Saturday, September 5, 2009

Frist cooking lesson for #3

It's Saturday and all the kids were home, so lunch had to be served! I was amidst spring cleaning the cupboards and house was in a total mess.

My ten year old was reluctant to practice her piano scales, so I cajoled her by inviting her to "help mummy to prepare lunch." She was very excited and so was I. Our lunch menu was Spaghetti Aglio Olio and Italian Seafood stew.

Item 1: Spaghetti Aglio Olio.

Step 1: Fill a wok half full of water and add 2 tsp of salt.
Step 2: When water boils, add 350 g of spaghetti in a 'spread out circular motion' (shown below).

Step 3: Peel about 10 pips of garlic. (Here, you can see #3 peeling the garlic under supervision).

Step 4: Add 2 tbsp of EVOO into a pot and toss in the sliced garlic. Add 1/3 tsp of salt. Keep fire low and once the garlic is soft, it is ready. Do not cook till brown or it will taste bitter. Turn off the fire.

Step 5: Once the spaghetti is cooked, toss it into a sieve till dry. Toss it into the EVOO and garlic combination and mix well.

Step 6: Mix and toss well so that the spaghetti is well coated with the garlic EVOO.

Step 7: Spaghetti Aglio Olio is ready to be served. Congratulations #3! You cooked this dish almost completely by yourself, under mummy's supervision.

Item 2: Italian seafood stew. This was from my frozen stash. It's a vegetable base and I can add whatever which is available from my freezer. My elder two loves seafood so it's been like that for a while.

I took the box of frozen vegetable base and added a piece of Sole fillet and some fishcake which I bought from the market. It was near expiry and I wanted to use it up quickly.

This was lunch today. The two elder girls had a great time tucking in. #3 had her spaghetti aglio olio with Kewpie mayo as usual. All the dishes were empty and that was a good sign.

While all of that above was happening, I had two loaves of bread proofing.

This time, I sprayed water on top of the bread before baking instead of salt water and the finish was slightly different.

When #2 ate it she exclaimed that it was delicious and tasted even better than the last. This girl has amazing taste buds.

Yesterday, when I was shopping for high protein flour at a nearby grocery store, I splurged on a bag of organic unbleached flour which cost me RM18/kg and a bottle of Organic active dry yeast. My regular high protein flour only cost RM3.50/kg.

I didn't even say anything about my excessive splurge and #2 could immediately taste the difference! She never fails to surprise me!

Finally, after a delicious and leisurely lunch at the terrace, #3 began practicing her piano scales. She spent about 3 hours practicing but also resting in between, to reach "an acceptable level of competency." Next stage is to work on the speed.

The Wedding Passbook

Thank you Pauline for sharing this with me.
May this inspire us in our relationships!

Monica married Nick this day. At the end of the wedding party, Monica's mother gave her a newly opened bank saving passbook with Rs.1000 deposit amount.

Mother: 'Monica, take this passbook. Keep it as a record of your marriage life. When there's something happy and memorable happened in your new life, put some money in. Write down what it's about next to the line. The more memorable the event is, the more money you can put in. I've done the first one for you today. Do the others with Nick. When you look back after years, you can know how much happiness you've had.'

Monica shared this with Nick after getting home. They both thought it was a great idea and were anxious to know when the second deposit could be made. This was what they did after a certain time:

* 7 Feb: Rs.100, first birthday celebration for Nick after marriage
* 1 Mar: Rs.300, salary raise for Monica
* 20 Mar: Rs.200, vacation trip to Bali
* 15 Apr: Rs.2000, Monica got pregnant
* 1 Jun: Rs.1000, Nick got promoted

However, as the years went by they started fighting and arguing for trivial things. They didn't talk much. They regretted that they had married the nastiest people in the world.... No more love....Kind of typical nowadays, huh?

One day Monica talked to her Mother: 'Mom, we can't stand it anymore. We agree to divorce. I can't imagine how I decided to marry this guy!!!"

Mother: 'Sure, girl, that's no big deal. Just do whatever you want if you really can't stand it. But before that, do one thing first. Remember the saving passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all money and spend it first. You shouldn't keep any record of such a poor marriage.'

Monica thought it was true. So she went to the bank, waiting in queue to cancel the account. While waiting, she took a look at the passbook record. She looked, and looked, and looked. Then the memory of all their previous joy and happiness came flooding back. Her eyes filled with tears. She left and went home. When she was home, she handed the passbook to Nick, asked him to spend the money before getting divorce.

The next day, Nick gave the passbook back to Monica. She found a new deposit of Rs.15000. And a line next to the record: 'This is the day I realized how much I've loved you through out all these years. How much happiness you've brought me.'

They hugged and cried, putting the passbook back to the safe. Do you know how much money they had saved when they retired? I did not ask. I believe the money did not matter any more after they had gone through all the good years in life.

"When you fall in any way, don't look at the spot where you fell instead remember the place from where you slipped. Life is about making mistakes, correcting them and continuing the love."


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