Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I don’t cook everyday. My irregular work hours and activities see to it that my home kitchen opens only 2 days or the most 3 days out of a 5-day workweek. So on the days that the kitchen is closed, we eat out. It’s easy – go sit down and order and the dishes would be served in a jiffy but of course, at times, we gotta wait quite a while. Simple and easy….no need to worry about buying the foodstuffs…clean-clean and cut-cut and chop-chop and cook-cook and then the thing I dislike most…wash-wash all the utensils and pots and pans and plates and bowls and forks and spoons and then mop-mop the floor. **pheewww....** BIG SWEAT!

BUT the problem is this…after eating out for a few days straight, I get weary and tired of the outside food and I crave for my simple stir-fries and home-boiled soups. I am a lousy cook but somehow a plain fried egg with a sprinkle of pepper and a dash of soya sauce on hot rice tastes yummy; add a dollop of sambal belacan and it’s heavenly. Greens? Just freshly sliced crunchy cucumbers or some seeds of petai. No lar….I don’t eat like this all the time…..lidat, the bank account will be healthy but I will be not-too-healthy.

And when I am home early and in the mood to cook, then I’ll go get the ingredients. I only buy as and when I want to cook. Been throwing away potatoes and shallots that had sprouted. So just now, my appointment finished early and I decided to go get some big prawns, fish balls and mushrooms for tomyam. Fried some SPAM turkey ham dipped in beaten egg; made an onion omelette and stir-fried some french beans and tofu. Simple, short-cut dishes but we wolfed them all down. **burrrppp…**

Simple dishes but it is not much cheaper than eating out at the ‘tai chow’ shops serving Chinese food. I totalled up the cost of ingredients I bought earlier and it came to about RM40. Well, the good-sized prawns itself cost RM22 and the can of SPAM, if I remember right, cost something like RM12 or was it RM10? A ‘normal’ no-frills meal at the ‘tai chow’ averages RM40 or so, too. So sometimes, I do my maths and I will justify not opening my home kitchen. Just take a drive to the shop or restaurant we fancy, place our order, mum-mum, pay up and go home. No messing up the kitchen and no cleaning up needed…NO SWEAT!

BUT, being caught in the traffic crawl is another matter all together..…this one, I SWEAT BEADS. Geezzzzz…..

posted by nyonyapenang at 8:33 PM, |


  At 9:27 PM Blogger ehon said:
hahahahahaha! lazyyy! :P at least i cook myself everyday.. when i'm lazy to cook, just rice, fry egg, n salad. simple, easy and quick! :D
  At 10:53 PM Blogger U.Lee said:
Hello Nyonya, reading your this post, I can imagine time is of the essence with you. cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
I have met, known and loved many women in my life, but the one that stole my heart and became the one woman I wanted to share my life with is my wife now and it was her love of cooking that made me say 'goodbye' to all my lady friends and checked out of my wild ways.
And you know, there is no sight on earth more appealing than the sight of a woman making dinner for someone she loves, be it her children or husband, or friends.
You have a nice day, Nyonya. UL.
wow a can of spam cost $10/12 veri expensive. I remember at home used to go hawker centre, $2/$3 can satisfy lunch/dinner. Over here in canada, no hawker centre, food court food very expensive sometimes one person eat, minimum with taxes comes up to $5/$6, fast food more expensive even. So most of the time, i cook and its eat in for us. eat 10x of $6 outside, that $60 can be my whole month gorcery budget. Like nyonyapenang say, eat out too often also sianz, u just crave for home cook food no matter how simple that can be :)

I remembered days when my mom dont cook dinner, I told her, 'ma, breakfast, lunch i already eat outside, dinner i just want to eat something u cook no matter how simple that is' :)n hey, thats really something i felt from the heart :)
  At 11:20 PM Blogger Chen said:
i don't cook everyday too. Lazy mah and so time consuming. Most of the time we eat something simple :)

Talking about luncheon meat, i still prefer Maling luncheon meat than SPAM :)
  At 12:32 AM Anonymous kat said:
Nyonya! I also cook onion omelette tonight!! :D *high 5* Here got a lot of chicken luncheon meat. Maling lookalikes (semua oren color wan!!) also got.

For us and 2 kiddies, I cook very simple dishes. Usually only 2 dishes - 1 meat and 1 vege. And I cook almost everyday because the kiddies eat very little due to time constraints when we go out. So it's not exactly by choice that we eat in most of the time!! :D

BTW, mrkat says he agrees fully with Uncle Lee's comment!!
  At 9:24 AM Blogger savante said:
And you have so many sons to clean up! :P
  At 9:49 AM Blogger mumsgather said:
You are so right. A good balance would be nice. Eating out all the time is expensive but its a nice change from cooking all the time. Cooking all the time is healthier but its oh so tiring. So have both and enjoy the best of both worlds. Psst. I'm only able to eat out now that my kids are older (3 & 5). Before this, I was housebound and cooked all the time. Now its time for some outside food. Yay!
  At 10:49 AM Anonymous JL said:
I like to do dishes!

A good home cooked meal is always welcome :)
  At 11:57 AM Anonymous suituapui said:
A home-cookedmeal, no matter how simple and plain, tastes superb...cos it has the special ingredient -Mum's(orDad's)love!!! Eating out is easy as long as you have money but it'sjust not the same...and watch out on the salt and msg!!!
  At 12:04 PM Blogger J.T. said:
Over here, in the States, no hawker centre either (Winnie mentioned there was none where she lives). Food courts, restaurants, fast food joints - all nothing less than USD6.00 per person. So, I have no choice but to cook at home everyday. On major grocery shopping days, I will buy something from the grocery store deli. I do that because by the time I get home and sort out my purchases, I am too tired to cook. I miss the convenience and affordability of eating out in Malaysia.

Anyway, I agree with you that the simplest dish cooked at home can fire up the taste buds. The other day, I was craving for something local that I made belacan fried rice (from mix bought in Malaysia). So simple but that kept me satisfied for a few days. :)

Take care, Nyonya.
  At 12:32 PM Blogger FireHorse said:
Many times the simpler the meal the better :o)
  At 2:15 PM Blogger Pi Bani said:
Alamak Nyonya... all the while I thought you were the rajin masak type... hehehe...
  At 2:46 PM Blogger Nightwing said:
Wow!! So that is how Uncle Lee got settled down. Interesting.

Hello Nyonya, hehe like Pi Bani mentioned, thought you rajin cooking..haha.

Ya, i get what u mean, some times cooking at home, one don;t know what to cook. Same as eating out everytime, don,t know what to eat.

I think someone mentioned, try to have balance..which is good.

I think, for your family, balance cause your kitchen only close 2 or 3 times a week..:)

Any way...cheers..

Me also don;t know how to cook accept macoroni and minced meat thingy (learned from old housemate during school days).
  At 5:04 PM Blogger ilene said:
I'm with you! Sometimes when we cook, we tend to cook a lot and then we have to have those leftovers for the next day and the next and the next. To cook little bit, no shiok. Go out, 'tar pau', some more can eat in front of the telly - kill 2 birds with one stone - best! No washing, no mopping! 'keow kar' after that! 'kow tim'.

But then again hor, there are days when eat kosong instant noodles also very satisfying!
Hi Ehon,
I guess you are back home at your kampung now and enjoying delicious home-cooked food. Fully agree with you, a simple meal of rice, fried egg and salad can taste just as yummy.

Have a wonderful holiday, Ehon.
  At 9:50 PM Blogger ruby ahmad said:
Hi NP,

I agree with you. Balance is the operative word in our crazy world of being busy. If there's just the two of you, gosh it is fine to open kitchen 3 days and close the other 5..ha ha..oops I didnt get my maths right there. Malas nak erase!

I agree the simpler the dish the more tantalising it is. I told JT the other day, on days I am tired I love having just fried chicken marinated in tumeric and salt..ooh..gorgeous on hot steaming rice, with dashes of soy sauce and salad..yum!
Home cooked is still the best. No matter how simple it is. Frying an egg and Spam sounds yummy. My boys all time favourite.
Eating out - the food then to have lots of ajinamoto. The flip side is like you mentioned, no mess and a wider varitey of food. Food that you can't replica no matter how.
Hi Uncle Lee,
Years ago, I used to have a very efficient helper to help me and we eat in most of the time. At that time, the boys were little and I made sure that they get nutritious home-cooked food and only once in a while did we indulge on a meal at a restaurant.

Now, no helper at home and with my irregular work hours (some days, I reached home at 8.00pm), I find it quite a challenge to cook on a daily basis but I still fry to cook a few meals at home. Can get jelak of outside food lar.

'The Way To A Man's Heart Is Through His Stomach' holds true for Mrs Lee and you. Mrs Lee cooks with love and Uncle Lee savours every morsel with greater love. Ah....a match made only in Heaven.

Have a pleasant day, Uncle Lee.
Hi Winniethepooh,
Ya, SPAM costs that much because it is turkey ham, unlike MaLing Luncheon Meat. The boys don't take to MaLing.

Heard that over at your place, the supermarkets are very well-stocked and prices are cheap too. Comparing dollar for dollar...CND60 a month for your grocery bill, I think that is CHEAP! Over here, RM60, probably is enough for 2 days marketing only. Prices have been going up and up and up...geezzzz.

Really sienzzz out everyday....get jaded of the food.
So sometimes, I cook 2 to eat for the day and another to freeze for another day. Lazy way out. heheheh....

And when you told your Mom that you only wanted her cooking...awww...I think she must have felt a lump in her throat. So sweet of you.

Have a nice day, winniethepooh.
  At 1:05 AM Blogger a^ben said:
I feel very happy to eat at home now` because sometimes if I got additional practice, I have to eat outside so the whole week maybe only 2 to 3 dinners at home? ahahahha

will have a "craving" for home cooking after sometime but the clean up is definitely a pain in the rear` aiduiii
  At 9:22 AM Anonymous suituapui said:
Eee...why my comment turns out to be like that??? Was using another computer in the school cos my usual one was used by somebody else...and that one, if you tekan the shift, the language is changed and you end up typing Chinese characters!!! Lucky didn't come out all in Chinese! I won't know what it means!!! (Nanti come out foul language pulak! LOL!)
  At 1:40 PM Anonymous mott said:
I want to cook simple food also..... if only my nose could block out it's smell sense for this period....

i love flied eggs with sambal belacan......
Cooking is nice! provided someone does the preparation (cutting..etc) and washing up.
  At 3:43 PM Blogger Kenny Ng said:
Now I have to learn cook lor... puasa month here no restaurants open until buka puasa... I also damn sweat now... LOL
Hi Dr Chen,
Sometimes I already planned to cook for that day, and then something unexpected came up or a meeting went on and on and on and then I will only reach home at 9.00pm. So, tapau nia lar.

The boys somehow don't fancy MaLing....picky eaters lar.
Hi Kat,
Onion omelette...I cook that all the time...just to finish up the onions before it sprout! LOL

When my boys were small, I also cook everyday...wanna make sure they get good, nutritious food. Now they are busarrr liao, aiyah...sometimes they are out with their friends, so not eating at home too, so I no need to cook.

Of course, Mr Kat fully agrees with Uncle Lee - Mr Kat fell in love with you. He must have swooned big time seeing you busy cooking and then tasting all those yummy treats you prepared with LOVE.
Hi Savante,
They help me do the dishes. :)
Hi Mumsgather,
Ya, a balance is important....cook for a few days a week and when the weekend comes...I take a break. Moreover, now the boys are grown, they have their 'dates' with their friends for movies and makan-makan.
Hi jl,
oh, now I know who to call for help with the dishes. hahhaha...
Hi Suituapui,
Fully agree with you.
I guess too that you are as good in the kitchen as you are in the classroom.
Hi j.t.
I have many friends who were hopeless in the kitchen but they would become good cooks once they are staying overseas and summore staying choice, but have to cook and by trial and error, they discovered the joys of cooking. Bless them.

Western, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, etc....I can take them but after a few times, I would want my local fried rice!

Have a great weekend, j.t.
Hi Firehorse,
Fully agree with you. Moreover, I am also not a gourmet cook. So, a simple meal it will be.

Have a nice weekend.
Hi Pi Bani,
Dare not say I am rajin or what but if forced to a corner, boleh lar...hentam a few dishes. No worries, guarantee no tummy ache one!

Have a great weekend.
Hi Nightwing,
Like my reply to Pi Bani...can lar..I can cook simple meals BUT I just don't fancy the cleaning up.

Ya, eat out too often and sometimes, we really don't know what to eat. Jelak already, I guess. So a fill up a pita pocket and that's it....a meal already.

Have a great weekend.
Hi Ilene,
For those dishes that keep well and whereby the flavours improve the following day, then I cook a bigger than normal 'jiew hoo char', 'tau ewe bak' and 'chai boay'. So I save cooking time for the next 2 days.

Sometimes, when I am alone at home, I makan roti or just cornflakes, pun kow tim liao.

Have a nice weekend. :)
Hi Ruby,
Ya, chicken seasoned in tumeric and a pinch of salt and then is one of my favourites too. I always have to be careful with the serving of rice when I have this home-styled fried chicken...I tend to overeat. hehehe...

A couple of days a week, I come home late and another couple of days, I am home kitchen closed lor. I eat cornflakes with fruits and cold milk.

Thanks for dropping by and you have a great weekend.
Hi A^Ben,
Ya, after a few days fo eating out...we get sienzzz liao. Must have simple homecooked food and I must have my soups.
Hi Suituapui,
eee...please don't write in Chinese characters...gua buta huruf! maluuuuu nyer....
Hi Mott,
How's the going now? Hope you get over those 'annoying' smells soon. Last time, myself, also cannot tahan garlic....just wanna pengsansss..

You take care and have a pleasant weekend.
Hi Las Montanas,
I agree with you....I used to have a helper to help with that, so I got no problems with cooking. Now...adoi...sienzzzz with the cleaning and washing up.
Hi Kenny,
Like what I replied to j.t., you just practice and practice nia lar and you'd be a good cook in no time at all. Come back here and invite me to taste some of your homecooked middle eastern cuisine.

Happy sweating! hahahhaha....
  At 11:37 PM Blogger PEARLY said:
wow! life in Malaysia is better to eat outside then cook like you say so expensive to cook a family meal all sweat after cooking ... ya la my mum and dad also will eat outside , I wish we could have cheap diner in UK so expensive to eat out every meal ,is a treat for us to have even a take away on friday night , that why I must cook bake everyday .
next time you don't sweat youself la eat outside better la my lovely xxx

p/s thank for drop by to brandon birthday post lated is beter then never show up right xxxxxx love you always
ah nyoyapenang, sorri sorri, $60 a week! hehe :P
  At 10:34 AM Anonymous zeroimpact said:
Very true the hassle of cleaning up does deter many to cook
With the hectic lifestyles that we have not, I just wonder when the super cooker will be invented
Put anything in and then it comes out ready as we want it in a minutes
No hassle, no massive cleaning up
Hi Pearly,
Over here, we have the luxury of being able to get food 24 hours a day, so if we are lazy to cook or too rush for time, then we just eat out or tapau the food home.
Ya, sometimes when we tapau the 'chap fun' works out to be cheaper than if we were to go and buy the raw ingredients and cook from scratch. But of course, how also...after a few days, we get sienzzzz and we want our own home-cooked food. So, sweat or no sweat, I cook lar.

You are a great cook, Pearly and each time I am at your blog and I see your ynmmy food, I lau hau sui. hahahahah....

Have a good weekend, Pearly.
Hi Winniethepooh,
Oh, I see, I is still cheap compared to what I will have to pay over here, dollar for dollar.
Eg. a medium-seized old cucumber for costs about RM3.50 and you add some ribs RM5.00 and just that pot of soup costs RM8.50!
Everything is so expensive here.
Hi zeroimpact,
Get a slow-cooker, throw in the meats, seafood and veges before going to work and then come home every night also got steamboat. Enjoyssss...
  At 7:56 PM Blogger PEARLY said:
you mention the cost for a pot of soup cost $8.50 that only in £1.20p I guess wowwww I boil a pot of soup will cost me rib is very expensive here so I use chicken the whole chick some more I take out the main breat meat for another dish use the chick bone to cook soup hahah one chick cost £2.50 add veg or chinese hrb cost another £2 still come out £4.50 about .....RM28 hahhaha
I sametime wonder wat a ripe out england we staying here ehheh wish we back in malaysia
Hi Pearly,
RM8.50 is for a small pot of soup only, just enough for dinner.
Over at your place it comes to 4.50pounds and of course, when you do the conversion you will see it as very expensive compared to what I am paying here. But you have to remember, you earn in British pounds there and I earn in kacang putih Malayisan Ringgit. hahahaha....

Have a great Sunday, Pearly.
now i still got chance to win any guy's hati or not? *quickly puts on apron and fry bawang telur*
Hi Mistipurple,

The queue of eligible hopefuls to your cosy pad...ah...they must have been trailing the aroma of your fried bawang telur. yummmmssss....
  At 12:28 AM Blogger JoMel said:
hi nyonya, this entry of yours come at such an apt time! haha! It made me rethink the logic behind my sweating it out these past week in the kitchen, preparing not one, but three full meals. Ok, breakfast is easy, and for lunch, I pack sandwiches for the two guys while I cook porridge or noodles for when the girls return from preschool. Porridge is their comfort food, from when they were babies, so 4 out of 5 weekdays, I would have to cook different kinds of porridge. I can bring them out, but where do I get nutritious porridge outside, right? Then comes dinner, I cook soup, a vege and a meat dish, sometimes another side dish.. so while I was cooking these past two nights, I kept thinking about what you wrote, i.e. about the price coming up to abt the same. I agree totally that in terms of economics, we don't lose out eating out, esp if we factor in the electricity and gas that we use, what with boiling soup for hours and all. But because of the children, I pity them lah... I find it hard to seek convenience at their expense.. I feel that because they are young, they need wholesome homecooked meals more than us. Do you think so too Nyonya? So, try as I might to talk myself out of cooking, I can't. I just console myself, it's ok.. Fri will come and I won't have to cook for two full days. :)
  At 6:46 AM Anonymous Dawn said:
Hi Nyonya,

I still miss the joy of Malaysia's hawker stands. Hubby and I make it a point to have "junk food night" on every pay day. That is the only time we will eat out. The rest of the days, gotta cook at home. Unfortunately, a simple fried egg and spam will not work for dinner. I can cekik him at times. He said eggs and spam are for breakfast. o.O Not in my culture!

Have a great day, Nyonya!