When I was young, the kitchen had an invisible ‘stop’ sign put there by my mom. “No you cannot enter here!” she always said to me. Well, I really don’t blame her as it is no place for kids.
I was just left outside in awe, looking at what wonders the kitchen held. A few years passed by and I became very interested in food, both eating and preparing it. Nonetheless, the kitchen was still out of bounds so I couldn’t experiment with cooking. But they couldn’t stop me forever now, could they?
It was early morning, mom had gone for grocery shopping and my sister was fast asleep, and no one else was at home. Time to strike! I sneaked through the dining room and there was the kitchen in front of me!
I stepped inside and took in the sight in front of me – cabinets rising high like skyscrapers, the oven occupying a majestic place beside one wall, the dishes sparkling like diamonds. I had seen it from outside but this time it was up close. As I hadn’t had breakfast I decided to begin my first experience as a chef by making an omelette. Sure I had seen mom do it, so how could it be hard?
I set to work quietly so as not to wake my sister up. I took an egg, and some tomatoes and onions. I knew the basics, so I began the work. I chopped the onions on the work surface just I had seen chefs do it. Then came the tomatoes. I washed them first and started chopping. This time disaster struck and I cut my finger. Ouch! There was no bleeding but it was just as painful.
This little nib didn’t stop me and after about a few minutes of whining, I got back on my feet. The egg awaited its fate, to be cracked in half. It took two or three attempts to crack it open and into the bowl. The spices were next.
Well, as most of you know, mothers always keep spices on the top shelf of the cabinet. Whatever the logic may be, it is very annoying trying to jump to reach them. After a failed attempt, I went to the hall and grabbed a stool. After climbing up the stool, I grabbed the chilli powder and the salt.
I put the ingredients in the bowl with the egg, and whisked it. I lighted the stove and put the big frying pan on it and poured some oil in it… and spilled some on the floor too, accidentally, of course!
Till the pouring of the batter into the pan, everything was going perfect — then I wondered what was used for turning the egg upside down in the pan. Soon, I was running all over the kitchen, searching all the cabinets to find the cooking spoon, all the while the omelette was sizzling in the pan. Finally I found the spoon and made a rush to turn over the omelette. I managed to do that without breaking or spilling it out of the pan only to see a very nicely browned, or rather burnt, side up!
While I was busy taking it out in a plate, someone came up behind me. It was mom. I was dumbstruck. She was angry at seeing the kitchen in a mess, the drawers all open, and some salt and chilli powder on the stoves and countertop.
She found a fit punishment for me — I was to eat the burnt omelette. Sitting on the table and eating the omelette, I realised it wasn’t as bad as it looked. My first cooking experience turned out to be a disaster and I just got the taste of my own medicine… I mean, omelette. But I was happy with my accomplishment, even if it was a bit burnt. And I had learnt to leave things to the expert chef (my mom), and never tried cooking anything myself!