MCO: Home cooking getting its groove back

Foh and her children's home cooked dishes during the MCO.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, March 28: Spending more time at home following the Movement Control Order (MCO) has led to many getting in touch with their “chef roots”.

In most households, time has not been kind to the kitchen, as the adults joined in the rat race to make better living and chasing after a good career.

In the past week, many Malaysians have started to try out recipes found online, posting the results of their attempts at making those attractive, delicious delicacies on their social media, with the “dolgano coffee” among the top hits.

Meanwhile, those who were always gifted in the kitchen but didn’t have the time, finally joined in the fray and posted all sorts of delicious food to the “drool” and envy of others.

“It is cheaper to cook then getting takeout or ordering food delivery. I also feel that cooking is easier because I know what my husband and my children love to eat.

“Usually I will cook alone but now my two girls, Evy Kwan, 13, and Ayla, 9, who are slowly getting involved, as they are always curious about how to cut certain things or how to clean vegetables,” Catherine Foh, 44, said.

She added that since her children were getting involved and learning how to cook, especially their favourite dishes, the mother and her two daughters would end up preparing three different dishes per meal.

“Otherwise, it is just simply ‘dump everything in one pot’ porridge or roasted poultry with assorted vegetables that goes into the oven.

“On my lazy days, we would opt for instant noodles, while breakfast is usually fried eggs, bread and cereal,” she described her normal menu prior to the MCO.

Foh acknowledged that before the restriction movement order, she was always busy and cooking can be in a rush, thus not having the time or patience to teach her children how to cook.

“There is only so much time you can be on gadgets, games and google classroom, so the kitchen is their new territory. On top of that, the growing kids are always hungry,” she said.

Foh added that she picked up recipes and ideas on the Internet and YouTube to try out new dishes.

Some of the home cooked dishes during the MCO.

For Margaret Bong, 50, there is nothing healthier and more comforting than a hot home-cooked meal, where she can be sure of all the ingredients that she was using.

With her mother-in-law and three children living under her roof, she has no problem with recipes or cooking ideas for the first week of of the MCO, having operated a fast food stall at one time.

“Home cook during MCO due to Covid-19, what can I do at home other than watch movies, keeping myself updated with the news or sleep? Let’s cook.

“Cooking can also help to keep my girls entertained because they enjoy it as much as I do,” Bong said.

However, as the MCO entered the second week, she admitted to be running out of ideas.

Although most restaurants or hawker stalls remained open during the restriction movement order, home cooking has spiked in popularity, not just as a necessity but as a form of leisure.

Amateur home chefs are showing off their concoction on social media as a form of “culinary therapy”.

Making his way around the kitchen, hotel manager Mateen Affandi, 46, said in today’s busy lifestyle, it is not easy for everyone to cook on a daily basis.

“Now that everyone are ‘forced’ to stay at home all day long and perhaps bored as well, why not improve your cooking skills looking out for recipes and YouTube videos?

“I can cook Indian dishes and probably learn some Chinese (cooking), which will not only make me a trophy cook but perhaps boost my family’s immune system which is much needed right now,” he added, in reference to the many Chinese cooking beneficial to health.

On March 16, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a restriction movement order to curb the spread of Covid-19 from March 18-31. The order has been extended to April 14. — DayakDaily