Throughout the last four weeks, I have begun to synthesize my learning. Although it has been hard to focus in on skills I can intentionally work on there are many more skills I have developed unconsciously. ‘cooking’ being my focus was very broad, to begin with, and in the last few weeks have found it hard to reflect on my exact learning. However, when I look back on the project there are many small things that stand out such as learning to crush garlic to cook with or biting a spoon to keep myself from crying while cutting onions (I have an extreme sensitivity for some reason). Some slightly larger things I have learned is how to properly use a knife, substitute ingredients, and adequately estimate a recipe. One of my mentor favorite sayings is “cooking is not an exact science” as often estimating using taste can give the best results. Overall, my project taught me a lot of universal skills useful for gourmet or everyday cooking.
In the last four weeks, I have begun to build my confidence in cooking without guidance from my mentor. I made Thai red curry completely on my own and made Dhal with little guidance. Both these dishes are curry based and I hope to demonstrate them at in-depth. Working alongside my mentor has become a lot easier and I am able to complete tasks without asking or being told.
My learning center at in-depth will undoubtedly be very untactful. I hope to display 2-3 main dishes at my station and show other pictures from throughout my project. Due to my inability to prepare my learning center to far in advance, I will have to reserve time closer to in-depth night to complete most preparations. By scheduling time in now, I will be able to make dishes closer to the date which undoubtedly improves quality. Moreover, by displaying pictures I will be able to share and discuss the full extent of my project while keeping my goals reasonable for in-depth night.
In Edward de Bono’s book How to Have A Beautiful Mind, we explored the relationships between concepts and alternatives and how they can relate to my in-depth. The first chapter on concepts encompasses the idea that “concepts are important in generating ideas and designing ways forward” (pg121). This relates to my in-depth project because teaching concepts are the heart of every mentorship. The skills my mentor uses are not necessarily right or the only way, but the concept is the important part behind every skill. The next chapter explains how “looking for alternatives is very important” especially when in problem-solving situations. Alternatives are a natural part of cooking as ingredients are often interchangeable if you are knowledgeable. One example is that scallions and onions are interchangeable, but onions have a much harder texture and should be cooked for longer if being cooked. Overall the chapters on concepts and alternatives directly relate to my project through mentor relationships and my topic.