Friday, 10 August 2012

My love-hate relationship with Cooking - How I Learn to Love Cooking

Whoever said that they have no time to cook because they have no time to shop for groceries are talking nonsense. Actually, anyone who said they 'don't have time' or 'TOO BUSY' for anything just means that they don't put that into their priority, as simple as that.

Their excuse is the line at the check-out counters/cashier is too long. Another nonsense.

Sometimes they say they have no time to cook because they:
A) need to work like most of us do
B) need to care for children like half the Mothers do
C) or both A and B
D) they don't know how to cook and have no time to learn/attend cooking classes, etc

In other words, they don't want to cook. Period.

If you don't wish to cook, just say you don't wanna cook, simple, don't give all sorts of feeble excuses (some even more outrageous than the examples above).

I only picked up cooking, like really dabble in it about five years ago in 2007 when I got married. Before that none of my cooking were edible, just ask my younger sister who spent her first 22 years living with me.

Bless my husband for finishing almost everything that I cooked (read: experimented on) in the kitchen. You don't want to know what I cooked up in those early months. My cooking actually improved in a few months through trial and error.

Of course, I had to eat my own cooking, especially during dinner, and once my cooking improved, I cook lunch for myself as my current workplace is only a short drive away from home. Having an appreciative food taster like hubby, surely motivated me to discard my 'old hatred' towards cooking to make way for a new love for cooking, in line with a loving marriage. Ah, the power of love.

I think there are numerous stories of women who never held or use a kitchen knife before, who turned to take a liking to cooking or baking. The story should be similar to mine, only maybe the trigger is different, some is due to hubby (like my case), some is due to an arrival of a child or children, some just had no reason and picked up cooking and love it. Oh there was one story of a mother who never cooked a day in her life until her kids started school. One day her elder kid came home and said: "Mommy, why do the other kids have lunch boxes prepared by their mothers and I need to buy my food from the canteen? Can I have a lunch box as well?" - that's the trigger for this mother and she is a working mother, mind you.

Well, I guess after you completed your education, whether or not you settle down, at some point, you will realize that boiling water isn't the only thing that you can 'cook'.

Anyway, to make up for my 'lack of time', I usually cook meat dishes in advance and deep freeze them (wait for them to cool down first before packing them into containers). Yup, place them in the freezer.

Plan your menu for the whole week, if you plan to eat Cooked Meal 2 the next day, just place it in the fridge and not the freezer. The reason you place it in the freezer is because you plan to eat it much later. Don't keep it more than a month please. I stick to a 'two week and you're out' policy. I know some people believe in only a week before throwing them out. Some stretch it to a month. Oh well. Up to you!

I usually spend 2-3 hours preparing these dishes. Doesn't matter I only cook for two persons, hubby and me the time is almost the same, I need 7 types of menu as well, so that's the same number of meals everyone need to prepare for a whole week! The trick to cut short preparation time is to use almost the same ingredients and cook them in different styles. Variation comes from a single source anyway.

Oh, I do hate the hot kitchen and the sweat, especially in Malaysia's all-year-round tropical weather. However, when compared to the look of appreciation on my hubby's face, I love him even more and cook even more - hence he has gained a lot of love, food and inevitably weight in these five years of being Sue's husband. ;)

You can control how much salt/ingredient to put into your own cooking, and in the long term, while it may not necessarily be 'cheaper', depending on your situation, it is generally healthier when you prepare your own food at home. :)

Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong. I do get 'off days' or 'lazy days' too. When I get those days, I just say "I don't want to cook" instead of cooking up some excuses (see above). Hubby is sporting and understanding enough to bring me out to eat on these days, or we simply order for pizza delivery or just pack our meals from outside and bring home. Look at it this way: To cook half the time and eat out half the time = half healthy, better than eat out all the time = almost not healthy unless you choose the food carefully. Just a general statement here, don't flame me. Thanks!

Some random pix of my preparation in my kitchen, from marinating, preparing the gravy all the way to freezer. Follow my instagram or twitterat @suetiong for more pix of my cooking. ;)

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