I really do not remember if my mother taught me how to cook. I always kinda thought it was instinctive because my maternal grandfather was an army chef of Spanish descent who later established his own restaurant in our hometown.
But as for Dindin, she would often pretend to cook with her meal set because she has observed Manang Arlene cook in the house. I only get the opportunity to cook if her Papa would take care of her and bring her to the kitchen. Then she would observe.
When she was a few months old, I baked oatmeal cookies. I was carrying her while I removed the freshly baked cookies from the baking pan onto the wire rack to cool. Dindin observed closely while I carried her on my left hand and used my right hand to work. She was very quiet and did not move, except for her eyes.
After some time, I told her than when she is older, I would teach her how to bake. As if on cue, she lunged forward to grab what I was holding in order to help. I was like, “Whoa Din! When you are older! Not now!” I said as I hurriedly backed off from the hot pan. As if she understood what I meant, she resumed her stance. hahaha
The other day, I was craving for more Mongolian Rice. I concocted my own recipe, after all, this recipe is not exacting. As with any fried rice, you can do with it whatever you please. While I cooked, Manang Arlene carried her so that she can watch me cook.
I told her to first put cooking oil on the pan then saute the garlic, onions and pork. To which Dindin replied, “Then cook.”
She continued to look while I was stirring then said, “Add vegetables.” I said, “Not yet baby we have to let the pork fry first.” She replied, “Fry first.”
Then I added the vegetables and cooked it for a bit. Then I added the flavorings. I scooped some rice into a bowl and as I was about to add rice into the pan, Dindin said, “Then add some rice. Then cook.”
Whoa! Does she think she’s hosting a cooking show? LOL Well at least she knows what is happening.