03 August 2007

Home-cooked food

Before I started working, I certainly wondered if I would have the time and energy after work to cook an entire dinner for my family. I had some serious doubts, as previous internship experiences left me rather drained even though I was able to leave on the dot at 6pm. Now, I'm starting to think that it's not really that difficult to do.

While I am willing to eat pretty much anything when I'm alone (and some of the really odd things that I've conjured up for myself is pretty ghastly), I try not to put family to that same kind of treatment. I thought this would mean cooking big, yummy dishes. Putting together fresh ingredients to produce yummy food is a given, but these home-cooked-after-work sort of meals aren't necessarily big-big. It could be a one-bowl meal like porridge or fried noodles with all your leftovers. But with a grocery store or bakery along the way home, all the better since I can get some fresh ingredients as well.

Just the other day, I had some time to pop by Cold Storage and decided to grab some chicken drumsticks and lettuce. I then stopped by Da Paolo's Gastronomia for a loaf of soft country bread before heading home. It was just my dad and I and the meal was put together in a flash. After I quickly marinated the chicken in a cumin-and-tumeric-heavy spice blend, I browned them over medium heat and threw them all into the oven to roast. I washed the salad, prepared the dressing, sliced the bread and before I knew it, the chicken was ready.

The meal wasn't big, and I didn't spend too much time on it. The bread was bought and I didn't really slave over the chicken. I don't know about others out there, but I usually have the problem of determining if the chicken is cooked all the way through, or if it is still a little bloody inside. I personally don't have an issue with a little blood, but I know some people cringe at that sight. But all that was resolved when I finally invested in a meat thermometer. It's one of those things you can poke into the thickest part of the meat to check the internal temperature. I then followed a meat-doneness guide rather like this, and waited for the chicken to reach the appropriate temperature.

Everything wasn't fancy, unless you count using a very cute artist's palette-shaped platter. And it certainly felt good, sitting beside my dad savouring every morsel of food. The bread was super soft and tasty by itself. With some olive oil and vinegar, I was transported to beautiful pink fluffy clouds of cotton candy - which is just my way of saying it was damn good.

I think I could do this more often, cooking at home that is. Cooking really doesn't have to be complicated at all.


faith said...

hi daffy, reading this makes me want to take the initiative to whip up something even if its after a long day, after all, its not always about the razzle dazzle ;)

jy said...

Wow I hand it to you girl, you can really whip up dishes in an instant! I'm a kitchen klutz hoho :P

Anonymous said...

faith>I'm really glad you feel that way! Probably something nice during this coming week?

jy> I think it helps to have a stocked and equipped kitchen for last minute cravings and instant meals! Things like cous cous, pasta, and cooked rice are lifesavers for me. It should be much easier than you imagine it to be!