This blog is inspired by a Little Girl in Reverie about her adventure in cooking. I had long wanted to nag about this as I have several nieces of marrying age and they often do a last minute dash to learn cooking.
My mom has 3 daughters, the youngest is an accidental child born after tutup kedai for 10 years. So, all my nephews and nieces are very grown up, in their 20s and 30s. Usually, after they have gone steady with a guy, they will proceed to do the things that we girls usually do. Cook a meal for the boyfriend. And some dumb girls like me, even bodoh enough to risk cooking for the whole clans. Like the boyfriend’s grandmother, parents, host of brothers, tai yee mah, cousins..Duh! Bodohnya engkau! (eventually spilt lah) But then, I had inherited the ‘mo tak teng’ (cannot compare) cooking skills from my Hainanese ancestors and everything is sap-sap sui. Give me ex-boyfriend, husband, ex-husband, future husband, anything also boleh. Want Indian, Malay, English, American, Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Punjabi food pun boleh jugak. Kueh kapit, kueh bangkit, kueh tidur…..
However, not my nieces. They will rehearse a few dishes for a few days like practising playing the piano like that. And then, for my nephew, whom looks like Andy Lau Tak Wah, has the good luck of having his string of girlfriends to come to my sister’s house to cook that ceremonious meal. Probably these girls too had been practicising at home for several weeks. Maybe caused cirit-birit to her family members in the name of research.
So, eventhough the girls nowadays may scoff at the act of cooking and going into the kitchen, preferring the boyfriends to treat them at posh restaurants, I think acquiring the cooking skills is highly important. Hey, all my nieces are U-grad, long hair, curvy and highly in demand. (Sorry guys, don’t even think of asking me to introduce. ‘Cos no one knows they are being blogged!) And my nephew’s girlfriends are also gorgeous, long legs and all those qualities. If they think it will add that extra points in scoring that ‘Will you marry me’ question, then, cooking must be important.
I can blog on and on about how easily a man is attracted to a woman who can cook him a meal. I also have a lot of stories how easily a man can stray and later on, gave the excuse that he felt neglected at home because there wasn’t a warm meal waiting for him after a hard day’s work. But then, I will need to get a secret identity like The Hustler to do it. I also have a relative who often grumbled how useless the wife is as she can’t cook. Poor man has to eat ‘ta pau’ (takeaway) food for eternity.
Even with my sons, I have often pampered them with some food which I will point out that I cooked specially for that one single person. It made them special, loved and cared for. They enjoy the thought that I know what they like, do it for them and take great care to reserve a portion for them. And I am sure 10-15 years down the line, they would want this connection with the woman they love. (argghhh, then I will be so very jeles)
As for my lucky ATM (I hope he knows it), he does get the occassional home-cooked meal (as time permits/
computer toddler needs attention mah). Anyway, I guess he wouldn’t dare to find his meals elsewhere or else risk getting his ‘thingy’ into my pot for bak kut teh. (bak kut teh = a big pot of herbal soup with every parts of the oink-oink, penises included sometimes)
To prove my cooking – here is the dish I cooked for tonight’s dinner. Stir fry celery with sotong. Looks good? Taste even better.
Recipe here, in case some of you single girls want to cook as the last ‘chou yau yee’ dinner. (meaning getting booted out/farewell)
4-5 stalks celery – peel off the exterior hardy skin
1 sotong – the brownish one, used for sotong kangkung type
bits of carrots or whatever vege like mushrooms
5 pips of garlics (less if you don’t want your boyfriend’s breath to smell afterwards)
Seasonings like pepper, salt, lots of MSG (so that boyfriend will go bald if you should decide to drop him), Shao Xiang wine
1tablespoon of cornflour mixed with about 4 tablespoon of water
Make criss-cross on the inner body of the sotong (baru ada gaya restaurant mah). Quick boil in hot water till it curls. Cut into small pieces.
Slant cut the celery. Do some carrot flower to impress the future mother-outlaw. (then she will ask you to go to her house every 1st and 15th of the month plus all the dead anniversaries of the yeema-kucheh, tai yee cheong, tai pak, hungry ghost, ching ming and etc)
Heat oil in big wok. Add garlic and let it turn almost brown, add the sotong, celery and everything. Splash with some wine and see if your wok can catch fire or not. No fire, no chiqik. Add the cornflour to thicken the sauce. (If you cannot wait for the old man and woman to kick the bucket faster so that your future husband can inherit their bungalow, use lard to fry instead.)
Boleh faham? If tak faham, come to Auntie Lilian for lesson. Otherwise, you may end up like Earthtone (psst..she is Twinsmom’s very farny sis) who broke a senduk while making a cake. You have to see the mess this baker’s daughter made while baking.