Monday, January 19, 2009

MY NUMBER 'WAN' CHEF


Perhaps this is a far different episode from any of the previous story recorded and about time we look at such an angle. It is a recognition often forgotten.

I have known this chef for a long time. I can vouch that she is the best chef I have ever met and certainly my number “Wan”. You and I may most time have lunch or dinner outside the homes and what we get served even by the best of chefs from the ‘warong’ or the most established of restaurants can never compete with the dishes served at home; firstly by our mothers and secondly by our partners or wives. Strictly the qualification is in that order being that we knew our mothers earlier.

Our dear chef may not have the qualification or testimonials to show her prowess and distinctions in specific dishes. However she is the master of all, serving her delicacies to all in the family at all hours of the day irrespective of public holidays or break times.

I am not wrong if I say that generally we failed to honor the ladies at home for their untiring dedication and service to the families. We failed most time to even thank them for the daily chore and service that we received. We would politely say ‘thanks’ to the Mak Chik or Pak Chik at the ‘warong’ and even forgot to take the change at the restaurants such as ‘Victoria Station’ or those at most downtown hotels. But what do we compensate our own ladies for serving us the most delicious and life strengthening meals throughout the years? Yes that is the time frame; not a short duration but many years that stretches on.

You may like me frequent the market and bring home ‘ikan siakap’, ‘terubuk’ ‘jenahak’ or the popular ‘temenung’ plus ‘sotong’ and ‘ udang galah’ not to mention ‘asparagus’, ‘rebung’ and other odd vegetables especially on weekends. What does it mean with that basketful of fresh goodies? “ Abang hendak makan apa hari ini?’ No need to whisper the reasons for such purchases. Not necessary to reply to her question.

She would know what to do for the family. Being in the northern state, on Fridays especially you would be rewarded with great expectations upon returning after the noon Friday prayer. The whole family partook to home cooking at its best.

Hoping this article would help to make the males especially and also all concerned in every home take recognition of our dear mothers’ and wives’ services to the families specifically in laying the necessary dishes on the dining tables for us even to the point of extending their working hours after completing the compulsory at their work place. Whatever we can do to enlighten their chores would be much appreciated. Obviously there are plenty to do if we are conscious of helping.

My number ‘wan’ chef dressed as she is in the picture and like most other wives and mothers I know just love to enter the kitchen. They would love it more if it is clean and spacious. Many of course learned the recipes and picked up the inherent interest from their mothers and other lady folks. While some of course added their expertise by attending classes or reading secret recipes from books etc. My lady chef even attended cooking classes where possible. Her latest was to learn the art of cooking ‘sushi’ and other Japanese dishes organized by a known hotel chain at Kuala Lumpur; thus the attire. A few years back she had a taste of cooking ‘Thai green curry’ etc when in the Thai capital. Seriously there are already many schools expanding culinary delights spreading the dishes of the world. In cities, international delicacies and spreads are offered by many restaurants and hotels especially.

I am like most other person and you included have been fortunate and blessed to have been taken care of by our dear mothers and wives specifically for our gastronomical cravings. Let’s salute them. My number one chef is called ‘Wan’.

Having reached the concluding page of this note and turning around what do I see? A plate of 'kuih chara', 'tako' and 'serimuka bakar' is on the side table as if a 'terimakasih' for such consideration. Not to mention a cup of hot coffee. Actually their attention to us has been everlasting. Thaks to our ladies.

7 comments:

Queen Of The House said...

:) We are looking forward to some home-made sushi soon.

I now have a "Kitchen God" at home. My good fortune.

Having our fathers cook is not something common that we of the present or older generations grew up with, but the present generation of children are luckier.

Queen Of The House said...

p.s. What's this I heard about bicycling on the sawah padi tracks? :P

aofuad said...

Pak Non,
Now i know why you want the bikes.
To burn the calories away.
I can assure you that you will enjoy the ride and cycle to places where you used to cycle when you were younger.
I am looking forward to your first report about your re-cycling.
Now we will wait for Nina to start.
I have informed my cycling gang in Kemensah Heights called GEDEBE to be prepared to accept this cousin of mine in their cycling fraternity.
The next time you come to Putrajaya, you are most welcomed to borrow my bikes and i will bring you on a cycling tour here.
I think by then Nina would have got herself a few bikes.
Din

Queen Of The House said...

Errrrr ... still thinking about it, actually. Takut tercabut kaki yang tak pernah excercise ni :P

NGINAP SRENGENGE said...

Tahniah kat Kak Wan.Penghormatan Yang jujur dari Pak Non.

During schooldays my former teachers told that the best cook is Capt. Cook.

I prefer cooking together.

Regards to all in the family.

KotaStar said...

Nina,Din and Pak Cha - a real surprise to receive yr comments just after I forwarded the message. Thank you. ya betul ia merupakan satu penghormatan kepada ibu dan isteri kita semua. Tentang naik basikal, itu cerita baru.Nanti bila dah mula, lengkap dengan penuh gaya kita akan cerita pula. Dulu semasa belajar di Pulau Pinang, pernah juga pergi balik perseorangan dengan basikal 'Raleigh' lengkap dengan gearnya. Alor Star dengan tanah yang landai sesuai untukkita semua berbasikal - semula.

TWS said...

A well deserve tribute to the ladies...thanks.