I cannot claim I am good at the kitchen. I had a moderately bohehian upbringing, with a mum that would not really cook – I cannot remember food being prepared at our house apart from special occasions. Instead we would have take away every day, strange concoctions, shop-bought sweets, cereal for dinner, cold pizza for breakfast and off-the-packet cakes.
For me food was something that magically made its way through kitchen doors in restaurants, over the take-away counters or brought by relatives. I never cooked as a child or a young adult, so when I was released in the wilderness of real life I was totally unprepared for this mythical magical thing called cooking.
However, this was something I wanted to change. Initially for others: when we were with F* he always cooked these amazing dishes and the one time I had to make breakfast I googled it (and it sucked). So, I decided it would be nice to learn how to cook, so I can cook him something. I booked a class for a Monday; we broke up the Sunday before.
Now, I did not go to the class, because I felt it would be a 2 hour reminder of the dinner I would never cook him; plus, I think it would be unsafe to handle sharp objects while I am crying your eyes out.
However, I thought that I don’t have to do this for someone else; I can do it for myself. So, I rescheduled the class for Friday, and sure enough, on my lunch break I was walking in the Oxford Street branch of Atelier des Chefs.
I immediately relaxed when I was greeted from a lovely team member in the foyer who put me at ease and gave me all the relevant information. It was a quick class, and although it was basic it promised to be quite exciting: by the end of it I would have created an Australian Steak Sandwich.
The class was great, the chef was patient no matter how stupid my questions were (she had to explain to me how to cut bread correctly; and how to cut beetroot; and how to put a steak on a pan; yes, she was a patient person).
In the end I could not help but be proud of what I created: a mouthwatering sandwich with rump steak, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, egg and mayonnaise I made (I mean, seriously, I made mayonnaise).
I put it in a takeaway container, bought a Diet Coke, went to the little square closeby and sat under the trees. I looked at my sandwich and smiled. I did this for me. I wanted to text F* so much and tell him about the day and at that point I missed him more than words can describe. I let that feeling wash over me, and then remembered the pride I felt before and turned my attention to the here and now, to what I have instead to what I am missing.
I took a bite. This is good. This. Is. Good.