This week’s prompt is: Cooking Skills
First of all I must admit that I’m not a dedicated cook. I cook when I have to. In the past I had a love for baking which has also frizzled out with time.
My culinary journey started around age 13-14. I and my younger brother would go to the kitchen when the elders had retired for the night and we cooked up treats for ourselves. French fries, pakoras, parathas, French toasts…. We made whatever we could find the ingredients for at home and then we cleaned up leaving no trace of our activity. These were our secret forays in cooking, unauthorized you can say.
I discovered my mom’s cookbooks when I was in grade 9-10 and the mouth-watering pictures in those of cakes and pies etc made me interested in baking. I started trying out these recipes for which I could find the ingredients. Remember it was around 45-50 years back and we could only get basic ingredients.
I tried out different cakes, pies, desserts , donuts etc from these cookbooks. Gradually I became quite good at baking. I tried making breads, buns, rolls, muffins and cookies, which were quite good too.
When I got married I could bake pretty well but couldn’t cook traditional Pakistani food. My mother in law taught me basics of cooking curries etc and since she was a great cook, I too learned to cook well. But it was not my passion and I used to cook only when I had to. We always had someone to help in the house, and it included cooking. On special occasions like Eid or a birthday, I’d make a meal but since I wasn’t very keen on cooking, my interest soon diminished.
Right now I live with my elder daughter and am in charge of menu planning and occasional cooking. My specialties are haleem, biryani, chicken tikka masala, and parathas. I do bake an occasional cake or brownies but due to diet considerations, these are rare occasions.
As for mistakes during cooking, they are not very entertaining but numerous. The kids always eat if I’ve cooked a meal and even praise it. I remember in school we had to make pistachio ice cream once and it was so horrible that it had to be all thrown away!
Thanks Lauren for this lovely journey back in time.