I'm not sure whether I grew up being interested in cooking. I was definitely interested in eating, that's for sure, but cooking? Nah.
Perhaps my interest in cooking stemmed from growing up and watching my grandma and mum fuss about in the kitchen, preparing ingredients for the dishes and the house was always filled with aromas which tickled your nose every now and then.
I watched my grandma make pancakes, bubur cha cha (not my fave), red or green bean soup, banana or durian or sweet potato fritters, ABC soup and some more, which I can't recall at this moment.
I watched my mum steam yam cake, kuih lapis, seri muka (not my fave), cook curry, assam fish, tau yew bak, peanut and chicken feet soup, just to name a few.
But they would always shoo me out of the kitchen as they preferred to do everything on their own. Unless they needed to run off to the loo or watch tv for a while, then I'd be asked to watch the fire and water level of the soup ("When it reaches this level, lower the fire," my mum's famous words).
So, with that, I suppose cooking yummy dishes and presenting them to family and friends is one of the ways to share your love. I'm sure the chefs and bakers may agree on this!
When I left for college, I had to stay in a hostel and that's when you probably learn to fend for yourself. My mum-in-law also taught the hubby how to cook some basic dishes before he left for university!
My habit of sharing my wares may have started since then. I made popcorn and gave to friends in the hostel. I boiled red bean or green bean soup and invited some friends to pop over my hostel apartment for a drink.
When I moved into my own apartment years ago, I'd invite friends to come over for lunch or dinner during the weekends so I could cook a bit more to share. I wasn't a great cook, to be honest, but gathering in one's house was sometimes much better than hanging out at an expensive restaurant or Starbucks. :D
pattern habit continues.
For the past 2 years or so, I've been in a baking phase where friends and colleagues are
forced obliged made brave enough to taste my muffins and cookies. I think I was quite bad during the first phase (I still remember Lynn's brownies blowing me away and she was kind enough to share the recipe she found!) as there were some hits and misses.
(Baking was one of my new year resolutions!)
I just wanted to share with you my lazy chicken salsa wrap which you may like to try or come up with your own invention. As usual, I just made do with what I had in the kitchen!
(I think it's) Chicken Salsa Wrap
312g chicken fillet, cubed.
1 1/3 cup of corn kernels, to be boiled
1 large tomato, diced
dried parsley or basil
black pepper and salt to taste
flaxseeds, for some crunch.
slices of Lebanese bread (a packet of 5 is RM2.80!)
1. Marinate chicken with salt and black pepper and some dried basil and parsley. Cover and leave in fridge for 30 minutes. (I was too lazy to wait for long so I left it in the fridge until my corn was cooked.)
2. Boil water in a pan. Throw in the corn and boil for 8 - 10mins. (Til it's cooked! I didn't measure the time, sorry.) Set aside to cool.
3. The chicken. You may either stir fry with some oil in a pan, or bake it in the oven.
4. Stir in the corn and tomato into the chicken and sprinkle some flaxseed. Add salt or pepper to taste. Worcestershire sauce, too, if you must.
5. Lightly heat up the bread in the saucepan and lay on plate. Spoon some chicken salsa mix onto bread. Dash some Hot Peri-Peri sauce and mayo on the mix and wrap.
1. This is the lazy fella's guide to cooking, so do forgive the confusing directions. Just do as you please! :D
2. Should be able to make 3 -4 wraps.
3. It was Extra Hot Peri-peri sauce. I only realised it yesterday!
If you're on a diet like me (but I never said it was a successful one), one wrap is good enough for dinner. :)
p.s. I had a strange dream today. I was at the National Registration Department to apply for a new identification card. The officer requested for my thumb print (with the black ink to paper) and complained that she/machine couldn't see my print. I looked down at my thumb and saw that instead of paper, it was chicken bits similar to my dish above. I explained to the officer that of course she/machine couldn't read my thumb print because how on earth do I leave a clear thumb print on chicken?? The officer said I was being obnoxious (the actual word has slipped my mind) and would I please cooperate?