Initially, I started off with the boxed stuff, like Betty Crocker Cake Mix and Betty Crocker Brownies and so on, except I’d try little hacks on them, for example, poking holes in the Cake and pouring Condensed Milk over top, while it was still fresh out of the Oven, to create a Poke Cake. You can find a ton of other Cake Mix Hacks on YouTube, if you’re interested.
I didn’t like how metallic the boxed Brownies tasted, so I learned how to make them from scratch, tweaking the recipe a little more each time, until I perfected it. I also enjoyed baking regular ol’ Chocolate Chip Cookies from scratch.
Aside from our Oven proving to be very problematic (full deets here), I couldn’t get my hands on a lot of ingredients (reasons mentioned here), for example Brown Sugar (which was needed to be mixed with regular White Sugar) for Cookies and things like that. I ended up having to mix Syrup with White Sugar to create a substitute for Brown Sugar.
So I’ve never actually prepared a proper dish before. Usually, everything I “make” is microwavable (popcorn, poptarts, etc…). The closest I’ve ever come to actual cooking is heating up some ready-made soup (haulage here). However, years and years ago a friend of mine mentioned having an “Awesome Blossom” at either Chili’s or Applebee’s or one of the other ee’s (can’t remember) and he wouldn’t shut up about how awesome it was! Every time I would visit one of the aforementioned ee’s and ask about the Awesome Blossom, I was told that it was currently unavailable. It’s been years now, so I don’t know why they still keep saying “currently”, because they’re making it sound like it might be available again in the future. Anyways, I finally gave up and decided to just go ahead and make my own.
We were having guests over for Ramadan Iftar/Futoor (breakin of the fast after dusk prayer) and my decision (like most of my decisions, really) was a spontaneous spur-of-the-moment decision. I found an easy how-to video on YouTube (clip below) but most of the ingredients were missing, so I had to dash to the nearest co-op, purchase the missing ingredients, make the Awesome Blossom, pop it in the freezer, go shower (‘cuz Arab spices… stink and the stench stays in your hair), dry my hair (hate this part the most!), style it, apply my make-up (no time to get creative so just some neutral shadow, liner, mascara, lipstick, topped off with some highlight on my cheekbones) take the onion out of the freezer, fry it, go back to my room, change out of my lounge-wear into something more Ramadan-esque (Kaftans usually do the job), light some incense around the house and prepare to welcome the guests as they arrive (all in around 2-3 hours). My life would be so much easier if I just planned things ahead of time lawl but I just can’t bring myself to commit… to anything. Nothing crushes my soul more than having a routine that’s set in stone (I thrive during chaos)!