I don’t like it when I can’t cook, or when I’m staying in a place without a kitchen. Cooking’s always been my “escape”. I cook when I’m happy, when I’m sad, and when I just feel like it. So imagine if I have to stay somewhere without a spatula or even a fridge?
My life’s been turned upside down for the past month. I started work with this special project, its grown-up stuff… meaning, boring and really, not related to cooking. I moved back to my old dorm and even though I feel comfortable in it, there’s one thing missing: the kitchen. My dorm don’t allow any form of cooking, well, aside from the instant cup noodles that you just pour hot water in, there’s no way I could sneak in a portable stove without them noticing it, or smelling it.
Every day, I feel like I’m in a scavenger’s hunt for the food that I want to eat and bring to work. Yes! I prepare my baon because my schedule is weird and when I work, I usually don’t like being bothered. I live near a university, so food is really abundant. But I’m also wary of the many possibilities that these foods are not properly prepared.
So, every day I try to look at the food, not caring if the customer next to me is annoyingly tapping her foot while waiting for me to finish my order. I make a mental note of the food they offer that day, and if I decide to go back the next day, I’ll look at their menu and see if it’s a re-hash of yesterday’s offering.
I’m really not picky, but I do know the look of food when it’s fresh and it’s already been a day’s old. I remember when I was still in high school. I don’t like bringing lunch boxes to school. I had that period where I wanted to look cool in front of the other students, so I would line-up in the cafeteria and scout for whatever piping hot food they had to offer.
For moms out there, maybe it’s added work if you pack your kids’ lunchboxes, but it’s always better to be safe than be sorry later. I know cafeteria food is not as bad as it seems, but there’s just too much junk food available to your kids, and you’re not always there to regulate how much of it they take in. So, I suggest give them something nutritious to combat whatever junk they’ll put in their mouths come lunch time. A packed lunch with some protein, carbs and a little amount of sweet will help your children get through the day.
Don’t worry, it might take time for kids to get used to having packed lunches, and they might even say that “it’s so not cool” bringing lunch kits at school, but believe me, they’ll get used to it eventually. And if they’re hard-headed, just bring out your “mothers know best” card. I’m sure they can’t argue with that.
This post was written by Rita Salonga.