Saturday 25 April 2015

On Being a SAHM: Sea Change

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When I decided to exchange my corporate attire for the apron, spatula and dishwasher five years ago, I had two main plans in mind: 1) to hone my cooking skills and 2) to accelerate my way into motherhood.

The former was high on my bucket list but one which I didn't have much time to pursue before. The latter was a deep desire I've always had for my future. "No rushing into things. Take it easy," I heard myself advising me. Afterall, I had just relocated to a new country then and would logically need some time to adapt. However, when you're already quite far into your third decade of life, you don't really want to wait around that long, do you? Especially when your biological clock is racing against time. More about biological clock in the next post. In the meantime...

It is by no means an exaggeration when I say I did an extensive research on food and recipes to find my niche. I rang up my mother in Singapore constantly to ask for family recipes of comfort food I grew up eating, scoured the internet and YouTube for new recipes, bought and borrowed cook books by well known chefs, diligently collected free recipe flyers from magazines and supermarkets and tuned in to cooking programmes, which the Australian TV has many. Like my mother, I am a "pinch and throw" sort of cook who doesn't measure my ingredients precisely but I like it that way. I had fun with my kitchen experiements that cooking became a very enjoyable pursuit. Australia has some of the best fresh produce, which makes cooking even more pleasurable. I also went on to establish a food blog, My Cooking Affairs, which is a chronicle of my kitchen adventures. It has over 18,000 global visitors - not bad for a low profile blog. Since I became busy with raising my little precious, Cookie, the food blog has taken a back seat and is probably filled with virtual cobweb and dead spiders now. I must go and clean it up sometime.

I cook a wide variety of food - from Asian to western - for my little family, running through the nutritional content of each meal mentally. My husband often waxes lyrical about my home cooked meals to his family and friends. No, I didn't bribe him to do so neither did I intoxicate him with love potion in his food. Haha! He's a good sport who sets aside his inhibition, tweaks his western palate and tries everything I prepare. I am happy to declare that once an unadventurous eater who stuck mainly to breads, pies, roasted meat and dairy products, he can now take on the fiery Sambal (a spicy chilli-based Malay condiment) and regards Belacan (fermented shrimp paste which is central to Malay cooking) as a flavourful ingredient, among others. Currently, I am gathering inspirations for Cookie's lunch box for her weekly playschool. So, my kitchen adventure continues with food for little tummies and famously fussy eaters.

I believe cooking is an empowering skill. You get to decide what goes into your body thus you literally have a direct control over your diet and health. It is also one of the surefire ways to a man's heart, especially when done with a lot of passion. You know that one - "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach"? No love potion is necessary :)

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