I like eating, but not necessarily cooking, like what I’ve said in my previous entry. I cook only when it is absolutely necessary (e.g. the rest of my household will starve) and that occasion occurs only in my sister’s place (new baby with no maid…somebody then has to cook). And I don’t mind cooking for her and her family really, as her kitchen has a big glass window that overlooks her backyard that is outlined by orange, lemon, persimmon, and apples trees. Lovely. Lovely enough to inspire me into doing something I don’t really like.
Even while I was still new in my practice, Teacher Pio had been encouraging me already in a very subtle way to learn to prepare my own food, as it is the best way to ensure that I eat healthy (no conversion to vegetarianism yet at that time). But I was working full time then, waking up at 4am to beat the traffic going to work. Preparing food would mean getting up an hour earlier. Duh. No way.
Lately, he has been encouraging me (still) to prepare my own food but this time in a not so subtle way. However, no amount of his yucky stories (what could take place in the kitchen which we do not see) could make me change my lifestyle even if I know they are true. (Besides, eating out is fun.)
A friend, who used to work for a restaurant, shared that the cost of food wastage (e.g. if he drops or burns burger patties) is deducted from their salary. Once he dropped the patties on the floor but could not afford to cut his budget so….you could guess what happened next. He also revealed that cooking oil is used several times over until it turns into crude oil, er, really dark in color. And yes, they did get even with unpleasant customers by doing “something” with their food that you don’t want to know. (Eeks, I know I can be one of them. Taray.)
I myself have witnessed how the cashiers work as servers to make the store operations (supposedly) more efficient but at the expense of hygiene. Most of the time, they do not wear gloves when they assume their serving function. Worst, as I had seen yesterday in the restaurant where my family had lunch, the people who clean up the table with damp rugs and bare hands are the very same people who place utensils and serve food on the table, still with bare hands, but with no break in-between these functions to at least create an illusion that they wash their hands when they shift roles. You bet, all of us lost our appetite. My mom even had bum stomach later that day. I don’t know what happened to this restaurant—its service and food quality have deteriorated (or maybe in this branch only?). I used to frequent their branch in Greenbelt before the place was turned into a hardware that’s why I know they serve good vegetarian-friendly dishes. And they’re not cheap.
After this experience, I am not sure when I’ll be up to eating out again. But I am not sure either if this is enough incentive for me to prepare my own food. Hmmm, maybe I’ll just be extra nice to our cook? Or maybe I just need something lovely, enough to inspire me into doing something I don’t really like? A new kitchen perhaps.