In times of desperation, one can be driven to do desperate things.
And dying from utter starvation living in a foreign city in a country 6360 km away from home is certainly ‘times of desperation in my book’!!! To eat out daily would certainly hurt financially (a decent ‘cheap’ mean costs anything between AUD 10 – 14, depending on what you order).
And so, I decided to cook!
Okay, prior to this, beyond the occasional instant noodle or french toast, the only thing I know about cooking is the eating part! Cooking would be a new adventure for me in Melbourne which in my humble opinion is far more stressful and complicated than passing the Masters.
My first attempt at cooking was a disaster, and that’s putting it mildly.
For my first attempt, I decided to make something simple (at least I thought it was simple). Dinner, I decided, would consists of:
1. Fried bacon
2. Full boiled egg
3. Mashed potatoes
4. Freah salad (‘fresh’ means one need not cook it!)
5. Butter on toasted bread.
Making the mashed potatoes was simple enough (thanks to Google!). Peel them, wash them, and bring to boil with a dash of salt. A fork easily pierces through the potatoes if it is soft enough to be mashed.
Boiling the eggs was a little tricky as the eggs were freshly out of the fridge and I suppose the water wasn’t exactly boiling when I dropped them in, or perhaps I did not boil them long enough. In the end I got eggs with the consistency of somewhere between half-boiled and fully boiled eggs.
Next, I heated up the frying pan, put in some light olive oil and waited for the oil to heat up before putting in a couple of bacon strips. While waiting for the bacon to be done, I decided that toasting 2 pieces of bread would be good.
That was when disaster struck!
Before I knew it, the smoke detector in the apartment (I was foolish enough to toast the bread directly under the smoke detector!) which sent me into a panicky frenzy!
You see, the smoke alarm in the room is connected to the fire department and if the firemen turned up at my doorstep and found out it was a false alarm, I would have to pay a fine!
And so, I grabbed a chair, climbed up and tried to reach the smoke detector on the ceiling and attempted to silence the alarm by pushing a couple of buttons. Thankfully the wailing alarm stopped after a couple of determined pushes only to be replaced by a constant regular beep that was annoying. I decided to try and remove the battery and replace it again to see if the beep would stop.
And all the while, my bacon was on the frying pan, turning from raw to medium rare to well done to carbon!
All that was probably less disastrous if not for the fact that my visibly concerned (and probably not a little amused) spouse was watching the whole tragicomic incident via the webcam hooked onto Skype!
Double sigh… (memo to self: never ever multitask when cooking!)
To cut the story short, the beep eventually went off by itself; the firemen did not turn up to hose down my smoke filled room and parts of the charred bacon was still edible.
The silver lining to all these is of course that over the next few attempts, I got a better hang at cooking. (photo evidence below)
Thurs, 281010 @ 1123; temperature outside 5C