When I was younger, I don't like to cook. In fact, I never stepped foot into the kitchen and the only time I do so was to forage for food.
So, if my younger self were to meet me now, I'd probably be so shell-shocked and speechless at my sudden (ahem!) prowess in the kitchen which does not only involve stuffing my face with all sorts of junk food and chocolate-y food there.
This transformation was actually a result of having to survive on fast food, stale bread and far from healthy junkfood all those years before I decide to become healthier by cooking and eating healthy meals.
But I digress. I don't intend to go into the long story of my many 'adventures' in the kitchen (I'll reserve that for another post) but more on the food critics living in my house.
First, my husband is a self-proclaimed food critic who will crinkle his nose at anything that is even slightly off or not to his taste. One of the conversations went like this:
"Sniff...sniff...that smells weird. What's that?" combined with a disdainful down-his-nose look and a tentative poke at the 'weird' food with his fork.
This will result in a killing-glare from the chef (me) and he would suddenly realize his little slip and tried to make amends.
"Err...I mean. That...err...chicken looks interesting," he improvised with a 'please don't bash me over the head with the frying pan' look.
"It's not chicken but a monitor lizard our neighbour killed while backing out of his driveway and didn't want to waste so he skinned it and gave me a recipe to cook it with. He said it is very tasty, just like chicken," this is said with a dead-pan look.
By now, his face had turned a particular shade of green and purple.
"Did you say lizard?"
"Ya, the type that always make you jump up and scream like a girl. The type with a long tail, scaly skin and flicking tongue," I paused, "Though this one is no longer able to flick its tongue so it shouldn't be so scary to you,"
"Err...I'm not hungry anymore..." he pushed away his plate and inched away from the so-called lizard.
"Too bad. I cooked it the way you loved best. With lots of spices and chilli," I shrugged and nonchalantly picked up the dish to head to the kitchen.
"So, what else is for dinner?" he ventured tentatively after a few minutes, with me trying hard to laugh silently in the kitchen.
I coolly brought out the same dish and plonk it on the table.
"Chicken stew with potatoes simmered on low fire for two hours so that the chicken is tender and soft, with spices and a dash of chilli to add some zest into it," I said with a flourish.
He did a double take, stared at the dish suspiciously and then turned to me, blazing me with a narrowed eye look.
At that point, I burst out laughing and it took me another few minutes of almost rolling on the floor with laughter before I could talk coherently. My laughter must have been contagious as he, too, joined in.
Needless to say, that is the last time he wrinkled his nose over any of my cooking before tasting it. Oh, don't worry. He finished the stew and asked for seconds after I managed to convince him that it was really chicken and not lizard.
The other critic is Little Ray. This one is a little hard to tackle as this little guy found a way to make himself throw up if he does not like something. Fortunately, he loves vegetables (shocking, I know, but true!) and the only problem is with any sort of meat that is not tender enough to melt in his mouth.
He has a problem with any soft food that requires a lot of chewing but loves crunchy vegetables such as carrots and almost raw broccoli. Oh, he has this thing for tomatoes and could eat four or five cherry tomatoes in one sitting as a snack.
His number one enemy is milk. At the sight of his 'Milk Milk Cup' he would make gagging sounds and immediately go into hiding.
How I wish I could just feed him carrots and broccoli all day but too bad, he's not a rabbit and he needs his healthy carbs, dairy and protein to grow up. Besides, this little food critic does not like to have the same type of food everyday, meaning, if he had carrots and chicken for lunch today, he better don't find the same thing cooked in the same way tomorrow!
Hmm...and I thought my boss was demanding!