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Friday, August 16, 2013

Cooking in Peace

I love cooking. In my teens, I would go over to my friends' homes to cook because my mother didn't allow me to step into her kitchen except to cook instant noodles or porridge. My favourite lesson in school was home economics and I even took the opportunity to cook a meal for my family on Mothers' Day when I was only 14 years old. Perhaps my cooking was partly why my husband married me cos he was one of the many friends whom I had cooked for! LOL They did say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach... 

I had looked forward to cooking for my family one day and my wish was granted when I got married and have kids. What I didn't expect is having to cook in such a manner that resembles fighting a war. Ever since I had my first kid, I learnt that cooking leisurely is a luxury I cannot afford as a mother. I am interrupted countless times during the process as I have to attend to my child/children's needs. What takes normally a half an hour or 45 min, can potentially drag on to 2 hours! Housework can be put on hold but cooking is another matter altogether as it concerns hygiene and food can get burnt if one is not careful. Hands will have to be washed each time I leave my cooking station and before I resume touching the food. 

I had learnt to chop vegetables with a screaming toddler hugging my knee like a koala bear. I got used to washing my dishes in record time because someone pooped in the diaper, knocked his/her head or screamed the house down because he/she wanted to be nursed. I'd put a baby in a sling piggyback style while stir-frying minced meat and had my pants pulled down by a toddler wanting to play as I was bringing boiling hot soup to the table. When a kid climbed onto the dining table and jumped on it, I could only pray very hard for God's protection because I was in the middle of grilling beef patty.

The older kids' presence is not so bad as they know what not to touch. I only had to answer their hundred and one questions while I cook and I treat it as a form of teaching precious life skills to them. The young ones are not as easy. I have to have tricks up my sleeves to keep them entertained/occupied, keep them out of trouble and keep a constant lookout for their whereabouts in case I knock into or step on them.

I seriously look forward to the day when the children are old enough to help me in the kitchen instead of being a hazard. Or at least, leave me alone in the kitchen to cook in peace. Please. Somebody please tell me that I'm not the only one who has such experiences and feels this way...

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