If you have a dish you have never tried but will like to cook, perhaps, my lasagna cooking story will inspire you to give it a trial. I ate lasagna for the first time about five years ago at a friend’s house. She made it herself. I was visiting her with another friend when she told us the story of how she looked up the recipe, and made her own home made lasagna. According to her, it tasted better than the restaurant served menu, which she described as, “Too watery and tasteless.” Then, she said, “I will now make my own lasagna whenever I want to eat it.”
For someone who was hearing the name of the food for the first time, I asked, “What is lasagna?” She said, “It’s a kind of pasta that you boil first and then layer it with cheese and other spices, including meat before putting it in the oven to bake.” She prefers chicken, so the lasagna she cooked that day was with chicken. For a second, I thought that was a lot of work, in addition to a bunch of ingredients that I have no clue about. I tasted the food, but was not too excited about the taste.
Since then, I never ate the dish. Whenever I came across it, I remembered what she had said about not cooking it
right at other places, and I thought that if I wasn’t really excited about the taste of the one I ate at her house, I would be better off with another choice rather than soiling my taste buds. However, I was able to overcome my fear one day when lasagna was served during one of my public presentations. I can’t remember which presentation it was. It was beef lasagna. I took a little bit in my plate, and I regretted not taking more. The spaghetti sauce used made it delicious. I thought that the cook was generous with the sauce. Biting into the pasta with ground beef and sauce left a lasting flavor on my gustatory cell. The pasta was soft, the sauce sank between my teeth, and I enjoyed every bite that I took.
It was an unexpected experience that I really liked. Since then, I have been looking for lasagna. In fact, I bought a box of lasagna from Cub Foods sometimes ago, but never cooked it. I did not know how. I was also kind of lazy at looking out for the recipe online, so all I could do was talk about it with anybody that cared to listen whenever I craved it.
However, something happened today. I was able to cook my own “Italian taste” lasagna, as was described by my friend, Annette, who helped me out during the shopping process at Walmart. Well, I had run to Walmart for a little grocery shopping, especially rice. The store sells a particular kind of Jasmine rice that I prefer to cook. While on the isle, pushing my cart with my son, Samuel, suddenly, he screamed, “Grandma Annette.” Then, someone by the refrigerator turned to look, and indeed, it was Annette. We exchanged greetings, hugged, and she asked, “What has brought you in here.” I said, “I came to get few groceries.” She went on to explain how her grandchildren sent her on the errand to get some items for their parent’s (Annette’s children) valentine surprise party at Grandma’s House.
I asked about her husband, Jim, and she said, he went to get a drink because he was thirsty. Jim came back with a cup of coke from Subway and gave it to Annette. Annette turned to me and said, “You can have a drink, it is diet coke, although, I know you like regular.” I took a sip and returned her cup in her cart, and said goodbye. But it was not good bye yet.
We parted but reunited at another isle. I stopped by the pasta and I picked up a box of lasagna. One box said, “Oven Ready Lasagna,” and I was interested in knowing more about that. Then, I asked Annette for help. I told her that I will like to make my own “Bukola Style Lasagna.” She was really helpful, she helped me with the three different kinds of cheese that goes on it and asked if I had dried basil and oregano. According to her, the basil is not as important as the oregano, because, “The oregano is what gives it the Italian taste.” I said to her, “I have basil and oregano at home, but I will like to add other spices like knorr cube and even hebanero pepper.” She said, “You can add whatever you like but you need meat in it and the spaghetti sauce.” She read the directions behind the box and we found that “Oven Ready Lasagna” means that it does not need to be pre-boiled before layering. I was excited because, the boiling part, for in-explainable reasons, has been my bone of contention. I just was not really keen for doing that first.
Afterwards, I went to Cub Foods to buy ground beef and two jars of Rago spaghetti sauce. I thought to myself, “After
classes’ tomorrow afternoon, I will come home to satisfy my soul by cooking this lasagna to eat.” When I got home to cook as I had thought yesterday, I found that I had run out of dried basil and oregano. I ran back to Cub Foods to get them because I really wanted the taste I had kept on my taste buds for a long time to come back in my mouth.
While cooking the sauce and the meat, I tasted it and that taste came right back. I mixed up all the content and spices as directed on the lasagna box and after about seventy minutes, my lasagna was ready to be served. I served Samuel, but he did not want it. However, I really enjoyed my lasagna. I am glad that I took the bold step to try a food that I had craved for a very long time by cooking it myself for the first time. I hope that you can do the same.
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Bye for now, until next time.