The work flow continues to be unrelenting, but today was lucky because I got a nice break from studying.
Well, Wednesdays are the ones with only one 90 minute class, so they’re usually quite open anyway, but usually Thursday is test day so it’s a better use of time to spend it preparing. Well, there IS a test tomorrow but I feel quite prepared for it as it’s a reading exam and I did well on the last one. So we’ll see.
After I had a speaking (shadowing) meeting with my professor around 1:30, I had some coffee in lieu of a nap thanks to Emma and we caught Nick and Harriet just as they were going to go explore. So we joined, naturally.
We went to the Irinaka area by foot because the sun actually came out, and went into an entertainment store. All the One Piece merchandise makes me want to cry from how much of it I’ll never own 😦 But I picked up a surprise figurine box hoping for a Shirahoshi but ended up with Whitebeard. Oh well. It was a really cute store and I’ll definitely be coming back for the puzzles.
On the way back we stopped at the supermarket and I guess it was decided that it was my turn to finally cook dinner because I’d been cooked for by mostly everyone at this point, so I frantically scrambled about trying to patch together some sort of strategy for a successful, tasty and spicy impromptu meal. Honestly, I really didn’t want to mess anything up because first impressions can be pretty important when it comes to cooking. And I enjoy cooking for myself but I get so nervous when my food is put in front of other people. If they like it, they’ll be excited for me to do it again, but if they don’t, they might be hesitant about giving me a second chance.
So there was a lot of guesswork involved, because I had in my head the flavors I wanted to achieve but trying to hunt down those flavors when I can only read like 2% of the labels of things in the store proved to be a challenge. I was going for sweet chili chicken, marinated veggies and kimchi rice because my experience at Sabai made me pretty confident in getting it right, but I’d never made it outside of the restaurant where most of the time the ingredients were always prepped. I found most of what I needed except for the sauce for the veggies which I had to find a similar approximation that ended up working quite well. I also used unbreaded chicken rather than the deep fried kind that the dish normally uses.
Nick helped a lot with the prep, cutting up carrots, ginger root, garlic and chicken, which was very kind. I diluted some of the chili paste paste with water to a familiar consistency and started cooking the chicken. At least three more people joined the dinner party at this point so I was getting more nervous. Of course, I was frequently reminded that there wasn’t any pressure which I really appreciated but my own lack of confidence was really at the top of its game. By the time I taste-tested the chicken though, I was pretty sure I’d be successful. So I did the veggies next, and finally the kimchi rice. And it was done. Painless!
I think it was a massive success.
I’d never cooked for 6-7 people before, so the positive feedback made me much happier than I can even explain in words, especially given all the risks I took in buying ingredients and measuring them out by eye. I don’t know, for some reason I didn’t think I could pull it off, but hearing my friends tell me that it was delicious and wonderful and all these great words just made me ecstatic. You can say it was just dinner, and it was. A lot of people cook everyday and most of them are better than me and for most of them it’s routine. It’s true, but it was special for me because I made a good impression and I think I really did something that people will remember me by. And that’s just a really, really great feeling. I’m so thankful for the opportunity.
If you guys were serious about me doing dinner for you every Wednesday then I’d love to give it a shot. 🙂