I discovered I love cooking when I was 7 years old. I used to always follow my mother in the kitchen licking the spatula, helping by stirring, asking questions and writing down all her cooking recipes on my culinary journal. I started helping my mother by cooking breakfast on the weekends. My first dish was veggie omelets with toast and strawberries banana smoothie. By the age of nine my hard-working mother files for bankruptcy and had to work three jobs to not lose our house from foreclosure, leaving me in charge of the cooking at home. Thanks to my mom’s kitchen I discovered the pleasure of cooking for others, find love through cooking while at the same time saving money.
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Watching and serving my mom in the kitchen help me become more confident with my dishes. My poor mother had three jobs and couldn’t cook for my younger sister, and I. Instead of my mother paying for someone to come cook for us I stepped up and took the roll of cooking for my family. I started cooking meals like breakfast and dinner for my family when I was in fourth grade. I never felt like a typical 4th grader. I planned my days around my kitchen, waking up early to cook breakfast and unfreeze the meat I was going to use for the day and have it readies when school was over to cook for my family. At the beginning, I felt bad for my sister, and my mother since my dishes will come out salty, cooking the same meals every day. My sister used to miss my mom’s cooking, I could tell by her face, but never showed it or complain to me. She inspired me to create new dishes and work harder to provide with better tasting meals. Throughout time my cooking improved a lot. I stated cooking new meals every day. I started watching videos on YouTube and reading cooking blogs on the internet. I used to follow this lady on YouTube named Zoyla her channel is named “A mi Estilo Peru” which mean in English “My own Style Peru”. She had videos of different Peruvian dishes, and she cooks similar to my mother’s style. I used to always message her and talk to her online asking her for advice. She will always take her time to explain it to me and give me on my dishes. She became like a second mother to me. I finally got to meet her in person few years ago when she came to visit Washington D.C.
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” my grandmother used to say. My husband loves my cooking. He always messages me cooking videos that he gets from the internet, so we can cook it at home. We cook every day or sometimes we rotate but weekends we are always in the kitchen cooking together. We bond in the kitchen and thanks to cooking our marriage gets stronger every day even though we are so different from each other, he is a country boy and I’ve always lived the city the only thing that we both have in common is that we both love food and cooking. When I first met Randy, he fell in love with my cooking. He used to always come to my house for dinner and compliment my cooking. Now that we are married and live together our house is where our families come to eat for the holidays.
Thanks to economic struggle that I went through with my mother, I learned to budget and save money but cooking from home. Today, we rarely o go out to eat only few times per year. At work I preferred to take my lunch than to buy food outside. My co-workers complain of spending too much money on food every day, and I always advise them to bring food from home but unfortunately most hate cooking, don’t know how to cook or don’t have time to cook. My schedule is really hectic as well being a mom to two boys, wife to my hard-working husband, full time treatment coordinator to an Orthodontist and college student; I see cooking as a life savior. I learned to manage my time and always have food ready for my family. My best friend is my slow cooker where I always have cooked meat, beans ready for my family when I’m not home.
Cooking is not only my hobby but has definitely thought lessons that I will pass to my children and people close to me. Cooking at an early age has made me mature early and see life differently. While girls my age were playing with Barbies or being pikie with their food I had to have food ready for my family and take that weight off my mother’s shoulders. Today my family gets more excited when I cook their favorite meal rather than a restaurant. Cooking and eating together bring us together at the end of the day, we get to talk about our day and enjoy a healthy meal.
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