I get pretty positive comments about my cooking/baking which I appreciate very much to everyone's that's commented! Of course, I still get criticized and I appreciate those as well, that's the only way we can better ourselves right?? Well anyways, I may be pretty good at finding my way through a recipe nowadays but that wasn't always the case.
I've been cooking since I was 10 but it was for necessity and not really for pleasure until I was in college. For the most part that just meant my mom prepped all the food and I made sure it was on the stove and into me and my brother's mouths on time when she and my dad were at work. So I knew the concept of cooking but I was never able to play with the idea of it.
Inevitably, of course, when my interest to cook grew and I wanted to be my own "chef", loads of fun, not so successful, stories arose. Until then, the only dishes I knew how to make, if you can even call them dishes, are just throwing ingredients together and hope for the best. For example, spam and zucchinis, yup that was a dish! It's actually pretty good but it's neither visually pleasing nor creative. When college rolled around the corner and I was suddenly left on my own, it was like I was left with a blank canvas and for the first time I can draw or paint with whatever material I pleased! That being the case, it led to some very disastrous experiments.
I've never used an oven or baked a day in my life before living on my own. That was a new concept for me. Steaming, boiling, sauteing, those I knew but even then there's been some hard times. The oven and baking were a scary concept, Chinese people don't really bake, they usually leave the baking up to the bakeries. Who wouldn't if you can buy 5 baked goods for like a $1!? I'm ashamed to even share some of my horror stories but hey we cook and we learn right?
One of the first times I tried making brownies (the boxed kind mind you) they became rock hard after a few minutes out of the oven. Luckily the roomies and I all had a piece when it was still soft, call it impatience, and that's all we really had. Good weight loss plan though. You will never worry about over eating that!
I've also been a part of a crew that can manage to set meat on fire while trying to grill and still end up with raw meat at the end. We ended up finishing the meat off in an oven. Not the greatest of meals but nonetheless the fruit of our labor...even though the fruit was a little burnt.
Oh and cheesecake, man you can forget about that! It took me a few times before I got the cheesecake down. First time, I decided to use all fat free cream cheese not understanding that baking is science and you don't just substitute things without having it go terribly wrong. It was gross. Second time, I didn't substitute but instead I over compensated with technique...end product came out grainy. I had beaten it to death...literally. I had failed again. By then I was quite stubborn with my cooking, I was not going to be conquered, if there is conquering to be done, it would be by me! Nowadays, I can make a pretty mean cheesecake.
Moral of these random cooking horror stories are we all have to start from somewhere. We may not be the best of what we envision ourselves to be when we first start our journey but as long as we go at it despite failures, we'd eventually get there. This can be applied in anything, cooking, studying, weight loss, sports, etc. We just have to keep going and not give up. Eventually whatever that it was we were trying to accomplish will be second nature and from there, only greatness.
Today's accomplishment, mango pudding! Delicious, healthy, and easy to make. The only hard part is waiting for it to set in the fridge. The recipe recommends overnight but it looked like it was good enough after a few hours but I waited patiently anyways. Good things come to those who wait right?? At least that's what I told myself to make myself feel better about waiting. Now wait is over! Time to dig in!
Adapted from Salu Salo Recipes: Mango Pudding
Makes 4-5 servings
- 5 small mangoes (makes about 2 cups of mango puree)
- 2 small mangoes, diced
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 envelop of gelatin
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- Cut up the 5 small mangoes, removing skin and pit, and puree in a blender, set aside
- Take the remaining 2 mangoes, remove skin and pit, and dice the meat into small chunks
- Mix gelatin in hot water until it dissolves, let it stand for 3 minutes
- Add in sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved, then add in evaporated milk, mango puree, and mango chunks. Mix until well incorporated
- Chill overnight in the refrigerator