Hello hipsters! if you have been following my blog, you would probably realize that I rarely share personal details about myself, except about those related to food. For this particular post though, allow to share my two cents about cooking and food, my childhood and what trend that I observe, is currently going on nowadays.
When I was much younger, I used to watch my Mother bake cakes. Back then, I would closely watch Mum as she mixed the flour, sugar and eggs, and I noticed the cocktail of ingredients she would add into the batter. But one particular thing was stuck in my mind. It was a small plastic container, with a butterfly logo on the white lid and inside was a solid, cumin-yellow, butter-like solid. I was not aware of what it was, but it actually smelled good!
Today, 20 years later, I realize that it was called ‘TBM” or cake emulsifier, the integral agent that was responsible for my Mum’s yummy egg sponge cake! It was integral, because as an emulsifier, it enabled to cake batter to be mixed evenly, and remains fluffy (does not turn watery) before it heads to the oven. Today, my Mum no longer bakes cakes, but that memory still lingers in my mind.
|The secrets of my Mum's yummy cakes!|
I could remember my Mum has been cooking for our family for as long as mini me could start to recognize faces and to remember. Today, more than a quarter decade later, My Mum has a choice of letting her family to fend for themselves. We could actually choose to either buy our own food or subscribe to daily catering delivery service. But Mum still chooses to dedicate her precious time to cook for us. And the time that she dedicates is a serious amount, I’m telling you. She does all by herself, from buying and choosing the produce at the market, to washing them clean, preparation and cooking, and right until serving the food at the table. I am secretly amazed by her dedication, although often times I would actually discourage her from doing it, as I know that cooking is physically tiring, even for the fittest cooks.
In today’s fast paced culture, cooking is losing its appeal to the masses especially among the younger generation (the gen X and the Millenials). The ‘instant culture’ is rising and at an alarming pace, thanks to the advances of technology, as well as the fast food chains. To the impatient instant generation, cooking is almost akin to nightmare; a painstaking ritual, only to be enjoyed (that’s when they eat) at the blink of an eye. Cooking is probably even a phobia to some, as they are used to the good food at the restaurants, so they feel pressured to cook as nicely as those professionally trained cooks / chefs.
|Cooking for yourself is easy, but cooking for others? no easy feat|
Photo credit: Chef Andrea Peresthu of Javanegra Cooking Atelier
While I personally think that indeed, we should strive to cook something that others would enjoy, cooking actually is a ritual that one should embrace and enjoy, right from the preparation stage and not just about the resulting dish. Today, most people no longer focus on why someone cooks, but only focus on what’s cooking and that it has to be tasty. We’ve lost the compassion and the humane side of this activity, that most people turn into harsh food ‘critics’ or grumpy diner.
Let us ask ourselves, why? And do we really need to be so mean? Do food critics exist only to make restaurants lose customers and close down? I put myself in the shoes of the other end (the chefs, restaurant owners and staff), so if I seem way too benign or mild in my criticism, pardon me, because I would not like to feel guilty for crushing someone else’s livelihood.
Even I fall into that folly sometimes, criticizing my Mum’s cooking and compare them to the dishes served at restaurants, which obviously, use sophisticated utensils and premium imported ingredients. It is already an unfair playing field from the start. But I have been trying to express my opinion in as gentle words as possible, because after all I understand that my Mum cooks the food that she ate while she was growing up, which is literally more than half a decade ago. Back then, my Mum’s humble youth didn’t have sophisticated food such as what kids nowadays are exposed to. Contrary to today’s time, my 3 year old niece already had a taste of real truffle mushrooms! With her palate exposed to such good food at this young age, if and when she chooses to cook someday, I would expect her creations to be nothing short of spectacular.
Well, that’s about my thoughts anyway, I’m sure some of you would differ in your stand, feel free to drop your comments below. Or, you can even share your thoughts, and reply to this post by creating a blog post of your own, while standing a chance to win cool smartphones sponsored by Koepoe Koepoe. In the post, you can share your own recipes, opinions about a certain food that you’ve tried, etc.
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