Words Batul S.
Photograph Fatema A.
Batul S., bless her sweet soul, is a harbinger of peculiar muscle spasms. Bubbly, bouncy and of course, beautiful, the ‘B’ words that make her and her name.
ABCedarian Theme Foreword:
Abecedarian – defined as a person who is learning the letters of the alphabet or a beginner in any field of learning.
Whether we’re students, teachers, mothers or sons, life throws us a new lesson at every turn. Every new sunrise brings us the opportunity to learn a new set of ABCs. Join our writers as they discuss how they tackle new challenges head on and be inspired to become an abecedarian yourself!
I am a kitchen-o-phobe.
For me, stepping into the kitchen is akin to stepping through the gates of Mordor. A battle impending. My fate hanging in the balance.
And as every kitchen-o-phobe will tell you, using the words ‘cooking’ and ‘fun’ in the same sentence is blasphemous. From the simple action of chopping garlic to the more complex ‘stiff peaks and soft peaks’ hullabaloo, all acts of food-producing make me want to groan in protest.
This, of course, does not and will never sit right with various women in my life – and I get it. Learning to cook is an age-old rite of passage for all young ladies and the kitchen a sacred institution to make that happen.
Unfortunately, albeit elusive to me, cooking is essentially a survival skill, the basics of which I have few years left to master. This is not to say that I haven’t tried. Countless hours and hairs from my mother’s head have been sacrificed for this purpose. But my onions remain burnt and my rotis remain shaped like Singapore (the only channel through which I show my patriotism). So where am I going wrong?
Upon some deep, chlorphen-addled reflection on a three-hour flight, I realised that even though I have tried, I have never really tried. My attempts may have been numerous but they lacked heart. I’ve only ever cooked when my mom forced me to, and other than the occasional brownies, I never actually showed any interest in it.
To change my kitchen skills, I have to change my mindset; put aside my preconceived notions about its tediousness and embrace it. Identify every aspect of cooking that I despise and turn it on its head. Find something that will make it better.
Washing up is a chore? Hit play on that Spotify playlist and jam while you Jif.
Keeping forgetting that the stove is on? Move your laptop to the kitchen, Netflix and chill while you grill.
Never-ending ingredients to chop? Pop a skittle after every potato you dice. Drugs always make things better.
Keep failing the drip test with your whipping cream? Practice makes perfect! The more cheesecakes you make, the more cheesecakes you get to eat.
As the famous Rachel Ray puts it –
“Keep an open mind, open eyes and an open spirit”.