Married to a chef : Valentines Day
It’s one of the busiest days of the year for a chef – along with Christmas and New Year’s eve and people never stop asking what everyone’s plans are. We never really celebrated Valentine’s Day so it isn’t a big deal for me and I used to chastised chef for buying flowers on the most expensive day of the year. The practical side of me makes me a more potted plants than flower bouquet kind of girl.
So, married to a chef? You’d be spending all these celebratory holidays on your own, which really isn’t a bad thing, it’s only as bad as you make it out to be. I love how it gives me so much me time to do all the things I want to do – and there still isn’t enough time!
This year, no gifts, no flowers and no expensive Michelin starred lunch or dinner – we did some stock taking on budgets and honestly, we dine out expensively way too often. People save up for special occasions to go to a Michelin starred restaurant and for us, it’s become a casual lunch or dinner out, losing its special place for rare occasions.
We are striving to live less materially, and more meaningfully. Fewer purchases of better quality, and decluttering regularly à la KonMarie. More homemade everything and more cooking experiments for me. :)
So this Valentine’s Day I baked a flourless chocolate cake. Recipe taken from Girl Gone Gourmet. I can’t bake to save my life, so I am really pleased how this turned out! Chef suggests baking it less so the top doesn’t crack. I baked it for 45 minutes.
It’s so simple, I can barely believe it, just 3 ingredients, dark chocolate baking bars, sugar, and 5 eggs. (I reduced the sugar from 2/3 to 1/3 cups as the Ghirardelli chocolate bars already contained 16g, and I added raw cocoa powder into the mix). They don’t sell Valhorna at the supermarket, but I would definitely use Valhorna the next time.
So, everyone thinks that being married to a Michelin starred chef I get gourmet meals everyday, but it’s me cooking most days modest Asian meals. With a two Michelin starred chef husband who began his career in pastry in then three Michelin starred Jardin des Sens, you can hardly imagine the stress of baking for this man.
He walks through the door, and can guess exactly what I’m cooking from the smells and then tells me it’s lacking salt, or herbs or some other condiment, without having even looked or tasted the food – it annoys me to no end because admittedly, I still don’t take the criticism very well, and after a 12 hour work day, I don’t get that pat on the shoulder for effort because we live in a household in a constant quest of perfection – blame it on my overachieving Asian upbringing.
I get feedback that the fish is cooked 20 seconds too long, or that the pasta needs another 3 minutes for the perfect al dente. The husband doesn’t need a timer, somehow it’s built it and you can’t compete because it corresponds with every timer device I have set! With time, I am getting better at taking the criticism to do better. It’s like free cooking classes!
Breakfast today before his insanely long day. Eggs with butter and thyme, our home grown cherry tomatoes with toast, jam and boursin and my flourless chocolate cake. :)
Hope you all have a meaningful Sunday with loved ones, or even on your own like me. I went for a swim doing 20 laps in the pool, gone through another pile of magazines (part of declutter campaign) and am working on the blog and more writing. How quickly the day went by!