Learning to Cook Again

Posted: 2012/04/12 in Food & Cooking
Tags: , , , , , ,
Baked eggplant by Sharise

The first supper from my Göteborg kitchen. Baked eggplant with meat sauce and a simple salad.

So the other day I noted how the act of grocery shopping has changed for me. The other side of that same coin is how cooking has also changed. I only have come into my own as a cook in the last three or fours years anyway, so this is part fun, part frustrating. Sometimes I cook by feeling and taste, sometimes by recipe.

Never mind that I’m working with the limited tools of my husband’s bachelor-style pad, and my limited travel budget (aka, no cashflow yet) so I can’t outfit the kitchen the way I would like just yet. I’m operating with one skillet, one pot, and a myriad of mismatched dishes and cutlery. Feels a bit like I’ve stepped back into college days, although thankfully the food itself is more substantial.

I have purchased a few essentials such as a couple of cheap tools (veggie peeler, timer), and a rather nice baking dish. Fortunately, he still has the two chefs knives I bought last time I was here. The timer is crap but the least important. I’ve noticed that the inexpensive knives and peeler are much sharper and work much better than the fancy brands I bought back home.

So now, I must also convert every measurement from tablespoons and teaspoons to milliliters and deciliters. Ounces to grams. Cups to…what again? The onlineconversion.com website is my constant companion in the kitchen. I keep saying I will print out the standard conversions and tape them up for easy reference but have yet to do it. Maybe this weekend.

OK, so my ‘mise en plas’ is established and I am finally ready to fire up the pans…err, not so fast. Now I have to adjust for electric cooking (yes, I know this could happen in the USA but I’ve always had gas ranges), having only three burners and an oven with cryptic pictures of God-knows-what, telling me God-knows-what. Oh, and that temperature setting? Convert it from Fahrenheit to Celsius!

Despite all of these obstacles, I’ve actually turned out some pretty good tasting meals, from my first dish of baked eggplant with meat sauce that looks more overcooked than it tasted,  to tonight’s Moroccan Meatballs with baked sweet potato sticks (can’t really call them fries), cous cous and sauteed zucchini. Yum! This is actually fun for now, but when I start to work again…

  1. megalagom says:

    Agh! I have written about this exact thing (eggplant and all) cooking in a new country is hard, as is shopping! I am constantly back and forth with the conversions- not know the metric system has been crippiling since moving to Sweden! I’m sure it will get easier for us both but something that is an everyday struggle until then! Good luck!


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