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Keith Tse


  • Writer's pictureKeith Tse

Slow heat

I mentioned before from cooking experience that slow and thorough work yielded much better quality and results than quick and hurried attempts, which is intuitively obvious if not common-sensical. Another disastrous attempt in the kitchen reaffirmed this to me (in addition to the fact that I can’t cook for my life…). I recently filled my fridge with groceries, and I usually set the temperature to the lowest to preserve the food for as long as possible. Often, therefore, the food is frozen when I take it out, which makes it somewhat difficult to cook. I know that it is recommended to defrost the food first, but I really can’t be bothered. On this occasion, like in all previous occasions, I threw the food straight into the saucepan and went straight into cooking it. It took longer to cook, unsurprisingly, since the food was initially frozen and had to be melted by the heat before it could be cooked, but this does not bother me as melting under intense heat only takes a second. I proceeded with cooking the food to the best of my ability (which consists of the bare minimum culinary skills at best) and I duly consumed it after I was satisfied with the way it looked, namely well-cooked and pleasing to the senses. What I realised upon my first bite, however, was that although the outside was cooked (or so it looked), the inside was not, which made the meat almost inedible. Those of you who know me know that I do not mind rare meat at all- in fact, I always consume meat rare/blue since I like the taste of blood and the look of red (!). With this one, however, it was not the fact that the inside was uncooked which bothered me (because it does not), it was the fact that it was still frozen and ice-hard which made it not only very hard to consume but basically tasteless. I should have followed the standard steps of defrosting, in which case I guess the food would have become suitable for being cooked thoroughly, but since I had skipped defrosting due to haste and sloth, only the icy frost on the surface was melted and the inside was still frozen and resistible to heat. This is another piece of affirmation that slow heat works much better than shortcuts, since when we do it quick, we only gain time, which may indeed be very useful or even decisive in one’s busy schedule, but we inevitably lose quality, which may be even more costly in one’s endeavours. We should therefore try to do things slowly and carefully, even if this is not possible all the time and there are inevitably times when one has to rush things just to get things done. Whatever happens, however, one claims responsibility over the quality of one’s work. After all, people do not judge (or even know) how much time you spent doing it. They only see and care about the results and judge you based on the quality of it.

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