Beginner’s Choice: The Heart of the Home

Students on exchange

In Singapore

There is more force of gravity in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house, so people usually gravitate to it, especially when there is the aroma of pastry baking in the oven. Some students came around today to prepare a French meal. There had to be baguettes, otherwise it wouldn’t be a truly French meal. But Claire explained to me that the baguettes in France have a harder and crispier crust than the ones sold in bakeries here. That explains why some students from Singapore who go to Europe find it hard to eat bread, simply because the bread is hard! We are used to bread being soft. I love Chinese steamed buns, the softer the better.

The students did a great job: quiche, ham and cheese in puff pastry, devils-on-horseback (prunes wrapped in bacon), salad, cheese, crepes…and served with wine, of course.

In Amsterdam

Brenda, who is in on an exchange programme in Amsterdam, cooked laksa for her Dutch friends, but it was a bit too spicy for them. I suggested that she try nasi lemak next time.

Family cooking projects

Ferninda has started “food journaling”, which has helped her to be more aware of her food choices. Her two boys helped her in the kitchen again. They roasted eggplant and potatoes! It was more fun eating what they had a hand in preparing. Ferninda dropped by with her boys today. I realised how little they are and they are already cooking.

Allison shared (a photo) of the yummy family lunch her mother prepared last weekend: “Paprika chicken baked in the new oven. I helped with the cheesy mashed potatoes in the centre. We actually heavily modified from a gratin recipe, but it turned out well, not so healthy, but quite a treat and it made me realise that sour cream helps to give mashed potatoes that thick, creamy texture!

Mango Art

It’s mango season now. So it’s a great time to try some mango art. A great treat for Easter, if you are looking for ideas. There is an artist in every chef.

The Mango Swirl by Elena

Have a good week ahead.

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 9 April 2022

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