Monday, December 28, 2009

Mel's masak moments

In the kitchen. Who would've thought I'd be spending more time with pots and pans instead of pints and pals these days? There is something therapeutic about being in the kitchen, trying to
get the flavours right, making sure you don't slice your fingers off along with the onions and sweating over a hot stove - literally. And being the not-so-experienced cook, it's a whole new world of trial and error (read: trying not to burn the kitchen down). It's stressful but in a good way, making sure your 'diners' aren't cringing or choking as they take a bite.

I will be the first to admit I am not a natural in the kitchen. My idea of cooking usually revolves around 'just add water' and 'microwave for three minutes'. But with my newfound free time thanks to less office hours, I find myself gravitating to the kitchen (ok, so maybe I've always been gravitating towards the kitchen but not necessarily to cook!). On days like today, when I'm all 'pubbed'-out ('tis the season and all that) and there's no one to hang out with, I just turn to my cookbooks -yes, you read that right- and see what I can whip up. Pasta and chicken have been my best bets to date but not so much on fish and seafood (cleaning and preparing fish ranks high on my 'Eww' Factor, sorry). I'm planning on baking muffins next week and I'm half expecting a disaster but you never know. I'm not going to be the next Martha Stewart but at least my future family will be able to enjoy meals other than spaghetti from a can or instant noodles.

Oh and you know what else is great about cooking? It actually kills your appetite, so here's the lesson: when you feed others, you stop feeding yourself. Genius!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ho ho mojo.

Yes, another 'tis the season post. More like post-tis-the-season-post. As I unwind from days of non-stop Christmas shopping, paper cuts from wrapping gifts and one too many roast chickens (my family doesn't do turkey), I'm taking the time to savour the spirit of the season and reflect on what an improvement this year has been.

Christmas is an interesting time of the year and although I'd be lying if I didn't say I loooove getting presents, Christmas is also a time of thanksgiving, epiphanies and revelations. This year, it has been a pleasant surprise to hear from friends whom I have not been in touch with for ages. On the flip side, I've also come to terms with the fact that I have to let go of certain connections in my life - and it really isn't such a bad thing. I am blessed with the people who ARE in my life and content with the fact that people, friendships and seasons change.

With five days to go to 2010, I look back on the year and see how uplifting 2009 has been. Perhaps it's a good thing my 2008 was so sucky, or else I wouldn't appreciate how good the coming year would be! I still remember the best thing I heard on New Year's day this year: "This year is yours" and I think I made it my mantra. And in many ways, it has been. My boyfriend proposed at the beach, I bit the bullet and quit my 6-year-old job, I have more time to write and am learning how to run a family business. Oh and I'm becoming quite the kitchen queen. Ok, maybe I'm still at princess level but getting there.

The best part is, it just gets better next year. Merry Christmas and may the new year bring you all the good things you deserve.