To add to the anxiety, my husband is some kind of a gourmand. When he was on his own here, he would cook steak, calamari, complicated pastas, etc. Plus he has a discriminating taste, not to mention the words he would use to describe something that is just plain wrong (or totally right). To make matters more complicated, both my parents are awesome in the kitchen. My younger brother is a culinary genius while my youngest bro has shown potential. So imagine the pressure. Of course this is all self-imposed. My husband nor my family are not expressing great expectations (now is that a good thing or bad?). Except for one question by my dad: “So, what will you feed your husband?”
O.M. (Oh my!)
So for my first week in Colombo I took the bull by it’s horns and transformed myself into a cooking monster. And these are what I fed my hubby for dinner (which is his packed lunch for the day after):
4 Oct, Monday
Sinigang na Baboy
A Filipino classic – much like the Thai’s Tom Yum only more sour than spicy
Hubby said the Sinigang elements were cooked very well and just right (crunchy raddish, very green kangkong). On the Avocado Salad, hubby likes it a little bit more creamy so add milk and sugar he did.
5 Oct, Tuesday
Naked Burritos with Tomato Salsa and Guacamole
Fresh Strawberries with Newdale Yoghurt
Hubby was pleased I think even if it didn’t taste too Mexican as I didn’t have cumin (only seeds in the market and no powder). He ate a lot! I personally was not pleased with my Guacamole. Andy Alberto, please send me an authentic recipe!
6 Oct, Wednesday
Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Sweet Corn
Cupcakes by Mon Gateau (Sri Lanka’s First Cupcake Shop!)
I did the barbeque sauce ON MY OWN! It was a bit too sweet though but I guess it’s to hubby’s taste.
7 Oct, Thursday
Mixed Greens with Pesto Vinaigrette
Carbonara Pasta Topped with Bacon
Hubby said the combination of the pesto vinaigrette salad and creamy carbonara pasta was a good complement to each other and created balance to the overall menu. Of course he is happy that I chilled chocolates for dessert.
Friday and Saturday are my days off and a chance for hubby and I to check out cool places in town (watch out for future posts!). Sunday lunch was a re-make of our Saturday dinner doggy bag left overs done by hubby.
10 Oct, Sunday
(instead of Grouper, Mullet – which in hindsight was more of a broil fish)
Hubby liked it but I like my mom’s recipe for the sauce better. Plus I could have used a less tough fish. And de-scaled it. Oooopppsssie!
The journey to making these dishes is exhilarating. For a newbie in everyday cooking it was a feat being able to prepare all of these. From menu planning, to sourcing ingredients, preparation to actual cooking. Plus, because I was not in my home country I didn’t have the luxury of having all the ingredients. There was a lot of substitution and making do with what I have. I had to change a lot of my plans - depending on what the trusty grocery or neighborhood market can provide. I guess I am not a newbie at that – it’s pretty much what I’m used to at work. Now I just need to translate change management to the kitchen!
A week into this I still get excited over cooking. I live for cooking dinner these days! It is a foray into something new, something yummy and something I can pleasure my hubby with. And the verdict? Nothing orgasmic (yet!) but definitely good enough for everyday meals! The anxiety over cooking is gone but is now replaced with a simmering passion for crafting gastronomic delights that fill the tummy and the soul not just for me but more so for the people I love. The culinary adventure continues!