Thursday, June 30, 2005

You can cook?? Hahaha

“You can cook?”

That is always the first thing people often say when I tell them I’m making dinner accompanied by wide eyed and jaw dropping action. Okay maybe it’s hard to believe that I am kitchen friendly and am not liable to burn the whole house down as soon as I get within a few feet of the kitchen stove.

Yes I can cook, maybe not as elaborate as those you find at the fancy high class joints but I can make palatable and heaven forbid savory dishes that has not put anyone to the hospital to date.

I’ve never really had a penchant for cooking until recently. I got disillusioned at a young age when I got shooed from the kitchen when I was accused of ‘kacauing’ (disturb) my mother and grandmother as they were cooking. Maybe 7 was to young an age to be trusted around boiling hot water, charp implements and spalshing oil. Come to think of it I have managed to inflict dire harm to my own self a few times before when handling kitchen utensils like when I sliced a deep cut to my thumb when I was acting smart in trying to slice a watermelon with the meat cleaver.

So I was barred from the kitchen and never really went back since. Ask my housemates whether I can cook and they throw their head back and laugh out loud and say that pigs will fly before that happened. Confessing, even when I was in the Philippines the whole time the girls were at the stove and I was the volunteer dish washer, every single day.

But necessity deems that I had to learn to cook. Away from home, the simple thought of having home made grub sends saliva trickling down my throat. Thus with Laura’s help (who too was at first hesitant to want to cook, we’re both spoiled by eating chap fan outside ok!), we managed to stumble through and did quite well.

We started small, didn’t want to rush it. Maggi mee and frying eggs are already hands down for me so not counting that. Spaghetti was easy enough and we made good bolognaise (minus the meat). Next we ventured to Chinese cooking. My first attempt at vegetables was not too bad, Laura complained that I put too thick a soya sauce helping and didn’t put sugar, oops. But now stir fry vegetables are no challenge. My herbal chicken soup needs work though always can't get it thick enough and taste a bit weak.

Laura makes a stunning asam fish and also chilli pedas ayam (chicken). For steamed fish I had to consult my mum, taking down her recipe by phone, the first try ended up quite bad since by mistake I only added soy sauce without any other condiments. But by trial and error it succeeded. Went on to meat dishes, to date I can already make fine enough chicken dishes and I managed even to replicate my mum’ ham choi tong (preserved vegetable soup) successfully by recalling the ingredients.

Well today with Laura back home, I got a bit fed up eating out alone so I went ahead and made dinner. Nothing fancy, had some leftover vegetarian pasta from a few days ago so went and reheated the thing. But I wanted some dishes to go along with it, and though this may sound strange since the first dish is western, I made black pepper chicken and oyster sauce cabbage. Haha at least nowadays guys too have to learn to cook, comes in handy if the wife mogok (protest) and refuse to cook, at least I won’t starve.





5xmom said...

Wah...they look delicious to me. The first one is some tomato mee? Looks yummy.

Lucia Lai said...

i won't be surprised to learn that you can cook. instead i would admire you for it. anyone who can cook (men or women) are fantastic in my book... because you know what... aiya 'pai seh' to say this... i can't cook! aww! :(

Adrian said...

Congratulations Chong! Finally had to cook for yourself huh? No more Stan, Mimi, Stick and I to cook for you eh? :p

I havent cooked for almost a year already. ARGH! :(

Omni said...

All the food you made looks lovely-and I bet it was delicious!! :-)

Kervin said...

5xmom: Eer that' suppose to be tomato pasta :D Yeah but went and fried it a bit to reheat plus spice it up since it was left overnight from the previous meal.

lucia lai: Mmm most of the time I asked people especially girls from Penang and Kl they always replied that they don't need to learn to cook since there's so much good food around, plus it's cheap and no need to do the dishes after. But I still feel a nice home cooked meal is an enjoyable pleasure :D

Adrian: Learn some Japanese dishes lor, or are you already caught in the everything can get from the vending machine Japan culture??

omni: Would have been a pleasure to cook for you to taste, hehe nice to have people appraising your cooking, but not too good yet still learning :D

Adrian said...

Oh yes I love them vending machines here. I eat 3 meals at the company cafeteria. Its always bento or takeaway from the convenience store. I dont have the time to go and sit down for dinner in a shop :(

jasmine said...

learning to cook for oneself is definitely something one picks up when we go away from home. had to fend for myself when i was in UK.. for the first month, i lived off sandwiches until i started to crave home cooked chinese food. however many caucasians believe that chinese cooking is only down to oyster sauce and black bean sauce. so had to do some variations to show them.

Kervin said...

Adrian: Do they have instant soiled panties as well? Hahaha

Jasmine: Or you can opt for the lazy person option survive on instant noodles XD Well you could always cook pedas dishes for them, too bad no good old Malaysian cili padi to make their blood boil.