Monday, March 21, 2011

Cooking

Written on October 12, 2007

     They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.   Before Alvin and I got married, I told myself that I will be the best cook for my husband.  I have only one problem - I don’t know how to cook!  Well, that was 5 years ago. Humility aside,  I would like to think  I have improved a lot in my cooking .
   
     The first time I tried to prepare a meal was when Alvin and I were just dating.  Alvin said he’ll come over and I told myself, "Why don’t I make Tacos for merienda?". And so I did. I poured a cupful (!) of oil in the pan,  placed the garlic, onion and the ground beef for sauteing, then waited for the meat to turn brown. (I did not put salt, well, I thought it was not necessary)… then Voila! I thought it was perfect. My Taco filling tasted like beef with oil soup.   I was in  a tight fix because I had bragged a few hours earlier that I would cook a surprise for Alvin.  I cannot retract what I said anymore.  So when Alvin arrived, I gave him my Tacos … with just a little beef, I placed lettuce, tomato and overflowing cheese hoping that it would cloak the taste of the beef.  I was thankful when he finished it (but he didn’t ask for more - lol!) and he said it was delicious. Though I know it was not, I was thankful for the fact that he appreciated what I did.

    I never tried to cook again after that disastrous evening — until we were married.  I know I would have to learn to cook, and I don’t want to just learn how to cook but be good at it for my husband.  A friend of mine, knowing my dilemma, gave me a recipe book before my wedding day.  (Thank you, Alma!)

    The morning after our wedding, we were in our apartment in Pasay, I said I want to cook for him.  As I browsed the recipe book the easiest recipe I saw was ‘Monggo Guisado’  and it was one of Alvin’s favorites.  I bought all the ingredients, prepared them and followed every step by the letter.  But there was one thing the author forgot to write,  she didn’t say that I had to stir it once in a while and add a little water to prevent it from drying up and getting burned.   And so we were left with a potful of my very own ‘burned humble bean stew’. (T’was humble, indeed).  I felt sorry for myself  for that was my first  cooking venture as a wife and it failed.  I wanted to cry then but  Alvin comforted me.  He tasted it and said it still tastes good.  We ate it for lunch and dinner and threw away what remained.  He encouraged me  that what happened was understandable because it was my first time.   Am I not blessed to have Alvin as my husband?   That encouragement made me strive harder to cook better.

    Since I still do not know how to estimate the amount of ingredients to put on the dishes, I had to follow what was written on the cookbook.  The next meals I prepared were not burned anymore but they were enough to feed an army!  .  If the cookbook says I have to use 1 kilo of chicken for 1 meal, then that’s what I used.  So it turned out that one dish would last us several days… (well, that’s a little exaggerated … but that was how it was during our first weeks together…lol!)
   
     Day after day, my cooking improved.   Now, I can cook several  dishes that I can call ‘my specialties’.  And I owe it to having a husband who never fails to encourage me to do my best in everything, and if I fail, he is always there to lift me up, and help me to move on.

LESSONS LEARNED:
    * As every food needs a little salt to taste better,  we, as Christians, need to be the salt of the earth. (Mt. 5:13)  We should be a testimony of God’s goodness. We should be God’s instruments to make this world a better world to live in.  As ’salt’ is to food, so are we, to the lives of the people around us.
    * No marriage is perfect but we can choose to rejoice always (1 Thess 5:16) in every and any circumstance in our marriage  in success and in failure (whether we have burned bean stew for dinner or not…)
    *Let us encourage our mates and build them up for "Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,
But a good word makes it glad." Prov12:25
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    I know that every ingredient I put in our marriage is important.  I just have to remember that the final output is always offered to my Lord so  I will, at all times, give it my best shot!
P.S.
Now, My husband says that my Tacos are more delicious than Taco Bell’s … and he can now eat a potful of my Humble Bean Stew … (well, that’s my husband’s opinion — and that ’s what matters to me )

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