Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A day of cooking

Today was a good day, which are hard to come by for me. The only blemishes were the weather, since it has been drizzling almost to the state I think I'm back in England, plus making a phone call to the faculty office to find out that I cannot change my elective and I am stuck with paediatrics for four weeks. I just one of these people who don't like kids. 10% of the time they are OK but the remaining 90% they're just spoilt rotten. I blame the parents mostly, who don't think before having children that it takes time, effort and patience. Instead they just bung the care of the little brat to the Filipino domestic helper who doesn't give a shit in the first place. But I have to look at it in a positive way, thinking that this may be the last time I will be in contact with paediatrics and should try to bone up my skills with children... and when I mean 'bone up' I'm not referring to it in a sexual nature.

So what did I do today that was so refreshing? I cooked most of the meals today and they were reasonably good.

As an amateur cook I know I can improve on many things in my skills, unlike my dad who thinks he is a cooking god and everything he makes on the stove is perfect, even better than gourmet chefs from hotels. My dad is a reasonable cook who doesn't muck things up too much but cannot handle criticism and doesn't self criticise himself enough to seek perfection. Also my dad doesn't experiment with different ingredients or cuisines. At least I'm willing to go all the way to try food from a different land.

Firstly we had the matter of lunch - tagliatelle alla carbonara. My mum did homemade pasta - not the dry stuff out of a packet but freshly made tagliatelle from eggs and semolina flour. I resorted to make the bacon and egg sauce, which can be difficult. If you don't mix the eggs and cheese well, you can end up with scrambled eggs. Thankfully the lunch was very good but I didn't take any photos of the meal. I'm not one of those people who thinks every meal is a sensation and has to take a photo of it. I've seen people take pictures of sushi, despite the fact they probably eat sushi at least once per fortnight and it is common everywhere in the world. When you are eating rhino burgers or fried scorpions, then you can photograph it.

Dinner was more difficult - chicken tagine with preserved lemons and couscous. This was a Moroccan dish and it was my first time making such a dish from that region. Last year I made preserved lemons and wanted to use them, so this recipe was a natural choice. All I can say about the end result was that it taste very good but I needed to put in less water and more dried fruit - the salty taste was not overwhelming but noticeable.

This is the thing about cooking, it is an art and science like everything in life. You can follow the recipe up to a degree but perfecting the dish requires experience. I have more to say about cooking but I'll leave it to another time.

The other part of the day was spent watching "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (American version). My friend lent me the DVD and I spent most of the afternoon rolling on the sofa, laughing my arse off. I think the sketch show has fallen out of favour in USA, which is disappointing, but in UK it is all the rage. Programs like "Little Britain" and "The Catherine Tate Show" are all the rage in Britain but the domination of sitcoms in USA has left shows like "Saturday Night Live" left behind, which is disappointing. I just like these kind of shows more instead of the situation comedies with surreal scenes which never happen in real life plus edited applause and laughter.

Well to top off the day I'm going to have some dessert. I can't be bothered with making another dish, so I'll think I settle for vanilla ice cream with sprinkles.

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