Practice certainly does make perfect.
It has been a while since I really cooked anything substantial - apart from making the occasional inedible pancake and burnt toast for breakfast.
Was ambitious enough to try frying some fish bites for lunch yesterday but found it almost impossible to begin, wracked with hesitant nerves. After a certain lapse of time away, the kitchen becomes a place almost terrifyingly alien to the relative beginner. Spoons and ladles start to resemble unforgivable IT thingamajigs that are nigh impossible to understand even with a multi-language manual and kitchen ovens mutate into hideously fanged monsters that drive fear into the faint of heart.
Instant microwave meals and easy-bake cakes aside, never was all that handy in the kitchen in the past since I never had much cause to cook - especially since my lovably eccentric mother derives near-orgasmic enjoyment from perfecting a dish. Practically a cause celeb for her to organize a dinner party.
It was only when I returned alone to my hometown after my housemanship that I found myself facing the stove for the first time on my own. Since I'd always grown up imagining that milk was produced by carton shaped cows and eggs grew on trees, even cooking oil seemed like a foreign substance to me. Thankfully my mother left the larder fully stocked with the latest electrical appliances all ready for my scientific experiments.
Although I have budding ambitions to be that perfect househusband and my kitchen would serve as a designer's template, I'm certainly no Martha Stewart protege and my culinary disasters are legion - running the gamut from barely toasted fish ( more like raw sushi actually ) to chicken wings burnt sadly to a crisp in the oven. There was also the cake fiasco of 2003 when the chocolate cake just refused to rise ( lack of Viagra perhaps? ).
One of my first experiments in cooking was frying Japanese tofu. For the uninitiated, it isn't actually all that easy to manage despite its deceptive simplicity. Since my first attempt was disastrous to say the least ( with the outside burnt beyond description and the insides still frozen ), generally getting the tofu crispy golden with the insides warm is certainly a feat worthy of some applause!
Still unlike my unfortunate previous attempts, my fish bites yesterday turned out perfect :) Not ready to test out my recipes on Charning Calvin yet though since I wouldn't want to risk poisoning him this early in the relationship.