Friday, October 09, 2009

If You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking?

Food is the essence of life. There are these questions. Eat to live? Or live to eat? I agree with both. Nestle recently announced their huge profit was due to the trend that more and more people are eating outside. Youngsters are so busy with their work nowadays. Cooking at home is troublesome. Eating outside is faster, cleaner and cheaper too. Pizza Hut guarantees you a hot and fresh-from-oven pizza in 15 minutes. Within one hour, you get breadstick, mushroom soup, pizza and a drink. It cost you just RM9 inclusive of tax. The best thing is you don’t have to buy, prepare, wash, cook, and do the dishes.

It is an upsetting trend and not surprisingly, more and more women don’t know how to cook. Out of 10, 7 or 8 might claim they don’t know how to fry an egg. I used to believe that woman or housewife should know how to cook or at least know how to prepare for one dinner. I changed that perception though. Actually, all man and woman should know how to cook. It’s a norm that anyone who wants to survive in this world should pick up cooking.

Cooking is one of the skills you need to acquire in order to appreciate more on the food served out there. You will understand all the hassle of preparation before the food reached the dining table. Food for thought, anyone? I normally listen to food critics by chef and not celebrities which I doubt they had entered a true kitchen before. Those claimed-to-be food critics will only report to you with limited vocabulary of “delicious”, “tasty”, “wonderful”, “yummy”, “different from the one I used to eat” and “waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”.

Real food critics especially those who had laid their hand on the wok will give you different outlook.

“The meat is fresh. Probably never been frozen in freezer.”

“Too much cooking oil. He/she should have expected some fatty oil to ooze out from the meat instead.”

“The cutting of the garlic does not suit the sequence of cooking. The finely chopped garlic burnt before the vegetable is even cooked.”

I always helped my mom when I was a teen. My mom doesn’t have the luxury of a daughter to help her. A substitute is better than none. After helping my mom in the kitchen, I have to say that cooking is not an easy task. It needs dedication. From buying, you need to hunt, see, feel, touch, smell, and bargain. In preparation, you need to wash, clean, pluck, cut remove excessive fat and marinate. In cooking, you need to stir, resist the oil splash, heat and smoke. After the dinner, you need to clean up and wash the dishes too.

The pride of man in Penang
Those days, man’s contribution came at the final stage. Now, it has to come at all stages. It’s an alarming fact that one can’t deny. My recent trip to Penang is more to an eat-a-thon. There are a few facts which support my claim.

I was at Gurney Drive, their so-called famous eateries hang out spot. Tried their pasembur, an Indian rojak. The owner? An Indian guy.

I went to Air Hitam to try their famous milk which opens only at night. The owner was shown in the Astro’s Ah Xian show. The owner can speak fluent Hokkien and other Chinese dialects too. Guess what? He’s an Indian guy too.

The next morning, the same location just opposite the milkman stall is the famous assam laksa. Han Ching’s favourite. She would sacrifice everything just to have a bowl of this sour assam laksa. For me, the taste is not bad. Different from the one I used to eat. Judging from the sight, it’s a family business and guess what? The father is the cook.

I read from internet about the famous aunty who fried char kuey teow (CKT) at Lorong Selamat. Most of them claimed she was too arrogant. You have to succumb to her rules. I’m not stupid. I am not a slave of her cooking. I tried the other one. Sister CKT. Erm… KL one is comparable at a much cheaper price and bigger portion. Readers might think sister’s CKT must be prepared by ladies. Sister ma… It’s true to a certain extent. When we left, I took a picture. The CKT sister took a break and was replaced by a man instead. Hopefully, not a victim of “potong”.
On our way back from Penang, we dropped by Bidor to try the famous duck drumstick noodle or “ngap tui mien” at this shop called “Pun Chun”. Well, I didn’t saw the cook whether he’s a man/woman. However, besides the noodle, this shop is famous for the fried yam balls or in Chinese “wukok”. It was prepared by an uncle in his 50s.
It’s no longer a tendency that woman must be the one that controls the kitchen. Cooking is not about talent or rocket science. It’s a skill that can be picked up by everyone. You just have to try and try over and over again even if your family is hospitalised eating it.

“I have failed many times and that’s why I am a success,” my famous basketball idol, Michael Jordan once quoted.


HC said...

Girls will usually pick up cooking when she becomes a mother

Jennifer said...

Wah, you went for eating spree...that's nice...haha

Boon Chuan said...

Is the duck noodles nice?

Au Yong said...

Boleh tahan la

Anonymous said...

duck noodle is just a simple duck soup pour into a bowl of noodles, dats all... the soup like ordinary herbal soup la...

but nice la... 8/10 lo