[S-series] Home-cooked dinners without Claire.

Fact: The wife works late on a daily basis.

The above fact has been in force for several months by now. I wished it wasn’t like this. I feel dinner with Claire is like a ritual that needs to be done
religiously everyday. We have been doing that for as long as I can remember since we were an item. Its the time we share a table and share our daily happenings and rants about whatever that comes to mind.

We usually eat out or packed dinner back from nearby kopitiams. But after Claire gone into the sales line, she rarely comes home on time. Its too hard to predict whether she’s coming home or not. So we usually just assume we will have our dinners separately. Dinner without her can get boring really quickly, so I try to do some cooking at home for myself.

Cooking for 1 pax

Cooking for 1 person is quite hard. But because I’m cooking for myself only, I seldom put in enough effort to make it perfect. Perfection is not my forte, I simply make things work.

Well let’s get back to the ‘hard’ part. I’ve got a rice cooker that has a capacity for up to 10 pax. It was a gift from my dad. It’s real decent, but the problem comes when I cook for 1 pax. How do I estimate the rice to water ratio correctly when you’re just cooking a thin layer of rice in the cooker? The rice is spread so thin at the bottom where the heat source is, there’s only a very fine line between al dente and chao tah. And because I always like to play safe, I’ll tend to add more water than is needed, so I always had mushy rice instead…

Next is the side dishes. If I were to buy vegetable from the supermarket in my estate, they sell them pre-packaged. So I can’t really say I want 3 stalks of kailan for dinner, I can only grab a bag of 10 stalks of kailan and eat kailan for the next 3 days. Same goes with the protein, chicken breast for the next 2 days, batang mackerel for the subsequent 2 days as well.

Generally this is ok, but if Claire happens to be free for the next 2 nights and I want to have dinner with her wherever she is on those nights, my raw ingredients will end up in the bin…

I still cooked anyways

Well after I said all those stuff above, I still cooked anyways. So check out my lousy cooking below, mostly consist of instant ramen or rice with a variety of condiments. Bean sprouts, pea sprouts, alfafa sprouts, seaweed, sushi mix, onigiri, fish, chicken or (disgusting) frozen clams. urgh..

Recent Developments

In order to eat economically and healthy enough, I have been eating rice with egg and seasoned bean sprout. Sometimes I would open a can of sardines to top up on proteins.

The bean sprout dish was real easy to make, I got the recipe online and I made modifications to make it even easier for me. It basically goes like this:

  • Boil bean sprouts and chopped scallions/leeks
  • Drain them
  • Mix sesame oil, salt, chilli powder and diced garlic
  • Pour mixture over the vegetables
  • Stir and serve
  • It’s so easy anybody can do it. Although till date I still couldn’t get the proportions right. Anyways this is how I spend my nights nowadays. Nights when Claire came home early were like bonus to me, I’ll have her company and I’ll be really happy.

    But alas, work still needs to be done, so I can only wish silently that there will be more days when she will be home early. Last thing I want is to put extra pressure on her.

    Thanks people, for reading my ramblings. Cheers.

    Simon Tey

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