My turn: Lessons learned by watching

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

I recently found out how much you can learn by watching other people cook.

My friend Nisha, her husband Victor, and their friends David and Martha fixed quite a dinner when I visited. Nisha told me to relax when I offered to help.

When Nisha moved to America from Singapore, she didn’t know how to cook. Since then, she’s learned to cook, worked as a nutrition educator and become a wealth of kitchen-related information.

While I watched the cooks slice 50 percent of all vegetables known to man, Nisha taught me:

• Cut hard-boiled eggs after they’ve cooled.

• Cutting hot peppers barehanded won’t burn if you have tough hands and touch only the uncut part.

• Tomatoes and radishes go well in a stir-fry, and you can serve it with lettuce.

Martha demonstrated that rhubarb and a little orange peel make delicious cobbler.

The coolest lesson came the next morning, when the gas for the stove had run out. Nisha fired up her electric rice cooker — yes, rice cooker — and fixed potatoes and onions with eggs and cumin using the interior of the open cooker like a skillet.

Now that’s resourceful.

Argen Duncan is the PNT senior writer. Her column appears on Thursdays. You can reach her at 356-4481 or by e-mail: aduncan@pntonline.com