Life as a polytechnic student is never a bed of roses. Long hours in school, boring lectures and draggy tutorials, it’s no wonder that I am left fatigued and distressed after each school day. Trudging up the long winding lane to my home after each bumpy bus ride, my mood starts to reach an all time low. Nothing seems to interest me anymore. Then I push the door to my house open, and the smell of tomatoes, meatballs and mozzarella cheese waft up my nose. A smile lights up my tired face almost immediately, and the worries of the day are instantly forgotten.
Yes, home-cooked food. Everyday, the only thing that I look forward to after school is my parents’ home-cooked food back at home. No matter how late I get back home, a plate of hot, steaming rice with various yummy dishes will be on the dining table waiting for me to dig into it.
MSG-free yet tasty, these nutrient-rich meals never fails me to leave me with a filled and satisfied stomach, while lifting my spirits after a seemingly interminable period of time at school. Throwing my bag down on the floor and heading to the kitchen for a simple meal of silver needle noodles, complete with green, crunchy broccoli and a few prawns to top it off, life couldn’t be any better at that very moment.
There is something about eating at home that relaxes and makes me feel at ease. The clean, cozy ambience of the house, accompanied with the warmth and loving atmosphere of eating together and the lively chatter with your family at the table, smelling the aromas of the chicken wings my mom grilled to perfection. My father spooning a heap of buttery mashed potatoes on my plate, nagging at me to eat more, my siblings bickering over the last silken egg tofu – that is how I love my meals at home.
My parents never fail to make each and every single dining experience at home a memorable one. From a lavish spread of spicy sambal stingray, to even a plain dish of steaming sliced fish porridge, they still manage to make every single meal taste good. Why? Love. That’s the answer. In every meal that they cook, not only are the finest ingredients added, they are carefully and intricately prepared with love, and effort. That is what makes every single meal unique and tasty. I am willing to wait five hours for a special dish of mutton curry prepared by my dad. Loaded with spices and chili, the sweet and tender meat pulls off from the bone the moment I bite onto it, the thick and rich curry oozing out of the meat and down my throat, leaving a strong yearning for more in my palate.
The drunken tiger prawns, however, are my favourite. Soaked and steamed with Chinese wine and garnish with a clove of chopped garlic and chili padi, these huge prawns scream delicious and satisfaction, and I can never wait to sink my teeth into these babies.
Even as school is getting more and more hectic as the months pass, I will never miss a meal at home just because of a simple project or class, for I know my family and a feast will be waiting for my arrival back at home.