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Since middle of last year, I made the effort to cook myself meals during the weekends.

Usually, it’s just a simple rotation of udon noodles with miso soup in a hotpot, Chinese chow mien and spaghetti with Ragu or Heinz spaghetti sauce on them. Nothing particularly fancy or hard to make.

The original intention is that I would want to pick up a life skill and just making sure that I ate more sumptuously and healthily during the weekends.

As the routine goes on, I’m starting to develop a love for cooking. Like any new skill, it started off with a more frustrating journey with puzzle pieces scattered around the floor: it’s not just about cooking skills but also the other process that goes before and after the cooking – from planning meals, purchasing ingredients, organizing and optimizing the cooking process, presentation and cleaning up.

Seriously the cooking itself is just a tiny fraction of what goes into getting food on the table.

And it’s a good thing that I stuck with three recipes repeated over the months: which essentially give me some tangible feedback that I could track and learn from over time. Is the portion too much or too little? Does it taste bland or too salty? Is the chicken too stiff or too raw? Do I have enough vegetables in the fridge or they are starting to rot?

And as I soak myself with such knowledge myself, I’m starting to notice the little details in food – the flavours and textures, the little details that bring sparkles to the dish in subtle ways. I couldn’t help myself to appreciate all the effort, skills and thought that goes into preparing the food, as I could totally relate to such efforts.

It’s certainly one of the skills that I’m glad and proud of acquiring.

Now, what recipe would I want to add to my repertoire next…?