Apart from Love, everything passes away.
The way to Heaven is in your heart.
Open and lift the wings of Love!
When Love’s wings are strong, you need no ladder.
-Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi-
Keep silence, be mute; if you have not yet become the tongue of God, be an ear.
-Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi-
If you had been following and reading my cooking endeavor, you might have wondered why on earth this lady’s cooking mostly revolved around fried rice and fried noodle. Do I have to explain myself?
I’m seriously hoping to attempt on some meaty dishes in future weeks by the way. God-willing, I’ll get on to do just that.
So with intention to perfect my crafty skill in cooking fried rice and fried noodle dishes, this Sunday morning menu was none other than fried noodle. I wanted to do fried rice but had only a bowl of leftover rice in the fridge, hardly enough for the whole family. This time, however, the dish was rather special. Not because I used a great recipe or incorporated extra ingredients (I did), neither did I try different technique (I didn’t). But the fried rice was out of the ordinary simply because I was in a blossoming mood that morning; I wore my best home dress, feeling pretty and all. (What?)
In the past I hadn’t worn my best home dress when cooking, that’s why I mixed tangy shrimp paste while sauteing minced garlic, and also often too eagerly added dried shrimps to boost the flavour. I realised that magnified shrimp taste on top of garlicky carb turned out to be overpowering. (How did all this relate to what I wore?)
Last Sunday, I was inspired to explore how onions worked in such a dish. Bits of chopped onions, sauteed till they became translucent; then went the minced garlic, diced carrots and sliced sausages to sweat them all in beautiful aroma of sweet onions. My kitchen smelled gorgeous! I love the smell of sauteed onions. Garlicky scent stuck on my fingers also never fails to mesmerize me from time to time.
Anyway, back to the dish, once the carrots softened and the sausages browned, I added a bit of water, let it came to a simmer and mix in a teaspoon of gelled chicken stock; stirred the mixture, let it simmer again and threw in some scrambled egg and broccoli. As usual, I felt challenged to incorporate some forms of vegies into simple dishes my kids would enjoy.
Had a taste… added some salt and pepper, stirred and tasted. And finally, egg noodle’s in, mixed to distribute all ingredients and beautiful taste and aroma… Done! This would have save me.
But I decided to add a bit of garnish. Fried shallots were fine. Raw spring onion was not. My son hated it. So was my husband, although of course he wasn’t straightforward about it. Next time, no more raw spring onion for them, I promised. Fortunately, I did strawberry smoothies, mixed with some kiwi, cucumber and a bit of orange juice as well. The lovely fresh drink saved my day. My family, my husband especially, went crazy for it.
Inspired by my sister’s extremely rich, multi-layered baked rice, I attempted on the dish a couple of weeks ago. Despite incorporating only one layer of everything—bolognaise sauce and standard middle-class household cheese (not the fancy types such as mozzarella or anything like that), my version of “baked” rice turned out to be fresher as it’s not as fatty and there were more diced tomatoes added into the sauce.
Our leftover stir-fried mixed vegies—mainly corn kernels and carrot slices—also came in useful to complete the dish. Adding vegetables into such a yummy dish any kids would enjoy was definitely a smart way to get my five-year-old son to finish his carrots. Who doesn’t like loads of meat in bolognaise sauce?
Anyway, I still yearned to try cooking this dish in a real oven some day. A butter-coated pan did serve well to melt the cheese and char the outside layer of the rice, but still… it didn’t give the same effect as actual baking.
Oh well, if my family was happy with it, the pan should be sufficient for now. I even managed to keep some in an alumunium container and put them in the fridge. They tasted great, even after more than a week. Yumm!
All your armies, all your fighters,
All your tanks, and all your soldiers,
against a boy, holding a stone,
standing there all alone.
In his eyes, I see the sun.
In his smile, I see the moon.
And I wonder, I only wonder,
who is weak, and who is strong?
who is right, and who is wrong?
And I wish, I only wish,
that the truth had a tongue.”
-A child from Gaza-
This beautiful poetry was taken from Dr. Bilal Philips’ Facebook account, July 16, 2014.
Another Sunday morning adventure in the kitchen turned out not so bad after all.
Firstly, I proudly earnt some “deserving” compliments and kisses from my darling husband and son for quick cookover of steamed vegie n chicken dumplings as well as french fries. Although all were simply reheated from my stocks of frozen foods, I did pour my heart out doing it–something I rarely do. So, thumbs up for mommy… Yayyy!
Having a blast from the success of my entree, I sliced some beef sausages and smoked beef, ground a handful of garlic, chillis and shrimp paste (my secret ingredient) with salt and pepper, prepped the noodles, and there I was… mixing everything in my one and only good wok, in thrill. Loving it!
I took a snap of this spider again yesterday morning and was watching it actively expanding its web. How amazing, I thought. Such a small creature can have the utmost strength to persevere, continuously building its web despite the heavy rains, hard-blowing wind, freezing nights and scorching heat of the days. It’s been there for almost two weeks since I first noticed it. God is Great!