Mo Fang had no idea what Li Ming was thinking but since they had somehow gotten back to the topic of cooking, he felt that it was also alright. Since it was something that Li Ming was passionate about, it was definitely something he should inquire about further to make sure that he was showing him he was good boyfriend material.
Putting down his glass of wine and picking the cutlery back up to show him that he liked his food, Mo Fang just went with the direct approach. “There is one thing I’m curious about. I hope you don’t mind me asking?”
Li Ming naturally shook his head. “Of course not. Just go ahead.”
Mo Fang was more than pleased with that attitude. “If you feel that I’m getting too personal, you don’t have to answer though, alright?”
Li Ming shook his head, feeling that Mo Fang was really too cautious. He really didn’t believe that he was able to ask the kind of question that would worry him so much. “Just go ahead. If you really ever cross some kind of line, then we’ll deal with that when we get there.”
Mo Fang gave a short laugh before getting back to the original topic. “Well, you told me before that you like cooking and well, I guess I can see that now. It’s really delicious.”
Li Ming smiled at the sincere praise. He couldn’t help but feel a little bit accomplished when hearing that. “Thank you.” He didn’t have guests very often, especially not those that he would cook for so it was rare for him to be able to show off. And, well, this dish probably wasn’t the kind of thing you would try to impress somebody with. It was really simple after all. But because of that, hearing Mo Fang say that he thought it was delicious meant even more to him.
“Well, I was wondering where you picked it up. I mean, is that something your family taught you?”
Li Ming kept quiet for a moment, wondering how much to tell Mo Fang. In the end, he shook his head. “No, I guess they never really felt that it was important to teach me. In our family, it was always my mother cooking. It was only after I finally moved out that I was in the position where I needed to cook but didn’t know how.” He rubbed his temple, feeling a little embarrassed even now when he thought back. “I was old enough to know this type of thing. But with there never being the opportunity, I didn’t even know where to begin.”
Mo Fang felt intrigued. To be honest, he never lived alone his entire life. When he moved out of his parents’ place, he had directly moved in with a boyfriend. And after breaking up with him, there had been another one he could stay with. And normally, his boyfriends had at least had enough money to go out to eat. They also didn’t really expect him to do anything at home. Clearly, most of his value was just looking pretty. Things like cooking just didn’t fit this aesthetic. “So what did you do about it?” He had ignored this problem for years but Li Ming had actually taken another approach. He couldn’t help but be a little curious about it.
“Well, I tried on my own first but I didn’t really have the knack for it. I burned quite a few dishes, used way too many spices in some others, and overcooked the rest. Honestly, everything I made was inedible. I didn’t know you could be that bad at something. I always thought that as long as you read the recipe and followed the steps, it shouldn’t go so horrible but apparently, I had a kind of talent for ruining things in the kitchen.”
Despite better knowledge, Mo Fang couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m sorry but that does sound a bit funny.” He couldn’t help but feel a bit sheepish though. After all, he had pretty much said that cooking was easy when they talked in the morning. Trying to downplay his awkwardness and hoping that Li Ming wouldn’t remember, he just went on with his questions. “Also, I guess you have managed to overcome that troublesome period in your life.”
Li Ming smiled. “Yes, I did. I finally figured after three weeks of inedible dishes that I need some professional help. So … I signed up for a cooking course. Going there, I at least had somebody who was able to look at what I did wrong and give me some feedback on how I could improve. It helped tremendously even though it also took some time.
“After a few weeks of that and seeing some slight improvements in my cooking, I went on to search up resources online. There are a lot of videos on how to cook. It was easier seeing how somebody does the recipes than just reading the steps in a book.”
“Well, it certainly does sound like it. I guess this time, things got easier for you then.”
“That’s true. I think it only took a few weeks until most of my dishes were pretty decent. They weren’t really good but at least I could eat them. And after that, I just kept at it and with some more experience …” He shrugged his shoulders and then picked up his wine glass again, taking another sip. “By now, I have to admit that I really like it. Not being able to cook would be strange. As if something was missing from my life.”
Mo Fang gave Li Ming a dreamy look. Ah, to think that there were actually men out there who could talk so passionately about their hobbies … He wondered if Li Ming would be the same if he was in a relationship. Would he also say things like ‘there would be something missing from my life if you weren’t here’ to his lover? It was so romantic!
Li Ming noticed the peculiar expression and was a little confused but he felt that it probably was just because Mo Fang felt that the story was a little funny. There probably wasn’t any more to it.