09 October 2010

The One Where Monica Cooks

I've said it before, and I'll say it again --- I don't cook, I eat.

Don't get me wrong, I do know how to do more than fry an egg (though it still boggles my mind how to cook rice). I've had my share of cooking lessons when I was younger, from baking lessons with Heny Sison way back in the 80's to Maya Kitchen Cooking Lessons. My mom's kitchen has almost every kitchen gadget imaginable, from a heavy duty oven, a Kitchen Aid mixer, and even a pasta maker. I've watched her and Manang Lagring whip up scrumptious meals in that kitchen. I'll admit I can cook a pasta dish or two. Heck, I've even dabbled in a little business selling cookies and chocolate covered spoons as Christmas giveaways!

But I've never really, REALLY cooked -- like a mom cooks for her kids, or a wife for her husband. So imagine my surprise when I found myself cooking my husband's lunches.

This week, Dennis decided to fast, something he hasn't done successfully due to his Type 2 Diabetes. A compromise was made, and a Daniel Fast (or all-vegetable fast) was settled. But Manang Lagring had much to do already, and the added duty of cooking a new meal for a baon lunch upset her routine. I approached my mom to seek advice on how I can remedy my dilemma, and do you know what she said?

"I think God's trying to tell you to do something for your husband -- cook for him."

Oh. No.

I'll clean the room, I'll tidy up the bed, I'll even organize your closet... but not cook, please.

I figured it's because I have no patience over the stove. I end up under-cooking or over-cooking the dish, or putting too much pepper and salt, or too little pepper and salt. I have no confidence in my own cooking. And to try to make a week-long all-vegetable menu?! NO. WAY.

But my mom's words echoed in my ear, and I am reminded of how it is to be a Proverbs 31 wife, mother, and woman. Among other things, "she provides food for her family."

*sigh* OK, Lord. I'll cook.

I've done my research, did some minor grocery shopping for veggies, and took over the kitchen every morning for the past week (well, Monday to Friday). AND I COOKED.

Here's the menu I came up with:
Monday -- Mushrooms and tomatoes with pasta shells, cooked Aglio e Olio (with garlic and olive oil)
Tuesday -- Steamed okra, kang kong, and eggplant with bagoong
Wednesday -- Baked veggies in olive oil and herbs (eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and zucchini), with burrito wrap
Thursday -- Tortang talong (or roasted eggplant cooked in egg), with 2 pieces of wheat bread
Friday -- Ampalaya with tomatoes and egg, with 2 pieces of wheat bread

I came up with simple dishes which I can easily cook. For the past five days, Dennis came home with a big smile on his face, a hug of thanks, and loving words to say he enjoyed his meal. My mom was right -- a husband eats heartily when he knows the food was cooked out of love. At least my husband does.

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to show how much I care for my family through cooking. You are truly great for you've given me people who love me despite burnt or over-salted food. My heart swells with love :)

At the end of the week, Dennis said he'll have to stop his fast because his sugar levels kept dropping, but would still love some more food that I've cooked. I do have leftover veggies in the fridge. And who knows? Maybe it won't be the end of my cooking adventure... well, until I figure out how to get rid of the garlic smell on my hands.


  1. thanks, mon.. i am encouraged =))
    garlic smell? try calamansi: slice in half, and use juice as your hands' first wash.

  2. ooh, yeah! totally forgot about that. Thanks for the tip! I've been trying to look for a steel bar soap, which according to Martha Stewart works wonders :)

  3. It's my first time to drop by your site! I love it! I'll be dropping by more often :)

    COOKING. Something I'd love to practice. :) I've really been wanting to, but I'm still lacking the funds to stock my fridge and pantry. One day, I was busy cleaning my bathroom and scrubbing the toilet, when God made me realize that yes, He knows I want to learn how to be a good homemaker, but before I get to the kitchen, we need to start with the bathroom first. I figured it was one of those "if you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones" lessons, haha! God can be funny :)

  4. Hey Liz! I drop by your site often! Though (for the life of me) I don't know how to subscribe to feeds, so I don't know when you've updated... gotta figure it out.

    It's my second week now to cook for Dennis, and I find that I do enjoy it :) Just shop for a few things, and I'll probably continue. My daughter helps out too (though our resident cook can't wait for me to get out of her kitchen! hahahahah!).

    Uh, I'll stick to the kitchen muna, before going to the bathroom :) One step at a time!


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