I tend to go through phases with cooking. Growing up I never needed to do much around the kitchen so cooking wasn’t naturally ingrained in me. I was a sloppy home cook but meeting Mr M completely changed my gameplay. I started saying no to boring tuna salads but instead turned to the stove top and oven for hot meals and desserts. Every time I managed to whip out something delicious, I would feel rather triumphant and boy, what a good feeling that was.
A few years on, I continued to serve up main meals on most of the weekdays but there were definitely stress and tension in meal preparation after a long day of work. Our previous place also didn’t have a lot of preparation space so that wasn’t conducive to having a nice experience. It was frustrating to say the least but we managed to make do.
Fast forward to our current apartment, which we have started enjoying 3 months ago. Our kitchen is bright and airy and space is ample. I find that my mood is lighter and I truly didn’t mind cooking on most days, even after spending a good 11 hours away from home (still not a big fan of the washing though but our dishwasher Matilda is a great help!). I’m motivated to try new recipes and flavours and working in the kitchen actually gets me quite excited again! As we’ve acquired more space here, I’m willing to invest my time and money in a few bits and pieces. Here are the top 3 things that completely changed the way I cook:
#1. Fresh herbs Don’t even get me started on how happy and excited my potted herbs make me! Since moving I started having whimsical thoughts of harvesting my own herbs for cooking. Planting herbs isn’t rocket science even for someone like me who hasn’t planted a single thing prior to this. All I did was to buy some cheap seedling from Bunnings or Honeysuckle Garden (agh I could live in that place!), watched a few Youtube videos, repotted them in affordable terracotta pots, gave them water and sun and watch them grow! Planting is a process and it’s certainly one that’s worthwhile and very rewarding. I promised Mr M that I wouldn’t buy anymore greenery for the rest of the year (yep, I think I went a little crazy) but once that clock ticks over on the 31st of Dec, there’s no stopping me!
#2. Mortar and Pestle The mortar and pestle were given to me on my birthday this year. I’ve been wanting one for a while because I had seen it used so much in kitchen back home in Malaysia. I’ve used it a few times to make herb marinades, and even a face mask and I’m keen on using it create some wonderful flavours that I grew up with.
#3. Stick Blender Having a stick blender is a nice compromise for us as we are not prepared to spend a lot of money on the ‘real deal’. The stick blender has certainly made me more excited about blending soups and sauces and also made my breakfast a lot more exciting as I also use it for making fruit smoothies. The downfall though is that the ingredients that I’m going to blend with must be relatively soft as the blender sends hard ingredients flying. Not a pretty sight. I’m still hoping to buy one that is encased in the future but meanwhile, a simple one like the one we got from Victoria’s Basement is good enough. I love VB by the way. It’s a homewares wonderland!
What are 3 kitchen-related things that excite you?