I have a new hobby, and that is cooking! Next to the living room in our orphanage is a big kitchen where the staff cooks delicious meals for the kids and themselves every day.

If you walk from that kitchen to the back of the house, next to the laundry room, you will find another small kitchen. It was meant as a staff kitchen, but since we moved into this house, I am using it as my own private kitchen.

My hobby was born out of pure necessity, because the ibu’s make their food spicy, and I mean ‘tears rolling down my cheeks spicy’! The food for the children is most of the time for children, they love it, but for me a bit boring.

Besides that I sometimes crave the typical Dutch dishes like hutspot, or just potatoes with vegetables and nice gravy! So that’s when I decided to cook for myself, and my girls eat with me. I began with simple dishes, but when I found out that it was actually quite tasty what I made, I started to look up recipes, and watch the increasing number of cooking programs on television. I made my own recipe book, and aimed higher and higher. Now nothing gives me more joy than to see the children gobble up the meals that I make, they love it! Nowadays, when I cook I think of the kids, it is not about me anymore, what will they like, how can I make the food attractive for them.  

During dinner, my girls like to play Masterchef, and want to score my dinner. Knowing I am disappointed when a dish is not as tasty as I wanted it to be, they always give me high scores. Usually I am the one saying honestly it could have been better. Often I take my food to the kids and let them have a taste; they always love it. So when a recipe has turned out fine, and it is easy to make many portions, I share the recipe with the ibu’s. For example fish in lemon butter sauce, or chicken thighs with broccoli and mushrooms in creamy sauce, or a nice stew. Pasta in fresh tomato sauce is also a big hit, and so is cauliflower/broccoli in cannelloni.

Through my interest in cooking and food, the children get it too. When I watch a cooking program on television or internet, Risky often comes and sits next to me watching the program. And when I am cooking in my little kitchen in the back of the garden, the kids often come running in curiously peeking in the pots and pans, and waiting for a taste. So cute.