When I was younger, I absolutely loved waking up to the smell of waffles coming from the kitchen. My mom would always make me waffles for breakfast before school. She would add a beautiful mix of sweetened fruit on top along with butter and syrup, and it quickly became my favorite breakfast meal of all time. Not only would she make amazing breakfast dishes every morning, she would also make and pack me incredible lunches that I would thoroughly enjoy every day. From french dip sandwiches to homemade donuts, my mom was able to make anything I would ask for. My friends would always stare at my lunches in jealousy because of how good my food looked everyday. Unpacking my lunch pail always excited me because everyday my mom would pack me something different. As I got older, I started to watch my mom make the delicious food she would prepare for me. I was always amazed and interested in how her food came out smelling, tasting, and looking so incredible. 

My mom then started teaching me how to cook and allowed me to help her in any way possible. I would hand her ingredients, cut things up, mixed whatever she needed, etc. Overtime, helping my mother in the kitchen became normal for me to do. Not only did I learn how to cook by watching her, but we grew a stronger connection. Even till this day, I still go into the kitchen to watch and help my mom cook. I thought it would be cool if I was able to cook by myself without help from my mom so I could cook meals for my friends and family. Learning to cook by watching my mom cook became so intriguing to me. Watching a meal be prepared into something so delicious and being able to eat it at the end was so satisfying. There is even excitement in not knowing how the dish will turn out. When my mom would try new exotic recipes sometimes they didn’t always turn out the best. However, I always admired my mom for taking risks when cooking and not being afraid to mess up. After years of watching my mom cook and helping her in the process, I had this urge to try to cook by myself without her help.

When I was about 10 years old, I started to test out my cooking skills and fed my creations to my friends and family. For my very first dish, I attempted to prepare macaroni & cheese. I vividly remember walking into the kitchen and craving macaroni and cheese. I looked in every cupboard and inside of our pantry for microwavable mac & cheese, but I wasn’t able to find anything. I never really enjoyed the microwavable version and I liked my mom’s version way better. I decided to go to my mom’s room and said to her, “Mom I’m starving and I really want mac & cheese can you please make me some?” My mom looked at me in somewhat annoyance and said, “I’m actually really busy right now you should try to make some by yourself.” I got up and left the room and went back to the pantry to find stuff to make mac & cheese with. Without knowing what exactly what I was looking for, I went back to my mom and asked her if she could get the ingredients out for me. She agreed and we both walked back to the kitchen, and I watched her take out the ingredients to make the mac & cheese. I’ve made macaroni & cheese in the past with my mom so I roughly knew what I had to do. After thirty minutes of hard work I finally finished making the macaroni & cheese. I was afraid that it wouldn’t taste as good as my mom’s, but as soon as I took the first bite I was taken back by how good it tasted. I was so excited that I was able to cook something that tasted delicious. I ran up to my mom with a bowl of my freshly made mac & cheese and told her to try some. After my mom took the first bite she smiled and said to me, “Wow this tastes amazing Alex! I’m so proud of you this tastes really good.” In that moment I was ecstatic that my mom was proud of me for being able to cook mac & cheese all by myself. I ran to my sister and told her to try it and she also looked at me in shock and told me it was amazing. I was filled with joy that I was able to cook a meal by myself and was able to share it with my family. Even though my mac & cheese probably didn’t even taste that great, these words of encouragement propelled me to cook more in the future.

Ever since that day, I tried to cook meals by myself. At first it started with simple dishes, but then as I grew older I began to make more intricate dishes. I started making meals for my family every week and whenever I have free time I would just practice making dishes in the kitchen. I think that having the ability to cook and prepare meals out of anything and everything is a great and handy skill to hone. Cooking for other people brings me a different kind of joy because I can see how my food can brighten someone’s day and help them feel better even if it’s just by a little. The development of my cooking skills, at first, was very difficult just like all skills that have to be learned. In this case practice really does make perfect, seeing the noticeable progress in the way I cook is rewarding. I love how I can see myself improving every time I cook compared to how I was when I started. A lot of mistakes were made on the way to getting better, but like most talents it was all worth it. In the end, seeing how far I have come and how much I have accomplished is the most rewarding feeling. 

Cooking has always been a part of my life and the time I have spent doing it has made me appreciate it even more than before. I’m always going to thank my mother for showing me the ways of working around the kitchen and how to cook for myself and others. My mom inspired me to cook and I am so grateful that she has been so supportive of me. Cooking allowed my mom and I to develop a strong bond and I am so thankful for all that she has taught me. This skill I have developed allows me to make others happy with the dishes I create. I absolutely love being able to cook and I am forever appreciative of those who have encouraged me to keep cooking.