Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cooking: the art of preparing food

Food is very important to me.

And the art of preparing it is becoming increasingly more important too.

This blog is peppered with recipes and stories of my attempts at being a culinary genius.

Recently, I recalled one time my mother showing me a little file or exercise book with some note scribblings and magazine/newspaper recipe cutouts, and telling me that these were my recipes. I remembered feeling quite touched that she had collected this recipes for me. But at the same time I felt somewhat unworthy then because I had not been cooking at all when I was still living in Singapore then (instant noodles do not count).

But now in Australia, the kitchen has become a very important place to me..... I stand there every day to prepare basic daily meals, recalling all the little basic cooking skills my mother ground into me. Not that I had any difficulty in remembering them, but I just felt nostalgic on the mother and daughter bond formed in this ritual of passing on these knowledge and skills. Like how to measure water when cooking rice using your finger. How to smash open a garlic clove with the side of a knife (I discovered that not many Australians knew how to do this). And how to add a pinch of sugar when stir-frying some Chinese veg to take off the slight bitter edge some Chinese greens might have.

Maybe food and cooking is something that grows on you. Without realising it, I've found myself cutting out recipes from newspapers and the back of cereal boxes. In this modern technological age, I've even used my mobile phone camera to quickly snap recipes from magazines at the newsagency. *hee hee*

These are the basic exchanges every girl (or son) should have with her mother. It's more than just teaching basic survival skills. But it's passing on a part of your heritage from one generation to another.

Food represents your heritage after all.

It think would be sad if a Chinese doesn't even know how to prepare and appreciate a basic meal of steamed white rice, fried fish with soy sauce, and stir-fried choy sum with oyster sauce.

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