Yan (Maybe) Can Cook

comic121808 The eggplant sacrificed more than any of its comrades. Some slices seemed to have escaped cooking entirely, with minimal damage, while others were zombified. The chicken was alright, just overcooked. At least the sauce was even. In Yan’s kitchen, anything is possible!

While I’m not getting into the Zagat anytime soon, I will learn to salt the eggplant next time and put in the chicken a bit later. And maybe get a real wok.

Like studying for a test, I’ve put off learning to cook for a very long time. Maybe it is because I know I’ll never make it taste, smell, or even look like my mother’s dishes; maybe it is because eating out gives some measure of peace that I am able to, through some process, make a fragrant, hearty serving of Thai crispy chicken goodness appear in front of my plate. I knew the first real dish I cook would be a disaster, so to stall the pain to the ego I had all sorts of excuses to push it back.

The way these things usually go, everyone in the universe conspires against me to make the fated day happen. It was probably the tenth time my roommate J. casually left his chicken stew simmer on the stove, so flavorful that I got hungry while opening the room door, while my conscience kindly poked the back of my brain (with a chef’s knife?) that the last thing I cooked for myself, like the 500 times before it, was either cereal, microwavable oatmeal, or fried eggs when I decide to get fancy. Of course at school, G. suggested in her energetic European way that I simply *must* go watch Ratatouille because it was “so good that it makes you hungry,” only the day before L. wanted to watch a happy film. Ratatouille it was. Continue reading “Yan (Maybe) Can Cook”