Growing up, I've never had any interest in cooking. With our ever present cook cum driver cum everything else Takoy doing all the cooking at home, we never needed to step foot in the kitchen. Of course, there was the odd fried egg or hotdog but I never had to cook up a meal for the family.
Since coming to Australia, I can say my cooking skills have improved dramatically. Well, I'm not cooking restaurant style meals but at the very least they are more than just edible these days.
When I first arrived here, I was still looking for work so made myself useful to my new wife around the house. I did the cleaning and washing up but then I discovered cooking shows on TV. Watching those shows, I found it fascinating how effortless the perky TV chefs make out cooking to be. It helped of course that the food they whipped up always looked gorgeous.
Then I got my hands on the classic Nora Daza recipe book and saw that cooking was just merely as easy as following instructions on a sheet of paper. Well, at least I thought it was easy so the first thing I cooked out of that book was a Paella Velenciana for my wife's birthday. Talk about work! I spent what seemed like the whole day just preparing ingredients, from cutting meat to chopping vegetables. It was then that I found that I actually like doing the chopping, the feel of the kitchen knife in my hand as I methodically cut through the onions and garlic. Surprisingly, the paella was actually quite good and my wife sometimes asks me to cook it on special occasions.
Since then I've been able to tackle different recipes and I'm happy to report I haven't caused any major food poisonings. I've been able to cook a variety of dishes but always with a recipe book in my hands. Although I know my way around a kitchen now, I don't think I'm confident enough to cook a dish without a recipe. I guess I'm still a techie guy: I still need a set of instructions to show me how to assemble the right components.
Nowadays, the weekends are the only time I can cook and I would often commandeer the kitchen from my wife. I'd normally cook simple and ordinary meals for the family but now and again I get semi-inspired and try to cook something I've never tried before. Which brings me to the reason for this cooking post. I tried my hand at an Italian classic last night, Osso Buco, and I dare say I think I got it right on my first attempt. Well, at least my wife seemed to think so but she eats (almost) everything I cook, anyway. :)