged adventure, childhood memories, cooking, life | 10 Comments

600 + miles away from my family, I decided to start making more foods from scratch!  My first attempt in the fall of 2007, just a few months into our marriage was an apple pie!

Isn't it beautiful?  I was so proud I even called my grandma :)

This experience helped me to realize that cooking from scratch isn't hard, and that I actually enjoyed it!

I started by stocking my kitchen, and then found a natural fit for me with menu planning. I'm a planner by nature (just ask Frog Prince), so picking meals and planning them came really easy to me. After just a few weeks that menu planning helped (1) reduce the stress around "what's for dinner", (2) know what ingredients I need from the grocery store, and (3) greatly reduce our grocery budget!

Cooking has become almost a therapy for me… I love it. It’s become a hobby during my time in grad school; it’s a place for me to be creative and try something new (and often with some success).

For someone who has a food allergy, God has blessed me by giving me joy in my kitchen. With my personal allergy experience, I’m always looking for ways to cook that allow me, and others with allergies to eat freely. Going out to eat can often be challenging when you have a food allergy, and as a result, I’ve found joy in food again by creating and experimenting in my own kitchen.

God has given us foods to enjoy and through my time in the kitchen, He has taught me more about myself.

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