She’s like a one-woman hawker centre. Whipping up delicious food effortlessly, she even innovates on recipes, and knows it all by heart. Though the delicacies give Graham the runs, he wolfs it down. But cockroaches rule the kitchen by night and I creep around the rest of the house, touching most things gingerly for fear of dust and dirt. There are things in this house that have not budged or seen a feather duster for years.
The other only cooks because she has to put food on the table, follows all recipes to the last gram and teaspoon but couldn’t care less about how the dish actually taste. She thrives on instant seasoning and packet herbal mix. But the house is cleaned by noon including a scrub down of the bathroom, bedrooms, living room and the porch. It’s like 5-star housekeeping in your own home.
I’m talking about two domestic helpers I’ve gotten to know. These two ladies actually work for my in-laws and my husband’s aunt. And they’ve taught me pretty cool tricks about what works around the house.
Ok, the tips.
- Soak sliced shallots in salt solution before deep-frying them. They turn a beautiful golden brown instead of a crummy black.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in salt solution to get rid of pesticides.
- Slice a small bit off the ends of cucumber and rub the cut end with it. It gets rid of the bitterness.
- Make chicken and fish stock regularly and freeze them. Use them for noodles, porridge etc. (The non-cooking maid does this!)
- Clean the inside of metal flasks and bottles with citric acid plus hot water. You can find citric acid packets used for konniyaku jelly at the supermarkets.
- Set up a schedule for cleaning and laundry and follow it.