There is always that one person we know that can cook just about anything, my mother is that one person. Sadly that gene must have skipped a generation, I am the worst cook imaginable. I have so many failing attempts in the kitchen that I lost count. The one I recall the most the first time I attempted to make dinner for my family. I was roughly twelve years old, and in my family, most girls my age were able to cook extravagant meals. At the time I could barely make an egg with our burning it, so it was a stressful first experience. In my dreams I am Martha Stewart but in reality I am a kitchen failure.
The first thing I do is I get all the ingredients and utensils I will need. A medium sized pan and pot, a strainer, noodles, a pound of ground beef and spaghetti sauce store bought of course- I don't even attempt to make my own, due to the fact that I might burn it which I've done in the past. When I start making the spaghetti I put the noodles in water and let them boil for a couple of minutes. As the noodles are cooking, I heat the sauce in the medium sized pan. I check in on the noodles and they seem a little under cooked so I leave them there for a couple more minutes.
When I assume the noodles are just right I check on them and find that all the water has evaporated and the noodles are burned at the bottom and suck together. I scrape off the bottom layer and leave it in the pot to cool down. For some reason it occurred to me to run a fork through the strand to see if I were able to separate them. At first it started to resemble the noodles, but I got a little carried away and ran the fork through to many times and the pieces were starting to come looking more like a pile of mushy-strand squash than noodles. You could notice the burnt taste to it but it was still edible .
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I was so grateful that there’s no one else here tonight other than my family that I had to feed. The next thing I do is check on the sauce, but what my mother didn’t tell me was that I had to keep the burner on a low temperature to prevent the sauce from burning. I ended up ruining the pot in the end but my mom ended up saving the sauce by add extra spices to the sauce a crushed clove of garlic. Then she mixed a 1 teaspoon of peanut butter into the sauce. As much as I consider my mom to be the next "Martha Stewart" none of her tricks were able to save that pot.
The next thing that I did after the sauce was fixed I started on the ground beef, it didn’t know that as it heat up some of the oils off of it would jump up and might burn you, and as I was trying to stir the bread I was to scared of getting burned that I didn’t move it was much as I should have. And that caused some parts to be to be over cooked and others to be under cooked. There was no saving the meat from that, but my mother assumed this would happen- the lack in faith in her was a little insulting but I have to say it was good that she that she thought ahead and bought an extra pound of ground beef.
My second attempt turned out better, not just because I made an excuse to leave the room almost every time I had to stir the meat. Then the spaghetti is done, I moved on to making in garlic bread. I assumed that the bread would be easier to make than the spaghetti, I was wrong. The way my mother does it is she makes homemade paste that does on the bread. For the paste I was suppose to use only one clove of garlic but I used two. Then to make it worse when I put it in the oven to get warm and golden I was supposed to keep it in the oven for at least five minutes and when I took them out the ends were burnt so badly they turned black.
After scrapping off the burnt off I have to say they weren't that bad. The only thing that I can think of is that I could have done better was keeping an eye on the food. Also not asking for help when needed and in result burning most of the meal. But to be honest, I’m not sure whether something went wrong or whether it was my high expectations that I set for myself that were off of how the meal would turn out, but considering that it was my first time cooking I think I did a decent job.
Now at the age of seventeen, I've prepared all the foods I learned from watching my mom over the past years. Chicken and various pastas are also easy to prepare as someone still learning. I know my limits as a cook and don't take on foods I'm not ready to prepare. Whether I'm making my own dishes or following a family recipe, I find experimentation a fun alternative when I have time to play around the kitchen- with the help of my mother of course. These aren't the most difficult foods to make, but its unique practice for a first-time cook.
You don't have to enjoy cooking, but if you make it fun, then the process may not seem so difficult. I learned that It's also important to not feel overwhelmed when booking and to have fun, and it also could be a good stress reliever. Otherwise, you may be tempted to just order out every night, which will become a costly expense over time. I've only been cooking for a short period of time, but I already feel at home in the kitchen. The oven is no longer a dark, scary dungeon to me, and the microwave is for cooking as a last resort. It's necessary to keep an open-mind in the kitchen.
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