There are few hobbies I enjoy as much as cooking. Growing up, cooking was always a big part of our lives as children. Whether it was simply making breakfast or preparing Christmas dinner, my sisters and I were always looking for new ways to outdo ourselves. As children we grew up knowing that food was very important to live full and productive lives. We were taught the importance of nutrition, our parents made sure that we spent time to nourish our bodies in order to operate at our maximum capacity. As adults we have grown to appreciate this, and we all enjoy cooking as a hobby. Cooking is something that brings back many memories of spending time with my family and it is a hobby I love sharing with my friends whenever I get a chance. There is nothing more special that sharing something that you love with the people that you love.
One of the main reasons I like cooking is that it gives me a platform to be creative. When I am cooking, I can make slight tweaks that make a significant difference with the whole recipe. Whetherit’s adding coconut flakes to banana bread, or using thyme to my chili sauce. I love that I can experiment and try new things; there is almost a sense of freedom in knowing that I have no restrictions placed on me. Sometimes these recipes don’t come out as planned, like when I made pineapple chicken, never trying that one again! However it has led to some interesting discoveries, like when I used turkey instead of beef for my meatballs. Now that’s the only way I make my meatballs! Cooking allows me to challenge myself to work with ingredients or recipes that I am not comfortable with. The first time I tried making tofu I was nervous about how to get the flavor right, I was scared that it wouldn’t be tasty enough. I wasn’t sure I would like the soft texture. However after a few hits and misses I finally found several fresh ways to make tofu really stand out. There are other times when I try a new method of cooking, like deep frying or grilling. I will never forget the first time I deep-friedchicken, I remember thinking to myself “Don’t burn yourself please!” But since that first time I have become a pro at it. These days I can go into the kitchen with no plans and use what’s in the fridge to create an amazing meal. The ability to create something out of nothing fuels my creativity and makes me love cooking that much more every day.
There is something about cooking that helps me to disconnect from the world, even if it’s just for a moment. When I start to cook I am fully engaged. I think about how much food I need to make, what ingredients I am using, how I want to cook it, all these questions seem to consume me at once. The truth is I like that feeling of being completely immersed in cooking. For that brief moment I forget what assignments I have due, or what’s going on in the world. I can just focus on the task at hand and spend my energy preparing a tasty meal. I enjoy that feeling of stepping away from the world for a minute and getting in the zone. Although this seems obvious, I love cooking because I love to eat. I genuinely enjoy having a home cooked meal and eating good food, to me it is one of the treasures of life. Being able to sit and enjoy a nutritious and sumptuous meal is truly a blessing. Aside from this, I love being able to learn other types of cuisines and try it form myself. Not too long ago I had Japanese hot pot for the first time. For those of you who don’t know hotpot, essentially you are provided a tray of uncooked veggies and cuts of meat and you combine them in a steam pot of Japanese spices. The first time I had it I was mind blown! I never knew something like this existed. Going out and trying food from different cultures makes me want to learn more about their style of cooking. Most recently I have had the chance to sampleIndian and Malaysian cuisine and that has inspired me to want to make more dishes from these areas. I find that the more I expose myself to different cuisines the more inspired I am to incorporate these new styles into my own techniques.
I have to saw I like cooking most of all because it allows me to share a part of myself with others. I don’t know about anyone else but cooking to me is very personal. When someone takes that first bite of your meal there’s always a thought that flashes through your mind “Gosh I hope they like it”. No matter how many times I have cooked for people or myself), I my hope at the end of the day is that they find it appetizing. When you create something that people enjoy, no matter what it is, it is particular rewarding. It’s almost a sense of affirmation that you are on the right track. Sharing something that I have cooked with others is always a warming feeling to me because it’s a moment of connecting. Whether it’s just fried plantain or a pot of soup there is something fundamentally human about sharing a meal and connecting with another person. Cooking is without a doubt one of my greatest past times that has stayed with me for as long as I can remember. I love sitting down and remembering those moments spent with my family around the dinner table eating home cooked meals. It’s something that I will always treasure and hope to pass on to my own family one day. I hope to create those same special memories with them as I had with my own family.