Monday, April 21, 2008

My First Kitchen Adventure

I was around 3 years old then. It was 9-ish in the morning when my Mom left me alone at home. I’m a really a smart-ass when I was alot younger. I was watching TV when something ran in my mind. I got bored quite a bit so I thought of something else to do. I was thinking of doing my Mom a little favor which she could be proud of when she gets home. The best thing I thought is to cook rice.

Yep!

So, what I did is I looked for something to cook on and found this llanera-an ellipse-shaped aluminum container used to mould and cook leche flan. i scooped rice from a huge drum and put it in the llanera. As how my Mom does it, I rinsed the rice three times untl the water gets somewhat clear. My Mom told me that rinsing the rice would remove the small stones and the rice husk or something. Me being a smart-ass thought that, “Why just rinse to clean it when I can use soap to make it more sanitized?”I put a dash of powdered detergent on the rice with water to clean it. When it has became soapy and sudsy, I rinsed it again. After the last rinse, I then put water to the rice, getting it ready to be cooked. I even finger-measured the water acting like an expert without any idea why my Mom does that. Haha!

Then, put the llanera atop the stove, lit the fire and voila! I was cooking rice. Hahahahaha! Thinking that I’m all done, I went back watching TV with my favorite show, Voltron, you know the lion version of the five robots that make up Voltron. Minutes while watching, I smelled something like burnt metal. I rushed to the kitchen and with my surprise, the llanera with rice is flaming!!! I put off the fire from the stove and blew the flames off the burning llanera. I was so frightened because I was alone and I could’ve gotten the house on fire, which then wasjust made of sawali and pawid. I threw away the evidence of course. then I went back to watching TV.

Suddenly, I heard my Mom calling me from afar. She was on a tricycle with a basket full of groceries and plastic bags . She was calling for help. I went downstairs and helped her carry the groceries. As soon as she stepped in to the house, she said “What’s that smell? Smells like burnt rice.” I just shook my shoulders, ignored her and ran away as if I know nothing. Hehe! She then yelled to our neighbor which happens to be a relative (’coz we live in a compound owned by, also, our relative Sen. Lito Lapid who was then still a Vice Governor of Pampanga. It was a horse stable prior to becoming a residential area for his relatives) saying “Hoy! your rice is burning!” I felt quite guilty ‘coz she barely has an idea what really happened and at which house’s rice is burning.All of a sudden, I heard her shrieking voice calling my name. She found the burnt llanera still red and the coal-black burnt rice. She asked me what I did when she was out. Before I could even answer, she spanked me by the butt with her hand. I was crying already when I answered “I just wanna just rice for you.” I know she felt sorry for hurting me but I understand. She went silent for a moment then I saw some tears rolling down her eyes.I felt kindled and touched on that scene.

Even though without words to express her appreciation, the tears I saw were enough to attest what and how she felt that moment. She then asked me to go up and get the groceries as we are about to prepare lunch. Probably, she realized that I have interest in cooking. So, she asked me to acompany her with preparing the ingredients, even asked me to sit beside the stove while she is cooking so that I would learn.Honestly, while typing the last part of this article, i became teary-eyed. Reminiscing that was very nostalgic. From then on, I started appreciating my Mom’s efforts in cooking and doing all the chores. I found doing chores very enjoyable having her around. Don’t get me wrong but both my Mom and Dad are very skilled cooks and heck! they do know how to cook REALLY GOOD!!! Uh-uhm!

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