21 May 2008

Tough tasks & a foul attempt, that just aren't too bad

On occassional weekday nights when my husband has to attend functions, I heave a sigh of relief as I am not expected to prepare a good dinner to serve the hungry Bear. I just need to whip up something simple for myself and rest earlier.


Do you know? Being married to a Japanese guy ( especially a s . p . o . i . l . e . d only son brought up in a traditional Japanese family ) is almost like asking for trouble. ( * * ) For first, I have to cook 3 meals a day : an elaborate traditional Japanese breakfast, lunch for myself, and a satisfying dinner. In Japan, eating out is unthinkable especially if you are living with your family, and the wife is staying indoors. While eating out is outright cheap and convenient in Singapore, eating out for a person in Japan can fetch a much sumptuous meal for 2 persons at home, and this excludes the distance of driving out. Besides this, Japanese believes in goodness of homemade food, prepared in ' love '.

Now, I understand the demands and have been performing dutifully. However, though I may not know much about other countries, this obviously is a hell task for most Singaporeans! Back home, my mother cooks only dinner on mere days of a week, I've been brought up knowing the pleasure of eating out! With a population that eats out so often, the sober eating pattern of the Japanese sounds too dreary to believe.
I was embarrassed when a Singaporean friend said it in my face, ' What? You have to do all that? I can't believe it! What a pathetic life you're leading! '. Her sorry countenance puzzled me... Am I all that wretched you might think?

Probably to the Singaporeans, but I must have been ' brainwashed ' that I do not really feel the same, though I can't deny the tire. Jesus knows the best that I'm doing all these for my family, and I know that my effort is pleasing in His eyes. I desire to possess the traits of a beautiful wife, with virtues that edify my husband, and remember to work without complaint.

Fortunately, my husband kindly lets me off on weekends ( Yes, I know that there are many Jap husbands who will not do so... shiver... ). Still, eating out is also an agony cos he's right : homemade food tastes better.

Anyway, on this day when he was not home for dinner, I grabbed the chance to try breadmaking again. Just when I thought I was spared from the usual trouble, I was inviting another by committing a silly mistake!

I was kneading hard this forever wet mess for an hour, but the dough still looked how it first started! I paused for rest and a quick flashback, where could have gone wrong? Then I realized, it was not the wheat flour for bread that I was using, all along I was using the wheat flour for cake making!!

See? See? Was I not silly?
So green bakers like Stardust, learn from my mistake : All purpose wheat flour, ' weak ' wheat flour, or flour for cake will never yield you bread.

Undaunted, I quickly set up another assembly of fresh ingredients and started again. This session, I prepared curried chicken, mayonaise bacon and potato, cheeze and sausage buns. They were baking in the oven when the Bear arrived home, and he adored the delicious aroma that pervaded the room. =) We had them for breakfast the next day, Bear liked them so much that he insisted I make them again.
' Ok. But does that mean that I can be excused from making dinner? ' ;)
P/S : I skipped dinner to make these buns you know? All thanks to the silly mistake, I had to concentrate on the new batch, too tired to prepare dinner for myself. =P


Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Good morning honey!
But you are so good in baking dear!
These are fantastic and your husband should be very proud of you!
I can understand the spoiled man situation..my hubby is the 8th of 9 sons but spoiled anyway :-D
Lots of hugs
God bless you darling

bp said...

*BP pats Stardust on her back*
My dear, you are doing an excellent job! Not just all the time and effort you put into preparing such wonderful meals day after day, I understand how more work it is in a home away from home, when you have to "baokahliao" because you don't want to bother your husband with the run-of-the-mill chores.

Try and not let what others may say get to you. It was hard for me when friends back home told me I'm better off overseas ... to the effect that all I do is sit around and twiddle my thumbs.

Isn't it wonderful how your labour of love -- through sweet gestures such as these yummy buns (they look great!) -- make your home, sweet home for you and your Bear? =)

Ellena said...

Wow.. what a spread!!!! You are indeed doing well as a "GOOD HOUSEWIFE"... keep it up!!! Hope to see more of your bakes.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

I can only imagine what the bread must have smelled like when your husband came home! I love that aroma... Mmmm..

I think you are a fine person to do what you do everyday and I know your husband loves you and thanks you for who you are otherwise you two would not be together.
As long as YOU are happy, that is all that matters. Do not let others influence you into believing what kind of life you should be leading. Not one ounce of doubt should be cast into your mind, k?
In July, it will be my 20th anniversary and I have come across many that have doubted the relationship but I stayed true to my heart and our own beliefs and traditions and it has kept us strong all these years... that is the secret.

dot said...

Your bread looks so good! I'm glad "the Bear" liked it. Many women today don't keep the right role they were intended to live. I'm glad to see a woman who tries to be a good wife. I bet "the Bear" is glad too!

Ladybird said...

Hello there, I can't agree with you more about eating 'in'. Eating out in Germany is expensive too, with the price you pay here for a proper meal at restaurant for two, you can feed a family of four back home in Malaysia already.

Furthermore, I think eating at home is healthier too. As long as you love what you are doing, then don't doubt yourself :) .

Those breads really look very yummy!

Helena said...

I only found out very recently about "strong" flour for bread! I am not too good with wheat, it gives me stomach ache, so I cook with spelt. Spelt is still wheat, but an older type of wheat (Roman times it was used a lot) and has more protein. It doesn't upset my tummy as much but still I have to be careful. It is for treats only!

When my partner and I started to live together and got engaged, we said that we would take it in turns to cook- one day I cook and he washes up the dishes, the next day HE cooks and I wash up.

Then he started work full time and I was studying. So I said, you don't want to work and then come home and cook, so I'll cook all week, you can at weekends.

In truth he doesn't cook very often at all. He prefers me to, and I really enjoy cooking, so I don't mind. He does keep the other side of the bargain, though- he does wash up!

Another thing we agreed back then was that I will NOT iron ("press") his shirts! We discovered that neither of us knew how to iron a short properly. So I said, well, I don't wear them! SO he said he would iron his own shirts.

He doesn't do so very often at all, because I hang them up properly when they are almost dry, so very few creases. But I have never ironed them, nor will I!

I have no time for "spoiled" men! Even animals care for themselves, feed themselves and keep their surroundings clean. I think a man should be able to do the same.

My father was in the Navy, my eldest brother in the Air Force, my elder brother at boarding school: so they all could cook, clean, iron and sew. They are the men and boys I grew up with.

I had a boyfriend in my teens and 20s who thought I should clean up after him but I just laughed at him!

But it is very difficult to get them to change if that is how they have been raised.

The way I have been raised, I don't respect men who need women to do everything for them.

Remember even in the Bible it says you are equal- "equal heir to the kingdom". Make sure you are respected and that he appreciates the things you do, if you want to do them. You should be respected as an equal partner. Don't lose sight of that. You may be different but you are equal. Don't forget!

stay-at-home mum said...

Hey! You are doing a great job as a wife. its tough with the japs. When my bro-in-law proposed to his jap girlfriend 14 years ago, she quit her job to go home (she was working in tokyo at that time and the family in takasaki)to learn how to cook and clean, etc. Their demands on the wife are very high. So I guess my sis-in-law is lucky she married a foreigner. She told us that was her plan from young, to get out of being a "slave" to a jap husband! I am sure your husband is different from the typical jap man!!

Piggy said...

Even though i don't cook everyday, I still think that it's not wrong to cook 3 meals a day for our family. I pick up cooking because I want to avoid eating out too often! The thought of greasy (and overrated) hawker food makes me shiver! I'm sure your hubby appreaciates your effort. :-)

Great looking bread, btw!!

Seen This Scene That said...

Your bread looks great, your effort shines through and your love for your husband is obvious to all. Your husband is a very lucky guy!

Stardust said...

Hi Silvia,
I couldn't stop laughing when you told me about the spoiled 8th son of 9 at your home. I don't know, but it sounds cute. Hugs.

Dear bp,
Sniff* Thanks. And I know that I'm not the only one trying hard. I pat your back too cos I'm sure that you're tackling tougher workload but faring even better!

Hello Lena,
Nothing actually, I'm still at a learning stage! Thanks for dropping by!

Dear Michele,
Thanks for sharing the 'secret recipe' of a blissful marriage. Thanks for assuring me always. HUGS. This July, I pray that it's gonna be EXTRA SPECIAL for your and Marcell.

Hello Dot,
Thank you, they are just humble bakes. Thanks for dropping by.

Hi Ladybird,
Nod nod, I can figure the situation. I agree that eating home is healthier, and more hygenic I suppose.

Hi Helena,
Thank you for your wonderful insight, it's truly wise! I'm honestly glad that my husband appreciates me and my effort, the reason why I'm going on. I pray that he'll stay loving and even help me out in future. =P Fat dreams?

THANK GOD that my husband is NOT the typical Jap guy! Else I WOULDN'T have married him! Ha!

Hi Piggy,
Yeah, you're right. Hmm, who wants to eat outside if there's a great cook like you at home? ;P You know what? I've always thought your man is one very lucky guy! =D

Thanks! And I think your family is lucky to have such a special husband and father around. =D