Recent Development: Cooking

Are you still reading this? I haven’t stopped recording my days. But I’m getting more and more private every day. Sometimes I google myself and freak out at the search results. I prefer to write on paper, locked diaries. It’s safer. The things I think about are mostly no longer appropriate for public consumption. Or maybe they never have been, I just sucked so hard at discretion.

I have one major decision to make this year. Actually, I already made the decision, I just haven’t executed it yet. There’s some preparation I need to do first. One of such preparation is to save as much money as I can. It led me to another major decision. It’s major because I’m forced to break a habit and learn a new one. Stop dining out and start cooking.

My first attempt at fried sambal. I failed because I don’t have an ulekan. I turned it into spice for the chicken instead.

Boy, how I overspent in my first grocery shopping ever. I purchased big batch of raw food and ended up eating only half. Surprisingly, I didn’t struggle so much with the cooking. I admit I’ve only been cooking simple stuff. But it’s been more than a month in which I feed myself, and it feels like such an achievement!

I was so proud because it looked like the mashed potato I eat in pro restaurants.

Funny thing is I never thought cooking would help me to discover new things about myself. 1) I’m really good at following instruction. I was nervous in the beginning. What if everything I cook turns to shit and isn’t edible? What if I suddenly lose my literacy and cannot read the recipe? But I survived. I’m very good in interpreting the recipe and it’s enough to help me cook out something all right.

The first dish I made. Chicken curry, with a little bit of spinach, and brown rice. I’ve grown to be more confidence in improvising my recipes since the day this dish was made.

2) I dare to improvise. I dare to replace an ingredient with substitutes or other food I prefer. I even dare to cook something without a recipe. Just put everything into the pan based on what I think I know about each ingredient. And 3) it’s not as hard as I expected it would be. I put too much pressure on myself. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find I enjoy cooking.

Granted, I have only cooked for myself, so there’s no urgency to cook something nice for others. But last weekend I made up something for me and Rara and she said it was nice! Thank you so much for validating my new found skill, Rara.

I’ve been experimenting with chicken. Such an easy meat to process. I intend to tackle beef and salmon once I’m done with chicken. I also want to try baking. Many recipes I find require baking and it looks simple enough. I’ve found some sellers of mini ovens, but no one sells mini baking trays! I gotta look for the latter. I can imagine all the pastry I’m gonna go crazy with.

You might wonder how much I’ve been saving since I’ve started cooking. During the past month, I have saved 50% of my usual food budget. It also helps that I don’t eat that much. I should have started this last year so I could save more. If only I wasn’t so scared of cooking.

Forgive me for the food pictures. Not much of a looker, but I swear they’re edible. Other than cooking, there are also other new developments in my life. Each topic deserves its own post. Sometimes posting an entry here feels like talking to myself, but somehow there’s always one or two of you who tell me that you always drop by and I feel bad (a bit) for not updating anything haha so this post and the next ones are for you. ❤️

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