Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kitchen Lies

You expect to be asked the questions and you are ready. Ready to lie.  
The look on the face of the person about to munch into your chocolate cake or sink his teeth into the chicken you've just roasted. The crinkling of the eyebrow as he or she ponders on what I now experience as commonly- asked questions. The queries vary depending on who the taster is.  Children who prefer their food with more salt or more sugar. The weight-conscious who want to believe they are taking in less calories while still enjoying their food. Diabetic family members whose "once-in-a-while" sweet treats are becoming frequent. And the health freaks who take pride in their disciplined intake and control, and strict filtering of 'empty' foods and processed meat.

To the kids who find healthy vegetables repulsive,  I am ready to lie even before the questions are asked.  There is no carrot in this braised oxtail stew. That just looks like it but it is actually lean meat fallen off the bones after so many hours of slow-cooking. Try it.

To the anal and health conscious whom I decide need to just let loose and enjoy food and life, I say, This cake is unlike those in the stores, mine is reduced sugar. See, it doesn't have that disgusting way-too-sweet after-taste lingering in your mouth, does it? In my mind, I have a visual of a certificate-of-entitlement to lie while keeping my integrity intact because I took 20g castor sugar off the recipe. Yes, you should be suspicious of products on the shelves that yell "Reduced sugar".

Conversely, I half the sugar intake in the recipe when I bake for my mom who's diabetic yet rebellious. For the sweet-toothed or people like mom and their never-mind-won't-die attitude, I am so ready to tell a lie to their face without blinking an eye. I could pass a lie-detector for this cause.

And so I realise, Kitchen Lies are a funny way to express love in the kitchen. Saying I love you just won't cut it here. How strange and lovely human beings are. A small joy to observe.

10-hour slow-cooked oxtail stew on 8-min linguine . 'No carrots' (wink wink)



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