So here they are!
What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?
Vera is a born chef! She must have started cooking when she was in the womb. Okay, okay not that young but you get the idea.
Me? My first "experiment" was when I was staying on my own. I had the most ridiculous meal which consist of anything and everything that I could find in the fridge. Can you imagine sweet and savoury all blended together? I can't but I did!
Here in New Zealand, I was open to new possibilities as this house we are renting comes with a huge oven. My first was a lamb roast. Marinated it and roasted it and it was really good to look, smell and taste but only to about 2 inches from the outer layer. Turns out it was not cooked inside. So it's back to the drawing board. But this other thing I experimented with was surprisingly good. Fresh NZ mussels baked in white wine! Hmmmm...
Who had the most influence on your cooking?
In my family, my dad was the "cook" as his cooking almost always beat my mom's flat but he has since retired from the kitchen and he is known to not follow the rules. So his cooking was always too much of something or too little of something but nevertheless, still good. Perhaps, that is my greatest influence.
But since 10 years ago, my dear wife has been the master or mistress of the kitchen and can I replicate my dad? Time will tell... I have sharpened my skills while I was in Indoensia alone for a year so, I have New Zealand to prove that all is not lost!
Do you have an old photo as "evidence" of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?
I don't have photos of my early experiments (I do not want to be black mailed) but I do have pictures of some of my Indonesian delicacies but they are in the Tasman Sea now. Will post it when the stuff arrives.
Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?
Magei... what? As my dishes and what I use in them are out of this world, I have no competition in that sense, but my wife is my greatest threat. Her simplest dish always tastes better than my most extravagent! But who knows? Her skills will wear out I am sure! He he he...
What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest let down?
Have wok will cook! I have even cooked rice in a wok.
Let down? Probably not in terms of gadgets but in terms of skill. Whenever I call my wife or mom for tips on how much salt or spice to use in a dish, it is always a pinch or a handful of this and that, or some other means of measurement which I could never figure out! They call it "agak - agak" but I am sure it is some kind of "trade secret" - not wanting us men to outbeat them women!
Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else!
My food combinations are never weird to me but my wife sometimes think spreading yogurt on bread when I make a sandwich or dipping sweet pancake in chilli sauce is disgusting. What can I say? Men will be men!
What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don't want to live without?
Did I say chilli?
The best chilli I found was in Indonesia. It is called "Sambal Lampung". It is the hottest and the most mouth watering chilli paste I have tasted. For awhile, all my dishes had a dash of sambal lampung in it! Now I am looking for the New Zealand equivalent which I think might be growing in our own backyard! Details in future blog.
Any question you missed in this meme, that you would have loved to answer?
I am sure I will find one after I have posted this blog!
Three quickies:Your favorite ice-cream? : Actually a combination. Tip Top ice cream (my current favourite in NZ) with mix nuts thrown in and topped with fruit flavoured yogurt! If you think that was yuck! You are not alone!
You will probably never eat? : Chinese and Indian herbs! I think they are just too good for the body and spoils going the overboard bit when I cook. I always believe things that taste really good are usually not so good for the health and healthy things are usually not so tasty to eat!
Your own signature dish? : Chappati! I make the best chappati in the family! At least for now.
Who do you want most to cook you dinner? : My wife of course! A close second would be my dad!
There aren't that many things to say about New Zealand food here at the moment as Vera's "cooking toys" have yet to arrive but I bet from next month, I will have lots to say about what we eat here, as the food we find in New Zealand is so very different from home.
There are loads of Malaysian take aways at every corner of every suburb in Wellington but most who run them are not Malaysian let alone have anything to do with Malaysia. So you get dishes called "Nasi Gorang", "Bami Gorang" and "Mie Memek". And price wise, it is no where near affordability! Roti canai costs $6 for two pieces with chicken curry and a glass of teh tarik costs $3 (which actually came from Aik Cheong sachets). The most authentic Malaysian restaurant I have come across is one called "Kopi" near where I work. The owner hails from Kulim in Malaysia and he has a special "spice/chilli strength" for Malaysians. So you tell the waiter you want the real thing and you get the real thing! Not the adulterated version for "Mat Sallehs".