Jk said I should post more on the blog, considering that I supposedly have all this free time. I’ve been quite busy, but the main excuse is because I find wordpress a bit too unwieldy for uploading photos – is it because of the gigantic formats of digital photos taken on modern day multi-mega pixel cameras? Then there should be a faster uploading tool! Also, people tell me that wordpress is an easy blog tool to use. Anyone has any suggestions?
It’s also too much to summarise what I did in the past 1 month (the first of my self-declared sabbatical), but one of them were some kitchen experiments, captured on my trusty lumix lx3. You know, just in case nobody (else) believes me. Most of the dishes here are debuts; in other words. I have subjected my friends, brother & relatives to be the guinea pigs of my culinary experiments.
Fresh ingredients are the key
Mini portobello mushrooms & tomatos marinated with garlic malt vinegar dressing. The malt vinegar was a surprise find at the heartland supermarket.
Mini frankfurters with zucchini. I admit these did not require extraordinary effort on my part.
Fruits are nature's solution to the post-meal sweet crave. Somehow, most people respond to luscious red strawberries.
Strawberries & kiwis marinated in a special recipe.
There was still a dish of brocolli and blue cheese pasta salad. Unfortunately, did not manage to take a picture of that!
Also without a picture: “vegetable rice” – a homemade concoction of a variety of vegetables with rice: pumpkin, yellow pepper, long beans, carrots, tofu with rice and thick soya sauce, put to cook in the traditional rice cooker. Yes, it was a bit too much ingredients and the mini rice cooker almost overflowed. But actually it is very easy to make and very edible! First, dice and sautee the ingredients (without the rice) in the pan/wok with seasoning to taste together with the thick soya sauce, but lightly sauteed so as not to overcook the vegetables, but just enough to bring out the flavour. At the same time, put the rice to a slight simmer in the cooker. Then put the sauteed ingredients all into the cooker and stir slightly. In less than 20 minutes, voila – a hot piping meal! I was making a vegetarian dish, but you could easily improvise on the ingredients with minced meat etc.
And what to do with all the extra ingredients that you have bought for the big cook-outs? (yeah they were “big” cook-outs by my definition) Use them to whip up a delicious breakfast the next day.
Omelette stuffed with grated carrots, parmesan and scallions. Am not a big fan of carrots, but you can actually use up quite a few carrots in this dish, and therefore count towards the beta-carotene intake. And they naturally added to the golden colour of the omelette. Just like fluffy golden pillows.
Cooking is about improvising with what you have in the larder/fridge or can find at the neighbourhood market on that day. You can start the day with a recipe in mind but eventually end up with something totally different on the dining table. It could be a disaster, but it could potentially be serendipitious.
Eating out used to be such a luxury, an event saved for weekends or special occasions. But in the modern urban life, eating out is the norm. If only our life here permits us to grow our own food (impossible if you live in a strata-divided building without a solid plot, however small, of your own), shop for a variety of fresh ingredients (impossible if you have a 9 to 5 job because the wet market closes by noon) and whip up a delicious meal catered to you & your household’s own palettes (impossible as that 9 to 5 job is not really a 9 to 5 job because you may have to work till at least 7 or 8pm everyday).
Cooking has become such a luxury, so enjoy it when you get the chance to cook!