For the first couple months or so I was here, I pretty much tried to survive on eating food that doesn't need cooking. Why? Cooking here is intimidating for me.
In our guest house, we have about 16 students (about half are female and half are male.) Besides that, there are always older missionary couples passing through and spending a week or so. And, we all share a kitchen. In short, our kitchen is a busy place.
Anyway, I don't like using recipes for things like soup and stir fry. I never have all the ingredients in the recipe, but I do have quite a few that are not in there. So, I just experiment. Sometimes, it turns out good, and other times it doesn't. I don't have enough practice with knowing which spices are best in certain dishes.
I was making some food recently, and somebody was standing by offering suggestions on how to cook it. I didn't mind, and her ideas were good, but I did feel a little compelled to take her suggestions whether or not I wanted to do so. That is why I prefer cooking in private.
I was so busy with homework this weekend that I put off the cooking I needed to do for the week. So, it was after 9:00pm on Sunday night when I finally got a chance to do it. There were a few people down near the kitchen studying, and that made me feel uncomfortable. I was especially concerned since I don't know how to use the rice cooker, and didn't want a group of people laughing at me if I burnt the rice!
But, the rice cooker literally had only one switch, so it wasn't too hard to figure out. I put in the amount of water that looked right, and turned it on. While I was cooking, I heard my roommate talking to the other students outside the kitchen:
"Normally, I don't hear Becky's Minnesota accent, but when she talks with her family, she speaks with a very strong accent."
"No, I don't," I called out the kitchen door. The group started laughing.
I was cutting up chicken, broccoli and onions, and then frying them. A few students passed through the kitchen, and I talked to each of them briefly.
It took me quite a while to finish cooking, and then I dug through the cupboards to find a container for the food. During the week, I just don't always have time to cook, so it is nice to have something that I can get out easily. And, since I received no comments on how to cook the food, I decided working in the shared kitchen isn't so difficult after all. I'm thankful, too, because I was getting a bit tired of eating sandwiches.