My friend R and I were hanging out the other night, talking about all sorts of wifely/womanly things, from working out to meal plans. We’re pretty opposite as far as taste in food and style of cooking but it’s great to hear her ideas and how she cooks for her and her husband. R, I’m proud of us both! Eating more vegetables and whatnot, and feeding our husbands to their satisfaction.
I was telling R that my goals in cooking, besides the obvious (eating healthier, cheaply and well!), are: that I want to learn more of what things taste good with what, like in spices and vegetables; that I want to eat more vegetables and prepare them in such a way that I would enjoy them; and that I want to cook without using a formulaic recipe. I’ve been venturing out more and more these last couple of years, taking a basic recipe and adding my own spin to the ingredients (i.e. cheap substitutions!). Both my parents, D and L, are brilliant cooks. My mom tends to follow recipes more than my dad, and well, my dad – he’s amazing. Just eye-balls everything. I’ve asked him how to make some traditional Filipino dishes and he’s like, oh just add a pinch of this and a pinch of that, as I roll my eyes. Yeah, like how big or small is a pinch?!
My dad has always been my example, in many ways. He is a man of strength, physically and spiritually – and he draws his strength and most importantly, joy, from the Lord. He was the first one to tell me about Jesus Christ and the Bible. He has taught me so much. Especially with food-related things.
Alas, when I was younger and living under my parents’ roof, I never took notice of how they cooked – I just enjoyed the free food! And now, I wish I paid more attention. But back to the matter at hand . . .
My dad has been my example when it comes to cooking. And tonight, I think I would make him proud.
I have reached a milestone.
During lunch today as I ate another falafel sandwich, I started crazing more Mid-East-type food. At our favorite Mediterranean restaurant, they serve this amazing chicken – I have been inspired. So I quickly made a marinade for chicken tenderloins, just throwing some spices here and there, plus the ever-loved lemon juice and olive oil. I didn’t follow a recipe, but just started thinking about the spices that I like and thought that they’d go together, always keeping the taste of said restaurant chicken in the back of my mind. Fast forward to tonight, I sauteed mushrooms and onions in a little oil and threw the marinated chicken in there after a while. We ate it with brown rice and more tzatziki sauce.
I really hope that I don’t sound like I am bragging, because I promise you, I am not (I still have so much to learn about cooking!). But I am just amazed that I’ve reached this milestone of on-the-fly cooking, not following a recipe and the dish actually tasting great (ahem, I’ve had a few mishaps with cooking here and there – my husband has been gracious in those times and ate whatever I placed before him). I really was a tad nervous that the chicken would not taste good so I only made a small batch, as you can see in the picture.
Ahhh, dear Lord, thank you for food and for the great things you made on this earth for us to enjoy.
B has already requested this for his birthday dinner.