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Ten things we are going to miss when we leave Britain – Part 4. Cooking

June 24, 2010

Yesterday, I made a five-can pasta: a can of tuna, a can of salmon and three cans of Campbell soup (technically the brand is called Batchelors’ in the UK). It’s one of the laziest and least sophisticated meals I have cooked, yet I can’t help but feel a bit sentimental about preparing it – it’s probably one of the last things I will cook for a while.

It sounds ungrateful, but I have always said that the most useful thing I learnt while I was at university is cooking. Cooking, like nail-cutting, is one of those essential skills that one tends to put off from doing until there is nobody there to do it for you. Then one day, if you are rich enough, you might realise that you can pay someone else, who can do much fancier things with much less hassle, to do it for you. Which is a shame, because cooking, as I see it, is the perfect micro-project. It involves planning, managing your resources, your time, your workforce (younger brother does the washing afterwards, mainly), tackling unforeseeable challenges innovatively (using rice noodle for your spaghetti Bolognese when your pasta jar is found empty), keeping pressure under control (in a pressure cooker, especially) and ensuring customer satisfaction (or else, taking the constructive criticism positively even if you have a sharp knife firmly in your hand). Moreover, when you cook for your significant other, people seem to think that you are an utter romantic (while, in fact, you might just be a slave). (I am not saying that I am treated like a slave. No, no, no, Master doesn’t like it when I say that.)

When I am back in Hong Kong, I won’t have my own kitchen and I tend to make too much a mess in my mother’s kitchen for her liking. So I don’t think I will be cooking for a little while. The plan is I might sneak into Siuto’s kitchen every once in a while when I am feeling desperate, but I am also dreaming about having my own kitchen some time in the future.

I might not have internet connection before I go back to Hong Kong, but I shall keep writing. See you next time!

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