Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cooking is a learning experience

And rightly so it is. I remember my friend saying two years ago, "I don't know how you'd survive if you moved out of college", to which I replied, "What's so difficult? You put oil into the pan, then put whatever you want inside."

Well, that might have sounded like wishful thinking at that time, but you know what?

It is that simple. Yes it is.

Well, of course there's more to it, but if all you did were to put oil into the pan, then put whatever you want inside, and just move it around with the black thing you fry with, whatever you call it, you'd definitely come up with something edible.

Which shouldn't be a problem when you're cooking for yourself.

So, since I've been cooking a bit since moving out of college into the apartment, here's what I've cooked up. With the 'put oil into pan and whatever else you want inside' method.

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Bought minced pork and bak choy from safeway and made this. Not bad, except I cooked too much. One and one-third cups of rice is too much for one person. Note to self: Must reduce amount of rice cooked.

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Next up is indomee fried with the same vegetables and minced pork. The problem here, 2 packets of indomee is fine when you're just eating it on its own. But when you put veges and meat into it, 2 packets of indomee become like 3 plates of char kuay teow that you order in a coffeeshop in KL.

Oh and the veges were raw as well. Didn't know how to cook veges yet.

Oh well, I finished it anyway. Note to self: Don't cook 2 packets of indomee if I'm going to add veges and meat into it.

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More of the same method of cooking. This dish suffered from multiple flaws. The penne wasn't soft enough no matter how long I left it in the pot of boiling water, and the water kept on overspilling everytime I set it down onto the hotplate so I had to continously bring the pot up and set it down again. The meat was in chunks that were too thick to be cooked properly on the pan using my crude method. And for whatever reason, the table salt I have does not seem to be salty no matter how much I put.

So in the end it came out oily and not salty and slightly undercooked meat, although it was edible. Note to self: Never cook penne again.

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I took a break on this particular day, and had a breakfast for a dinner, if you know what I mean. And what can go wrong with a sandwich? Well, it was too thick. Note to self: Don't make a sandwich that's too thick, no matter how much I like stuffing it with veges. It just hurts my jaw to open so wide to bite into it.

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This might not look like much, but I actually consider it to be one of the better meals I've cooked. Firstly I deboned 2 chicken drumsticks with no hassle at all, something that surprised me a lot. Marinated it with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and pepper, and threw it into the pan with oil, moved it around for a bit, and added onions at the end. Turned out exactly the way I expected it to. The kailan (if it was kailan) was cooked well, and the mushrooms surprisingly added some good flavour to it. Note to self: Take a better picture next time.

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This was just done tonight. One of my more ambitious dishes. My mum used to stew pork with choi bou (which is the preserved radish if I got it right), and it looked very simple to make. So that's what I did. Deviating from the method mentioned, instead this time I put the pork into a pot with the radish, added a tiny bit of water, and left it there.

And so it was boiling and cooking and I was happy and all that. But after a while, I took it out and realised that the bottom was all burnt. Lol. You can see from the picture there some of the burnt bits that didn't get thrown away. And the radish tasted horrible. Not like what I was hoping for.

But it wasn't a major disaster though. Threw all the radish away, pork was still edible. Veges were cooked properly, and rice is rice. Note to self: Try this again next time, with more water in the pot. And no more radishes.

And that's it. Cooking is just like playing an RPG game. You push on and gain experience and as you level up you gain access to better items to use.


IronEaters said...

they all looked pretty good! esp the last dish =D yea, I think some ppl jt afraid of trying to cook as the food might turn out bad. but yea, one will improve as u cook more(like the way u describe it with game, altho dunno wats RPG game)


crushedguava said...

haha thanks!

although looks can be deceiving ;)

and an RPG game is a 'role playing game' where players take on the role of the character and gains experience as he plays, making the character 'level up' and improve in terms of ability.