Thursday, March 16, 2006

The wonderful world of cooking

My Pretzels baking in the oven!

Today I finally feel good enough to actually slave in the kitchen for several hours just to make pretzels! Yes, you've heard correct, P-R-E-T-Z-E-L-S.... Now some of you might be wondering, "why make it when you can get them from Auntie Anne's down some shopping centers?" Well, first I'm not in USA, Singapore or Malaysia. I'm still in this freaking country called Switzerland and we don't have Auntie Anne's here. While the rest of the world has Starbucks ages ago, we only have them for 3 years... That's right, only 3 freaking years. So needless to say about Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, KFCs, Nando's, Auntie Anne's etc. And there's only one Hooter's restaurant here and its at Interlaken (about 3 and half hours drive from my place). My point is that we'll have to wait a long time for Auntie Anne's or the rest to come here.

Final results... Garlic pretzels!

So back to the subject; cooking... The last time I remembered correctly when I really enjoy "slaving" in the kitchen was about 3 years ago. I was almost always, baking, steaming, frying, chopping, freezing etc. And boy did my science project got someone fat then!! hehehehe... I got almost all of the recipes off the Internet, from to There's thousands of similar recipes around, with different ingredients but most of them have almost similar methods and directions. The trick is to kinda experiment a little with ingredients like I did with the pretzels. Found 2 pretzel recipes ( and and improvise a little on the ingredients and the directions. After some kneading, folding, waiting for it to double in size, shaping and dipping, I managed to have the final results! there's nothing like making something with your own hands and reap the wonderful (sometimes almost wonderful) reward. I think its the most satisfying feeling of accomplishment and a little bit of pride mixed in between.

Last week I made my first blueberry and raspberry yogurt ice-cream. It is edible but need a little improvement on the freezing process. The thing about cooking is that we're allow to creative and logic (in terms of mixing and complimenting the ingredients). But if things go wrong, it makes us want to find out what and where it went wrong in the first place. Thus giving us the opportunity to solve the problem. Another element crucial to any of our kitchen "experiments" are our "test rats"! They have to give us honest answers (no pleasing the cook!) and we have to be open enough to receive criticisms. Think of it as a road to progress. It makes me motivated to try again the next time and to be good at it.

Cooking I think is a long term learning process and it takes interest (a lot of it) to be able to motivate us to be good at it. And to be really good at it takes lots of trial and errors, just like life (or part of it). But then again no one would admit to be really good at life isn't it? For now I guess I'll just keep on cooking up something different now and again. Who knows, I might come up with something orgininal?

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