Henry Poon's Blog

Preparing Meals for the First Time Ever

Coming from a family where parents cook for me is a very wonderful thing, but when it comes to cooking my own meals, I’m clueless.  I’m not talking about instant noodles and scrambled eggs.  The night before I moved into my residence at UBC, my mom taught me a bunch of things that I needed to know when preparing my own meals.  She told me she had prepared a lot of food for me already to make it easy for me to prepare my own meals while living at UBC.  Some of the food she prepared for me were enough ribs for three meals, and some chicken and zucchini for two meals.  Although I didn’t have to prepare this food from scratch, I had to know how to use the rice cooker.  She basically explained to me exactly how to use the rice cooker step by step.  I’ve never used one to cook my own rice before although I’ve always known how it worked.  She even explained to me how to steam the ribs in the rice cooker, and how long different foods will last in the fridge.

Yesterday, I decided to give this a try.  I scooped two cups of rice into a bowl and then filled it with some water  to wash it.  After draining the water, I transferred the rice into the rice cooker pot.  At that moment, I realized that I could have just used that container to begin with.  I filled the container up to the line that said “2”, since I only used two cups of rice.  I plugged the rice cooker in and set it to cook.  It was that simple.  The rice I cooked would be for my lunch for the next day.

While cooking this rice, I helped my roommates cook lasagna.  There were three of us, so we delegated different tasks to each person.  My job was to cook the ground beef on the frying pan.  The last time I did this was in the cooking class in Middle School.  I took the spatula and broke apart the big clump of ground beef.  As I did that, my roommates would add peppers, and onions to the mix.  I then moved the bits around to cook the red parts of the meat.  Even I know that red is bad for ground beef.  I cooked it until all the beef turned dark brown.

While I cooked the ground beef, one of my roommates prepared the sauce.  All he did was pour some pasta sauce into a pot, fill it with water, and heat it up.  He also added some spices, but I don’t remember what.  Another roommate cut up some veggies to put into the frying pan with the ground beef.

Once the beef and the sauce was prepared, they poured some of the sauce onto a lasagna pan, then added a layer of lasagna pasta.  I grated some cheese for it too.  Grating the cheese proved to be more difficult than it should have been since the cheese was just taken out of the freezer, which meant that little chunks would break off while I was grating it.  They would prepare layers using a combination of the sauce, pasta, cheese, and veggies.  Once they filled the  pan to the top, they put it in the oven for about half an hour.

They said, “this is how you make homemade lasagna.”  Once it was done, we ate it and it was pretty good.  I guess this has taught me that cooking stuff like this isn’t that hard.  I’ll also need to get used to it, since I’ll probably be cooking for myself regularly once I move out.

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