Cooking Away Home Sickness

A new quarter has started and we're all getting back into the rhythm of school. A lot of students go home for break, and after coming back, it's sometimes jolting how much you can miss home.

Personally, one of the things that I miss the most is my mom's cooking. Coming from a Korean family, I only ever ate Korean food at home. Here, the closest thing I can get to cheap, prepared Korean food is at H Mart. As good (and affordable) as H Mart is, it's nowhere near my mom's cooking. 

To combat the home sickness, I decided that if I can't bring my family here, I'll do the one thing I can do to try to bring back what I miss: the food.

Historically, I have never had much luck with cooking. I get nervous around food. What if I burn something? 1. Gross and 2. what a waste of money. What if it doesn't taste like what I want it to taste like? That's just disappointing. Cleaning up? What a chore.

But even worse than creating a mess and eating poorly cooked food, is that cooking can get lonely. At home, I'd always hover behind my mom's shoulder and watch her. I wouldn't necessarily help, but I'd eat little scraps when she wasn't looking, talk to her, annoy her—you know, the usual. 

Even worse, living off campus and in a large house, cooking has become a daunting and isolating experience. 

At the end of last quarter, I invited a couple friends from my Spanish class to make cookies to celebrate the end of finals. What I realized from that experience is that it's not that hard to cook! Not only that, but I could talk to them, annoy them, eat scraps while they weren't looking, and generally have a relaxing and fun time. 

Now, we've decided to have weekly Friday get togethers to cook and bake. I have to say, it's helped me get over my fear of the kitchen, and has helped me start to experiment with recipes on my own. 

So far, I've been cooking simple recipes, but soon, I want to start experimenting with traditional Korean recipes. Even if I'm just making cookies today, I still get the feeling of community that I had when I was home.