Saturday, February 20, 2010

Back to Blog

I was out to dinner recently and saw a friend who asked 'When are you going to write another blog post?'. This question took me off guard for several reasons - one, because I didn't know that he read this blog, two, because I realised how long it had be since I wrote a blog post, and three, because I became unexpectedly excited about the prospect of writing something.

I have been doing a lot of cooking lately, but with a new house (hence a new kitchen) and soon (possibly) a new job, there has just been too much going on to contemplate getting out a camera and writing it down. The kitchen is a major development for me - from no kitchen last year, to quite a spacious one this year! Spacious, but not particularly new. It has quite the black and white and multiple layers of flooring thing going on. However, it has gas cooktops, so it wins my vote.

In response to Michael Ruhlman's question, 'Why do you cook?'

- I cook because it's like everyday alchemy. Life can be so routine, but cooking is your daily chance to make something fabulous out of something plain. It's an escape from boredom, if you are willing to make it so.

- I cook because I like to nurture those around me. It's a way of showing love.

- I cook because I love flavours.

- I cook because because it is tactile, and my daily work is not. There is so much pleasure in kneading dough or chopping vegetables, after sitting still all day.

- I cook because I like to know what I am eating.

My new house is not far from the Preston markets, so we have been filling our fridge with vegetables once a week. Daily meals have consisted of finding something to do with those vegetables we already have.

I enjoy looking at a pile of vegetables and thinking of something to make out of them. Like this salad of green beans, white beans, tomatoes, chickpeas and boiled egg, topped with a sauce made of blended garlic, tuna, mayonnaise and lemon.

[Please note the cleanskin wine and the makeshift table consisting of some milk crates and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster board. It's still tough times! ]

Lately, I've had no desire at all to eat out. Apart from not being able to afford it (with the exception of a few very cheap excursions to the fabulous local Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants, Pho Hung and Noodle King), I've just really been relishing my new house and the peace and quiet of sitting on the back deck, staring dreamily into the large expanse of lawn.

Happy cooking!

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