Just a little bit of my childhood background: I grew up in Zimbabwe where I lived with my grandparents. Our African culture trains children from a young age to cook for the whole family (usually 6 members-10 members: that is the norm)
For my case, I lived with 13 family members; my cousins, aunties, uncles and grandparents. I was taught to cook at age 12 and I had to cook in large pots on the fire because of load shedding! When the big festive seasons came into play, I had to cook for more than 20 people- I was assisted during those days thankfully. Washing the dishes was a nightmare though!
As time passed by, my cooking skills improved & I am grateful to my family members for eating my food as my test subjects:).
For some people, cooking is a real challenge but do not worry, nothing is impossible if you believe and work hard.
I am a firm believer in practice makes perfect. When it comes to the kitchen, many chefs like myself have to go through times of trial and error, change things up, add more ingredients, taste, taste & taste until you hit that taste bud with something delicious and mouth-watering.
Below is a list of the things you should be doing to take your cooking to the next level.
- Practice– It took me about 1 month to get an idea of how to cook delicious meals. It took me 6 years to cook without measuring ingredients and cook like a professional chef. The more you practice and have people comment, the more you will improve. My mom always assesses my food critically. I get mad sometimes though and say,’ i am not in a MasterChef competition’. I believe it will help in the long run to have people taste what you make. One day you will cook something that will put a smile on someone’s face. Be that kind of cook.
- Simplicity– Start with easy meals, salads or breakfast bowls then you can move to make biscuits or cupcakes or chocolate mousse.
- Planning– Take some time off during the day to plan what you will make. Take your time cooking and enjoy the process. Also, envision what you want your meal will look like. This has helped me on my cooking journey. There are days that I drew a picture of how my food would look like and this motivated me to do the best to have that wonderful image materialize.
- YouTube– Watch some YouTube videos on how people make food whether be it pasta, chicken etc. There was a time that I wanted to make my own whipped cream and YouTube helped with showing me what the person was doing to transform runny cream into a thick whipped cream. Sometimes reading recipes might not work for you so watching someone else do it might give you that extra knowledge on how to get things done.
Here are some of my favourite recipes, you should definitely try them. Very easy to make and are delicious.
INGREDIENTS: Makes 12 cupcakes
- 2 large eggs
- 55 ml oil
- 200 ml milk
- 200 grams cake wheat flour
- Baking powder 1 tsp
- Vanilla essence 2 tsp
- Sweetener of your choice 100 grams
- Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place paper cases in muffin tray
- Lightly beat milk, oil and eggs together.
- Add flour, salt , vanilla essence and sweetener to a bowl and mix well.
- Pour the milk and other contents into the flour and mix.
- Pour the batter into the muffin paper cases.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes
- Cool for 5 minutes.