I grew up watching my mother cook. I used to bring a pillow into the kitchen and lay on the floor in the middle of the kitchen while she was cooking. It was a place I could spend solely my mother. I’m not sure why I used to lay in the middle of the floor though.
I never asked her to explain to me what she was making or how to prepare the dish. I simply stood by her and watched, talked, and apparently napped. She had a very specific list of dishes she prepared from different regions of the world, but she always prepared Korean dishes to accompany any other dishes she prepared. So for example, she would make macaroni and cheese plus a Korean soup. Or she would make lasagna, plus Korean side dishes. And kimchi was of course ever present.
I only started cooking real dishes when I moved to Brooklyn about 8 years ago. Now I often get asked to open a restaurant. Investors, step forward. I have been able to recreate my mother’s recipes through taste, rather than through memory of ingredients. And it’s damn good.
When I first moved here I purchased copious amounts of kitchenware, not knowing for certain what I needed for what. It was a haphazard Ikea run. Ikea, the anti-thesis of letting go, where you always buy things you weren’t planning on getting. One such purchase was a stainless steel mixing bowl? I add the question mark because I really have no idea what its original intention is. I bought it because it was stainless steel and shiny with a lid.
As I’ve refined my kitchen and thus my cooking, I have developed a sense of which tools I need for Korean cuisine and for the other foods I make. This has made certain items démodé. So on Day 353 of my 365 Release practice for non-attachment, letting go and change, I’m refining my cooking by letting go.
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[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]