SSU of the Month: Julienne


image: Single Sisters in University

Interview Topic: Love to Cook?

Sisters! Meet Julienne, a former SSU. Currently, Julienne works as a Production Assistant for a television company. She’s a wife and a mother; on her free time, you’ll find Julienne at home resting with family. We’re talking about cooking today, not just cooking but ‘loving’ to cook, who better to interview than Julienne who used to be intimidated to cook!

Tell us about your upbringing, did you grow up eating in or out?
We all ate in. I think the only times we ate out was for special occasions such as birthdays. My mother always cooked; this woman loves to cook all the time and anytime.

Having such a model in your life, were you then interested to cook as a young girl? Why or why not?
Interested, yes. But at the age of 11, I suffered a second-degree burn on my hand while cooking that I became intimidated to cook. I was always reminded of that incident whenever I entered the kitchen. Later on, as I grew older, I summoned the courage to cook but I could never do it well; I mean when you have such a role model like my mother, you feel pressured to nail it like her but I could never do it. There were so many trials and errors that cooking became frustrating and intimidating. I didn’t enjoy doing it.

How did you overcome the frustration?
It took some time. I believe in order to cook well, it has to begin with love or passion. If you don’t have it, no matter how you cook, your dishes will only be average but never excellent; that’s why some people coined the term “Soul Food.” Previously, I was attempting to cook out of pressure and obligation instead of love. After I finished grad school, I was unemployed for couple of months, I spent a lot of time at home and thus had to cook for the family. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my wrong motivations for cooking and told me to associate Him everytime I was going to the kitchen. Hence, I started every cooking session with a prayer; I asked questions to my mother and paid close attention on how she perfected her dishes. I was open to criticism and was determined to do better each time. Jesus called me to be an overcomer and I believed I should also be a winner in the kitchen.

Why was it important to know how to cook?
If you don’t cook, you don’t eat! Eating out is expensive, unhealthy, and time-consuming. So why not just cook? I also was looking ahead to having a family of my own, so I wanted to be a good housewife. I mean if I had guests over, it would be preferable and more appealing to cook than order. So, in every way you see it, cooking always wins over eating out.

How did you get to the point of confidence?
The Lord has been my strength, it’s amazing I never knew that He was interested in my cooking success, but that’s just how great He is! God encouraged me a lot not to be disappointed but to rely on Him. Knowing this truth was such a tremendous blessing, otherwise, I would have never gotten this far! Additionally, when people, including my mother, begin to make compliments on my dishes that boosts confidence too.

Do you still make mistakes in the kitchen?
Absolutely, to err is human. My mistakes are not frequent though; there are occasionally due to a little misjudgment of measurements, especially if it’s a dish I’ve never cooked before or don’t often cook.

What are your future goals?
My future goals are to learn more recipes and innovate on the ones I already know, plus I want to bake more.

Any words for SSU?
Society gives a bad image of cooking as if it was a sacrilege for women to be in the kitchen. However, you are not the world but of God. The Bible gives examples of women that cooked such as Martha, Sarah, and even Titus 2:5 says that women should be busy working at home. If cooking is not your thing, ask the Lord to give you a passion for it. Start small, be open to criticism, learn from others, and be cheerful. At times, you may get discouraged but remember, the Holy Spirit is with you to win in this.

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