Monday, May 09, 2005

A short discourse on food, men, and me

One question: Do men actually make better cooks/bakers than women?

I won't justify the question with an answer. Let's just leave it open-ended... and unanswered.

The reason why I suddenly thought of that was because of some comments I read on some blogs just now.

People always tell the ladies that if they can cook well, pleasing the guy shouldn't be no problem and of course, 'oh what good wives they'll make'.

I do think that's a chavinistic opinion. But that's just me. It's quite unfair really, to place the 'job' of providing cooked food on the table, on the women. Okay, before I sound too feminist here, let me just say i'm trying my best to be objective here.

I have girl friends who have also commented that you hardly see girls who actually don't mind being in the kitchen cooking or baking and actually enjoying it. No wonder most cooks are guys you say. That would always remind a mystery I guess. Most michelin star chefs are guys too, have you noticed? I say it's either the people who suss out these guys are biased or there really are more men who don't mind slaving over the hot stove and oven all day long.

Nah, I'm not going to go on questioning the ability of these guys. Instead, I will let you in on a secret. Okay, maybe not a secret but rather, a peek into what makes this baker in me tick.

I admit, I LOVE food. I live, breathe, eat, smell, food. Food is my life. I cannot survive without food (scientifically and emtionally speaking). Food is more than a neccessity. It's an entire craft in itself. heck, I even think of food as an art. it's fragile, versatile, adaptable... and god knows how many billions and trillions of recipes there are out there. So many food from so many different cultures from so many countries over various continents. You've got vegetables, fish, meat, fruits, beans, roots, dairy, etc. The list goes on.

You could say i have PASSION for food. pure, unadulterated passion. the sort of passion that supersedes the superficial purpose of just making food look good. it goes beyond that. I do love every process that goes into making, or rather, creating a dish. I like seeing the ingredients at their pre cook stage, a.k.a. raw. I like the process... the chopping, the cutting, kneading, stiring, waiting, frying, steaming, grilling, boiling... and so on. And I like the decorating part too. Nothing beats having your meal served to you on a nice pretty plate and placed neatly like how an artist paints his picture with his palette of paints.

Food preparation can be delicate. Take the creme brulee for example. Much effort is needed to achieve that smooth velvety creaminess that allows the custard to slide down your throat slowly and gently. and also, what about the top most caramelised sugar 'crust'. you use a blowtorch to heat the sugar so it'll harden and form a 'glass' over the lovely custard. Perfecto. I am forever in awe of a who ever makes a good creme brulee.

Then there is the baking and cooking aspect. Okay, both are kind of the same. But a little different. Baking, to me, holds a lot more satisfaction. Why so? because i love looking at pretty things. I'm your typical sunshine, spring, countryside girl. I'm a sucker for good looking tarts/cakes/puddings etc. Stuff that you can't bear to actually destroy with your fork and put in your mouth. Yes, that's Ms. Baker for you. I do have a soft spot for desserts especially. Love making them just as much as I love eating them. It's a 2 way thing. I appreciate such foods. I like a good molten chocolate cake because of the art of encasing the warm chocolate in the middle, I recognise a good apple pie when i see one - with the perfect crust and moist apples, I appreciate the hard work that goes into ensuring a souffle looks and taste like one. yea... and so on and so forth.

Fact is, I can go on rambling on and on and on right here, about food. Anything about food, i can talk relentlessly. That's just how much it means to me. I don't think I'm a glutton, but I do know that i like to try as much food as possible... i'm adventurous, and I wish I could try every single cuisine possible before my life on earth ends.

You might wonder how i became a baker or a cook. How i ended up loving the heat the generates from the oven, the flames that lick, the cuts I get and the injuries (yea i'm quite careless sometimes. just grated some of my skin while trying to get lemon peel the other day! ouch). Well that's because I figured that if i love eating that much, i might as well learn how to produce what i eat. Ultimately, home cooked food is the best because I can 'play' with it as much as I want to. I can modify recipes to my liking and I don't have to pay through my nose (no service charge, tips, or what have you... ) I don't mind the hard work, as long as I have my cake and eat it too. Believe me you, I too have my dreams of marrying a chef. hahaa don't all girls wish that? it'll be cool, to not lift a finger and have food served to me however I like whenever I like no matter what time of the day.

hahaaa.... okay okay, i'm just kidding. that's just not me. I've always been the one who loves giving than receiving. I rather cook/bake for people than have them do that for me. So I guess the love of my life in the future will be a very lucky guy indeed huh? You think so? I'll not be so self gratifying by answering that. I'll just say that I will continue baking/cooking for the rest of my life even if it just for myself.

Ultimate wish: A bakery/eatery/restaurant of my own right smack in London or anywhere in the UK. Where people actually would come down just to taste my food. Heheee... hard luck you say? we'll see we'll see. i aspire to be anthony bourdain, nigella lawson, jamie oliver, etc etc. hmmmm just maybe not martha stewart. she's been to jail hasn't she? i really can do without the jail part.

Ha. okay, don't mind that lame comment.

anyways, I wanted to bake cookies today but had no time. Because I tried making some mochi which didn't turn out well. Because the recipe sucked! It was a microwave type recipe. Should have known better than to trust it. Well at least now i know. As much as I hate failing a task, I will try again one day. when i find the right mochi recipe. meanwhile, I'm eyeing on that flourless, butterless chocolate cookie from Gourmet magazine. maybe i shall try that tomorrow... we'll see... hopefully i'm not too tired! After all, baking is my hobby as of yet, it's not yet become my full time job! though i'm sure it'll be in future...


Colin said...

Someone asked me the same question recently.

And it's true; I can't think of many girls I know who cook, or would want to cook.

Maybe it's because as more women venture into the working world, they're vacating the traditional role of cook - a role men are beginning to warm up to?

A very thoughtful and inspiring post - I hope you get to fulfill your dream!

the baker said...

ya i figured as just as much. heh not sure if it's a good or bad thing. well but i guess it's no harm knowing actually how to whip up a good meal, because then, you don't have to rely on others and you'll never grow hungry!

Powered by Blogger

Tell me when this blog is updated

what is this?

Site Meter