Rooting around the family fridge I came across some pale-looking tomatoes.
Well…it is a sunny day so we need some transformation.
It is a sunny day because I am in Kuala Lumpur.
Or I was in KL but am now in Singapore. KL Sister was in Bangkok with HK Sister but is now back in in KL. It is a merry-go-round, and will remain so for some time, as we work out how to move forward with the challenges of running this household.
Whether my parents acknowledge it or not, running this household is exhausting work. Our Filipino maid has proved to be a real help in the two months she has been with us. The thing is…she really cannot cook.
Here is a challenge I relish.
We start with some slow-roasted tomatoes. I discovered the tomatoes in three separate bags. We all know how easy it is to toss freshly-bought vegetables into the fridge drawer without properly taking stock of what is already there.
In my experience, under-ripe tomatoes are only good for one of two things: as a filler along with egg mayonnaise in a sandwich, or in a Chinese soup with duck, preserved mustard greens and fresh ginger.
How else can we make them appetising?
Working on the basis that heat does transform things, I enlisted our maid’s help in cutting the tomatoes into quarters, rolling them in olive oil, minced garlic, a pinch of salt and some sugar. These were then placed in a roasting pan and slow-roasted. Everyone enjoyed these tomatoes so much they were gone in one sitting.
In the following days, we tackle salads of the raw and cooked variety, cous-cous and Korean jap chae. These are dishes that can be made easily by hand. I sort of made a deal in my head that I would help with the cleaning in return for help in the kitchen.
On the way to the airport in the KLIA Ekspress train, I had a long conversation with KL Sister who was in her hotel room packing her bags. We say to each other: what we need is another full-time maid. I have a few days in Singapore to think this through before meeting up in KL again to discuss this face-to-face with her. Thinking is always helped by plenty of rest and good food, so I aim to sleep and eat a lot over the next four days.