I have neglected writing for over a year because 2015 was a whirlwind of adventures for me. I didn’t spend as much time experimenting in the kitchen but is not all that bad. Cooking took a backseat while I traveled and exposed my palette to different flavours and ingredients.
The top 3 adventures in 2015 that will influence what I’m cooking and how I will cook for 2016 are:
I got married in India (and then Melbourne). I saw Taj Mahal and ate real Indian food – chaats and home cooked Indian meals with farm fresh ingredients.
I’m really, really married. I had 2 beautiful weddings! (How much more married can you be?) I became part of an Indian family and I welcome this new addition to my identity . I’m finding the most practical way of incorporating this new part of my life, is to learn Indian cooking!
The past few times when I tried making Indian meals all by myself, I feel really accomplished when I saw Mr T’s satisfying grin on his face. I think I’m doing it right and I’m gradually getting used to the spices and remembering their taste.
Wedding photography by Jon Low
2. I had my honeymoon in Italy and we literally ate our way through
We had our long overdue honeymoon at September, just before we moved from our beloved Melbourne to Singapore. The trip was 3.5 weeks and we enjoyed Italy thoroughly. We love the architecture, the history, the art and the food. We love the food. We ate alot and we are extremely picky on where we ate. Even when we were exhausted, we will go the extra mile (literally) to find a place where they serve real/good food. We stayed away from tourist traps.
We had pizza at the oldest pizzeria in Naples, the best artisan gelato in Florence (I had them everyday), squid ink risotto in Venice, a wonderful Tuscan lunch at Chianti (of course, with a nice glass of Chanti Classico!), Bolognese in Bologna, another nice gelato in Milan (we were only in Milan for 1 day) We discovered a local coffee place in Rome, where we would visit every morning (we name the barista Mario) and drank our coffee the italian way – standing up and zipped in and out of the place in 15 mins. There was no long, pretentious queue for good coffee like those in Melbourne. We ended the trip with a quiet, relaxing time at Lake Como, where I fell asleep after a glass of gin and tonic at the porch. Boy… do I miss Italy now.
I tasted real Italian cooking – not hard crust pizza, not soft pasta, real Italian tomatoes (there seems to taste more harmoniously in a dish than tomatoes elsewhere. Perhaps is the skilful used of it…) When in doubt, always go with the Basil + Tomato + buffalo mozzarella combo. I love the creamy, fresh Burrata I had in Tuscany and I would use that in place of mozzarella if I could get my hands on them.
3. I move to Singapore, next to Johor Bahru, where I grew up.
Oh boy… my childhood favourite hawker food. hello! My tastebuds never mature, it simply remained 16 years old. The fancy food chains and the gimmicky taiwanese/japanese/korean snacks does not appeal to me. Anytime, I’m up for my traditional Malaysian kuehs.
This move also changed what I can make in the kitchen. The ingredients i’m used to are a premium here. On the other hand, the ingredients available in the supermarket are ingredients my mum would use, the yummy kueh people would use, which means is time to learn how to make food I like to eat as a child.
In 2016, I’m getting back to the kitchen. I would like to experiment with more spices in 2016, try some kueh recipes, learn cooking from mum and start sharing my kitchen experiments again on the blog!