How I Found My Way to the Kitchen

My very first kitchen essentials
Truth be told, I'm a picky eater. I didn't like vegetables growing up and I always go for the usual - fast-food and lutong bahay from the nearest carinderia. My lola, my mom, and my titas are great cooks hence the pressure to know some of their recipe. And since I'm a picky eater, I tried cooking for myself (initially), from scratch, from ingredients I personally like.

I grew up with my lola acing the kitchen with her home-made dishes crafted from her inventions and experiments. I always watched her cooking but never really had the chance to navigate the kitchen until I went an independent living and... ahem. fell in love. Hahaha!

I started from the most basic of all... frying! Of course, there goes the kids' favorite - hot dogs. Then it grew to luncheon meat, logganisa, tocino, and eggs. Hehe. When I was living solo, I tend to eat at fast-food restaurants or ~posh~ restaurants alone or with friends. I outgrew every little menu they have and I decided to live healthy... eat healthy (in addition, I got tired dismantling a dish just because I don't eat some of its sahog). I went running, biking, and tried a lot of different physical sports, so the way to have a well-balanced diet was also a must. Mind you, I also subscribed to healthy food delivery offerings to support my healthy diet.

I started overtaking the kitchen even before I got engaged. It's rewarding to make something out from different ingredients we see in the grocery or in the market and convert it to a delicious meal. Comments (good ones) are also fulfilling!

I tried easy recipes on the internet and I also explored more. Here are some of the points how I found my way to the kitchen:

1. Read, read, and read

I like reading. I'm more likely to bum in a place and read books than go partying. I'm tita like that. To get to know all the easy recipes to try, I always try to read the instructions, pointers how they are done, and tips on how to do it better.

2. Experiment

Like I've said, I'm a picky eater, and at the same time, I don't like wasting food as well. For those ingredients included that I know I can't take (Hahaha!), I always try to look for a better alternative (well, at least for me and for those who I will serve the dishes to)... simply because, I don't want anything to be set aside on the plate and will go to waste after.

To maneuver the kitchen, one must know how to experiment and try something new. I try to innovate recipes, change some condiments, or add more ingredients, to make it appear more like ME. Do not be afraid to try.

3. Taste, taste, and taste

I always like tasting the food when I'm cooking. I don't stop until I get the specific flavor that I want. I always check whether the meat is a-go, the vegetables are already cooked, and the soup is properly seasoned.

4. Learn from your mistakes

Hahaha! We can learn something from every failure. I'm not a perfect kusinera and of course, there are days that my cooking is awful. Maybe because of too much soy sauce, less garlic, or whatever more or less. Yet, I always take the lesson with me. And by the next time I try cooking that specific dish again, it's closer to perfection. Naks! Hahaha!

5. Watch and Learn

I like watching cooking shows but I like watching my lola, titas and my uncle's kasambahay cook even more. I learn a lot from them by simply watching. I try to write recipes and pointers so I don't forget.

6. Be yourself's best critic

I don't settle for pwede na yan. I always try to improve on processes or steps that I weren't able to champion during my last try.

But remember, don't be too harsh on yourself and pat yourself on the back when you did great. You deserve it!!

7. Cook happily

When I'm low and I know that I can't afford to serve a hearty dish, I skip cooking. Know that cooking with your happy heart can make the dish more delicious. Your emotions can influence the food you are serving.

These are just few of my navigation pointers in the kitchen. I'm officially a tita, I guess. It has become that....grocery is my paradise and the kitchen is my sanctuary. Hahaha! And my next stop...BAKING!

I'll be more than happy if you can share your own recipes here. And if you can also give me some personal tips in the kitchen that you live by! Also, pointers about baking please!! :)

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