There comes a point in a young adult’s life where you start to wonder what it’s like to cook. Do you remember the first time you tried to cook an egg or cook a bowl of instant noodles? I can still remember the first time my brother and I cooked a pot of instant noodles together. It was exciting because to a young girl like me then, it was like playing with fire. It is a memory that has also stayed with me as one of the best afternoons with my brother.
With the convenience of fast, cheap and good food around me in Singapore, I never really felt a strong need or interest to cook. It was not until I moved out of Singapore to live for months in Turkey that I started to cook again. It was in Turkey that I realized how a simple broth of Chinese Mushroom Chicken soup with Tang Hoon can bring so much comfort to me. Cooking for yourself, recreating the taste of what you miss, transports you to where your heart is.
It was also in Turkey where my boyfriend and I prepared a dish of Ikan Bilis Fried Rice for our friends from Sweden and Germany. I can still remember their expressions of curiosity, apprehension, followed by pleasant surprise as they approached the dish. Like two proud tour guides, we gave each other smug smiles and attempted to taste this dish as if it was our first time eating it too. Food is culture, and it brings us pride to be able to bring that bit of culture along with me to a foreign land.
Just as I have encountered the homeliness of home-cooked food in a foreign land, recipes from a foreign land is able to satisfy the wanderlust in my blood too. When I look at recipes such as this rustic seafood soup from http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/recipes/barley-soup-with-seafood, I am immediately transported to a farmhouse in the Tuscan countryside.
If I can redefine what wanderlust means to me, I would describe it as an irresistible desire to travel (and cook) to understand one’s very existence. And now, I hope that you can join me on this experiential journey on food, love and life.