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Serendipity in Food and Cooking

Posted Jun 19 2013 12:00am
There’s one thing I realized in my life lately: I cannot leave cooking behind. I may be out of the touch with cooking and haven’t been working in the kitchen for a long time. There were times that I try to avoid it and despise it because I felt that I am not good at it. And that is also true with teaching. 

Kitchen under construction

But today, even if I deny it, a tiny piece of my heart is still longing to improve on some things and that includes plating for food presentation and flavor combination. Although I am not an expert, I still miss the idea of pairing one ingredient with another and experience the different explosion of flavors in your mouth. And even if I want my plate to look simple and rustic, I still want to create a well-designed dish. But whenever I think about it at this moment for both aspects, I always wonder why I never seem to extract any creativity and ingenuity like other people in the culinary industry: the chef who owns a restaurant and orchestrates multiple dishes at the same time, the chef who writes a cookbook with well-thought out recipes and detailed instructions and a chef who teaches in a culinary school and creates attention to detail tasting menus. Whenever I look at their work, I assumed that their creation and creativity were effortless and natural. They have the intense passion that I don’t have. They spent a lot of sweat, blood and tears working on their craft and skill. I know have to do the same thing. But once in awhile I want to stumble on something wonderful, something effortless and natural without the need for me to look for it and even exert so much brain strength. And even if I want to have the same kind of intense passion, it’s not part of my being anymore. And the the shadow of inferiority complex is creeping in the more I compare myself with others.

But whenever I feel that way, I always go back to the word of God in 1 Corinthians 10: 31 - So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. It helps me to focus on what I do for the Lord instead of focusing on the skills and talents that I may not have. It also reminds me that every skills and talents that I have including yours, all belong to the Lord. Because "apart from  Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)

Take a peak of the progress!

God knows I am still considering another career abreast to what I used to really really love (ironically that is cooking), but I also understand that His plans are better than mine. And up to this moment, it was only by His grace and strength alone that I was able to go through what seems impossible for me to accomplish.

But here’s one thing I know. I’m excited to cook for my future husband, my future in laws, my friends and even for those people who needs food for their soul. I am also looking forward to try new ideas and flavor combinations when the kitchen is done. Why am I motivated with my new kitchen? First, I want to eat more at home. I’ve been eating outside 90% of the time for the past three years. Just because it’s cheaper and easier to eat and take out food for one person (or even for two) than to cook and mess the whole kitchen. Second, I don’t consider my future home kitchen just like any other kitchen: I can also visualize my kitchen as a workshop or a studio kitchen sometime in the future or even a kitchen for my home-based business; most importantly, I can cook whatever I want and how I want it in a casual atmosphere; or maybe I can see the kitchen as an instrument to reach out to other people and share the Gospel.

And yes, I am excited. 

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