After reading ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ by Michael Pollan (it’s a great book, I highly recommend to anyone who’s interested in learning more about where our food comes from), I developed a keen interest in making my own food from scratch as much as possible. Since it’s currently my 3-month long summer break, and Covid has successfully cancelled all my plans for travelling, I thought “what better way to spend my holidays than being in the kitchen, and learning new skills?”
With that, I started my cooking adventures in the kitchen once more. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to experiment with new recipes and tweaking old recipes. I tried my hand at making foods from different parts of the world. Even though I can’t travel physically, there’s no stopping my tastebuds from enjoying the flavours of the world.
I made Golden Turmeric Butter Rice which was an absolute flavour bomb, baked my braided Aqua Faba Challah bread, whipped up my own rendition of Tzatziki which was tangy and refreshing, and I also made my own homemade pasta. I kneaded the dough by hand, rolled out the dough by hand, sliced the strips by hand – which was why the pasta noodles turned out slightly fatter and rougher in shape than commercial packaged ones. But when I tossed them in a creamy sundried tomato sauce, they turned out chewy and springy and al dente ~ For people who have loads of time to spare (like me), making pasta is definitely a good way to spend the day. You don’t get bored, you have fun, and there’s food to fill your stomach after.
Some other honorable mentions include: 1. homemade Chinese bing (courtesy of Linda Sun) which turned out more like flatbread. My eyes widened in astonishment when it puffed up like a pufferfish on the pan. 2. Tamagoyaki – it was my first attempt making this egg roll and it turned out nicely enough
One new dessert that I tried to make was a lemon tart which turned out a pretty decent success in my opinion? Since I used a vegan pastry recipe, so the crust ended up more chunky than flaky. In fact, it closely resembles the outer shell of a curry puff. Nevertheless, my mom enjoyed it so I chalk that as a win. The colour was a bit off because I only had brown sugar at hand, which turned the originally vibrant yellow lemon curd into a dull orange-brown instead. Given that this was my first time making lemon curd, I was immensely proud of myself for not cooking the egg yolks by accident, and not undercooking them either to give anyone eating it a bad case of Salmonella. Pouring the liquidy lemon curd on top of the baked pastry shell was oddly calming, seeing it set like a glossy varnish left a wide satisfied grin on my face. This is why cooking is so rewarding.
Apart from food, I also experimented with drinks. One rainy morning, instead of making my usual cup of coffee, I decided to twist it up a little by making a mint mocha latte. Plucked and crushed a few mint leaves, added a shot of instant espresso, a heaping teaspoon of dark rich cocoa powder, frothed my barista soy milk till thick and foamy … the end result was a smooth, decadent creamy liquid that slid down my throat effortlessly. The perfect beverage to sip on, whilst I cuddled up in my beanbag chair with a good book in hand.
It’s only been a month since the start of my cooking adventures, and I can’t wait to try out new recipes, new cuisines, new cooking styles. If anyone has a good recipe in mind to share, please give a holler because I am slowly but surely running out of ideas