Friday, April 22, 2005

Food- Daphne's perspective

When ben asked me what topic he should blog, i said 'food-from international student's perspective and gave him some ideas to write. Ruth caught on..and the last i heard, she is going to write in her perspective. I thought that since i started it, i might as well write it. (that and because I hv done up abt 9K long treatment manual.. that is almost as long as my thesis man).

My kitchen is my solace. Well, part of it anyway. The joys of mixing ingrediants, hitting the dough, tenderising the meat and cutting the veges..all so therapeutic. Not to mention, it sounds violent as well. I discovered that it is also a good anger managment program... venting all your frustration over a few batches of cookies just sound more productive.

I was hopeless in the kitchen a few years ago though. The first dish i cooked was Oyster sauce veges. The 2nd dish i cooked was Oyster sauce chicken. Yes, Lee kum kee oyster sauce was my partner in crime... Then i found out that the cost of food is simply too great to eat OUT everyday.. or perhaps, i was just sick of oyster sauce... or maybe, realised that a packet of indomee every night just isnt healthy!

So i started cooking WITHOUT oyster sauce.. Yes, i switched to soy sauce instead! So clever huh? Anyway, the experiment began and i began to collect cookbooks and long distance telephone bills to my grandma.

That was 5 years ago btw.

My collection of cookbooks grew... long distance phonecalls to grandma still stays the same (although i still ask her for tips frequently). It is funny, however, when grandma says "a pinch of salt" and then when i went back to singapore..and realised that HEr PINCH of salt is "A HANDFUL" of salt. :p no wonder hers taste so good..mine just taste ....tasteless.

Dishes i learnt from her?
Sweet n sour pork
bbq chicken wings
Braised pork
steam chicken
Chicken curry
chicken stew
soups..all kinds.

I guess grandma was keen for me to learn too. Afterall, i followed her around in the kitchen for so long.. i SHOULD learn something right?

Through that is a different story.. I experiment.. threw receipes away..kept some.. filed some.. There are mornings where the guys n i will jus look at cookbooks and decide what to cook for the next week..

stuff i learnt frm cookbooks.. far too many for me to list. But some r really crap and some r really good... my baking book is the best book to date. None of the recipes failed me.. Spinach and cheese triangles, scones, toll hse cookies, choco chip cookies, swiss roll.. yum. Best investment. Worst is prob some australia cookbook that it thought was interesting, but really,alot of those 'new age' cusine, or 'fusion' just doesnt taste as good as the REAL thing.

Oh ya, i forgot. Must give tribute to the boys in my hse, who dared to eat all the food i cooked.

So gradually, what started as essential became a hobby.

That's my part in the kitchen in our hse in perth anyway. THe same goes for the boys..although i dont think theirs evovled into a hobby. It is still the basis of 'must cook.. no food' i think. :p It was fun though, as we see how our style of cooking differs. Alan- always leaning towards the jap food side. Armand- him and his curry paste, assam paste... Jackson- anything fried goes. no veges. oh. Corn soup! his famous corn soup.. with lots of young tou fu. Probably, it shows our personality too..mmm..

Yes, we take turn cooking. I cooked much less now though, but i try to help the guys out alot more. Yes, it is an advantage being a girl..can multitask in the kitchen. It is fun hving to chop veges, stir the soup and cook the curry at once.

I hv my fair shares of diasters in the kitchen too. A roast chicken that wasnt quite cooked. Steam fish that was too rubbery....etc etc.. too many to mention.

Taking turns to cook just save time and money. A meal for the 4 of us will range between 12-15 dollars a night. If we go out and eat, that would be 10 bucks per person. That is ALOT of savings everyday. It all adds up.

Besides, think of all the fun u can hv when u cook.chop chop here, throw throw there, fire..stir.. add spices and seasoning..da dah, u hv a dish.

Anyway, how about when i return to singapore? or if grandma comes to town. Oh, easy, i let her hv the kitchen. No use hving power fight. She is the guru in my kitchen. every kitchen.


Benji said...

I'm staying out of the kitchen when I'm back in Singapore..

Thoughts said...

erm... after 3 yrs, the only thing i can cook is still oyster sauce veg.....

now i don't even bother cooking... my maid does all the cooking... even in Brisbane...

n yes Daf, maybe I might write a food blog too, Velda's perspective......

Benji said...

that's 4 of us now... who's next?

Thoughts said...

i want the recipe for that yummy salad! give to boyce so that he can make it for me!

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