how cooking changed my life

i had a wonderful meal tonight. the dish was as simple as it could have possibly gotten - just an average, ordinary can of corned beef. i'd cooked this before, the time when i was a professional frier, when everything i cooked was based exclusively on this method.

this time though, i was going to change things up a little bit - there was going to be garlic and onion. i had only been vaguely aware of garlic and onion in corned beef before, but i had never implemented it so this was a first.

i also talked myself into having string beans on the side. there was a part of me that argued against it because i was sleepy already but i told myself i needed to practice and it would be good to see something colorful on my plate and anyway, i was afraid about what others might say - that i was the eternal frier.

and so i decided to include green string beans on the late-night menu - saute-style - just to show others a side of me they had never seen before.

"kumusta ang food mo, cor?" lotis asked, in Bisaya, of course. Visayans never speak to each other in Tagalog.

"i'm not sure, but it must have been ok because i consumed it," i answered.

in actuality, after a few minutes of ponderous thought, i startlingly realized that i was actually contented. the string beans on the side had been a good idea after all. eating it together with the main viand had created the definition of heaven on earth for me.

this was how it felt like. when i get the mix just right, i sometimes feel like i could almost fall in love with myself. now i can fully relate and understand why some people are in love with themselves.

cooking has changed my life. i feel like i am seeing creation now in a totally different light. i used to thank God for things like the color pink, words, and beautiful guys, but now i have added garlic and onion to the list (plus a whole enchilada of spices). i could not believe the power of garlic and onion to transform a simple dish into a fine reality.

tomorrow will be another day. another day for more adventures in the kitchen or another day for adding tomatoes, carrots, corn, etc., to the dishes and foods that make up my life. and as i continue to cook, i continue to be happy, because now i know that it is by learning and making these dishes that i will have learned to make my life fully lived.

thank you.

(this was written friday, july 6. wow, now that i'm transcribing it from my notebook to the computer screen, i can see, with some detachment, how overly happy i was in that moment. i must have accidentally added a dash of shabu to my cooking because i sound high.)

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