33 CH33: Cooked with care

    "Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy.

    And cooking done with care is an act of love."

    - Craig Claiborne


    After the blackout that happened in the office a few days ago, things were slowly becoming normal. It was no longer hectic as people began to get back to their normal routine. Most employees, especially in the Safety department, were now busy reviewing back on what had happened. They had to ensure that there was no security leakages and so forth. So, they were busy checking all the computers and the servers.

    Luckily, Delilah had continued her work in the other branch and had saved her documents in her pendrive. So, all she needed to do was to transfer her documents from her pendrive to her computer. And since she had already done most of the work, all she needed to do next was to wait for Firah. Because she needs to coordinate with Firah, in regards to the documentation work.

    While waiting for Firah to send her parts to her, Delilah decided to login to discordance. She typed in a peeking emoji into the chat and within seconds, lines of 'Hello D' flooded the channel. Apparently, some of the people in the chat were in the voice channel. They were having a 'karoake' session. Some urged Delilah to join them but unfortunately, Delilah was at work. Even if she can get away by going into discordance, she should not overstep her boundaries by joining in the voice channel and have fun.

    They were in one of the servers where the owner was an author in an online reading platform. Delilah joined the server a year ago and had gotten close with most of the members there. They were close enough to know each other's habits. Hence, they understood when Delilah had told them that she could not join. But instead, she can just put on her headphones and listen to them singing.

    After awhile, they suddenly stopped singing, probably because they do not know what to sing anymore. In the end, it became a chatting session. Delilah joined in by chatting through texts.

    At one point, while they were chatting, the chat suddenly reverted to discussion on food. One of Delilah's favourite topics to talk about. They mostly talked about Indian and Chinese food. As most of the people in the chat channel were from Asia, they kind of bonded together, especially when it comes to food. Even those who were not from Asia, as well.

    One of Delilah's friends were nicknamed as 'Stitch' since she loved Stitch. But she was also a foodie as well, like Delilah. She got on well with Stitch because they have so much in common, especially when it comes to food. Delilah also liked to hear about what Stitch has eaten because it seems fascinating to her. Some people may get weirded out but not Delilah. She was always in awe of how people eat, especially food that she herself cannot eat. And she respected them. Even if she herself cannot eat, she would not hurt another for being able to eat them. Even if it was something that might repulsed them. One should understand and respect one another's taste and culture.

    At that moment, they were talking about chocolates. Stitch had piped in, saying that she does not like sweet that very much. Some agreed with her and some don't. Then all fell silent when she added that it was because she was already sweet. Hence, why she doesn't like sweet very much.

    Sometimes, Delilah wondered who was more shameless. Was it her or Stitch?

    After laughing and joking around, the two of them began to tease another one of their friends in the chat. Her nickname was 'CheeChi'. She was another shameless friend in the server. Although, not as shameless as Stitch and Delilah but she can be cheeky and cute. Thus, why it was fun to tease her. Especially when she self-proclaimed as the 'Protector of Chicks'. Whenever she was on her so-called rage mode after people keep saying that they will eat chickens, Delilah and Stitch usually posted gif of eating chicken.

    Skyra, who was the owner of the server, usually comes and just laughed at the three's antics. Though, there were times that she also joined in the fun. She was also another sweet friend, who likes to talk but would 'threaten' to mute anyone who would post pictures or emotes of frogs (which Delilah likes to do discreetly).

    They then began to talk about noodles; about how each country have their own types of noodles. Some said they preferred the thin ones while others like the thick noodles such as udon. Delilah then talked about her preferences when it comes to eating noodles. She then typed in a drooling emoticon of how she missed eating claypot noodles.

    They urged her to cook one but it seems tedious for Delilah. She knew it would take awhile to cook one so she rejected the suggestion. She probably would eat it somewhere.

    Just then, a notification pinged in one of her tabs. Delilah looked over and saw that Firah had finally sent her her part of the work. Delilah quickly said her goodbyes in the chat channel, took off her headphones and log out of discordance.

    Delilah quickly skimmed through Firah's work. Every now and then, she rolled out of her cubicle, using her chair and peek over at Firah's to ask her some questions. After she was satisfied with the document and also got the green light from Firah, she sent the document to Matt, via email.

    Once she was done sending the document, she continued on with her other work until working hours were over.

    Packing up her things and switching off her computer, she said her goodbyes to her colleagues and went down to her car.

    Few minutes later, she opened the front door to her house and heard some noises coming from the kitchen. She placed her bag on a nearby chair and her keys on a small shell bowl where they usually put their keys there.

    She went into the kitchen and saw her father busy in front of the stove, cooking. Her sister, Miya, was at the dining table, feeding Kael his dinner. Miya looked up and saw Delilah standing at the entrance to the kitchen. She gestured to her to come closer to her. Delilah complied and went to stand beside Miya. She bends down, trying to hear her sister speaking.

    "He's been busy ever since he got back from work," Miya said softly, referring to their father. "He was excited to try out some recipes he found from the internet."

    Delilah looked over and saw their late mother's clay pot on the kitchen counter beside him. "Oh, I see," Delilah nodded.

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    An hour later, Delilah came down to the kitchen again, after having a shower and laying down on her bed, reading. Her father had just finished cooking his food. He looked up when he saw Delilah sitting at the kitchen table, munching on peanuts.

    "Delilah, want to try my claypot noodles?" he asked, an excited gleam in his eyes.

    Delilah turned and nodded. "Sure."

    Her father switched on the stove and the noodles began to sizzle inside the clay pot. He then added some 'bok choy' and broke an egg on top of the noodles. He waited for a couple of seconds before switching off the stove. He wore his cooking gloves and carefully carried the clay pot, placing it in front of Delilah. "Be careful, it's still hot," he cautioned.

    Delilah nodded. She grabbed a fork and forked out some noodles. She blew on the noodles before taking a bite. The broth of the claypot noodles were thick and rich with a bit of sweet and sour taste. The noodles that her father used was wheat thick noodles. So, it added some sweetness to the broth. The 'bok choy', another name for Chinese cabbage, tasted crunchy and a bit bitter. But after being immersed with the broth, it had added flavor to the vegetables, which tasted quite nice. There were other ingredients inside the claypot, such as small shrimps, eggs and enoki mushrooms.

    Her father sat across Delilah, watching her eat. Delilah had just scooped some broth into her spoon and brought it to her mouth. Taking a sip, it tasted sweet and sour, making her drink more broth.

    "How was it?" her father asked.

    Delilah licked her lips as she ate the noodles. "Really good," she said honestly.

    Her father smiled, a proud look on his face. And then he went to check on the pot, which holds the broth. "There's more here. Finish it off when you can. There's also some noodles leftovers if you want more."

    Delilah winced. "Uh, ok." She could never refused any food from her father, especially ones that he had cooked. Fortunately, her father was a good cook, as he had learnt them from her mother. She had watched him cook her clay pot with care.

    InDEEd, when food was cooked with care, it was the most delicious one. Especially when it was cooked from your loved ones.
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