I can’t cook. There I said it!
Thing is, plenty of women in my generation can’t cook. Our skills are limited to tea and noodles. If you look at our mothers, most can cook up a storm with just a cup of rice two tomatoes, some beef and black pepper. Watching my mum move in the kitchen is like watching a carefully choreographed dance to the sound of sizzling and bubbles popping. Grandma was the same; Sunday lunch at her house was straight out of an episode of Soul Food only better. Borsch and Pelmeni were my favorites, and you can try these and other classic Russian dishes.
My question is what happened to our generation? There are the exceptions and those who can manage the basic ugali na skuma kombo but beyond that, nothing. Is this our stand, our declaration that we are equal to men and must switch roles? How many times have you heard a woman say “If you find a man that can cook, he’s a keeper” while she relies on her vast collection of take-away menus? If anything, find that good man then teach him. Dad’s gotten quite good at it, and believe me when we were younger his food would survive a nuclear explosion and mutate into the cockroaches only predator.
For those of us ladies planning to leave the nest or already living on our own, learning to cook is important. That line “a woman’s place is in the kitchen” shouldn’t affect you. Just because you are a woman with mean culinary skills doesn’t mean your giving in to the stereotype. It simply means that you are comfortable enough in your own skin to know a strong woman, CEO or Stay-at-home mum, is more than the definitions society squeezes us into. So get your butt into that kitchen and try.
Food is the answer to every question! Cooking could be the way you detach from worldly stresses after a long day. You’ll find you’re purse is a little fuller once you stop getting take out all the time and you’ll be in control of your diet (check out Healthy Eating tips).
Its a great way to bring family and friends together and I think is a mark of independence/maturity.
Here are a couple of sites I found to help me navigate around the kitchen: Kenyan Cook and How to fix 17 basic cooking mistakes. They’re simple to follow and can act as a stepping stone. From there feel free to explore; don’t be afraid to get it wrong, making mistakes is how we learn. Try different cuisines, Viet World Kitchen for instance has some pretty tasty and healthy options. You may have to improvise a little on the ingredients, but that’s part of the fun. A lot of these food bloggers are interactive so don’t be shy to ask questions (BTW: There are asian shops at Rimax Shopping Village and Studio House along Arwings and at China center on Ngong Rd.)
Cooking can be empowering, fun and a great way to learn about our culture as well as take us to places without setting foot on a plane. Start today and try learn something new every week, buy a cook book or watch the food network and maybe create your own recipes. Own it.