Cafe for One
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Cafe for One

Woking Nine to Five

All I had to cook with was an electric wok. I became an expert at cooking anything with it, from stir-fry, to stews and even pastries.

A typical “everything in the wok” dish

Upon arriving in Darwin (Northern Territory of Australia) for a new job, I was living in very basic conditions. To be frank, I had a minimalist lifestyle and that’s making it sound good.

A one-bedroom studio with a bed in one corner, a desk in the other, a mini kitchen and a bathroom with shower. The kitchen was an electric stove, a bench and a sink. A mini-fridge next to it and that was it.

My mini-fridge

I had an air-conditioner and in that part of the world, life is extremely difficult without one. Some locals live without aircon but I would have died without one. When the lowest temperature in the middle of the night is 26C and humid, there is no way an average human being could get some decent sleep.

The pride of my kitchen, the electric wok.

The pride of my basic kitchen was the electric wok. Until I bough some extra stuff, the wok would do everything for me, including boiling water to make tea or coffee. It was a bit like camping without the tent.

I would even cook steaks in my wok for some super sumptuous dinners. It was like juggling. I would cook one or two ingredients together, then take them out and when the steak was almost to my liking, I would put everything back together for a few minutes.

Lamb shanks a la very yum

The wok got me through breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I would cook two lamb shanks and store half in the fridge for the next day. I also always had salads ready. I became very efficient. The wok became so part of my life that I kept the same routine for months even after I bought pots and pans.

A sunset in Darwin

Whenever I was cooking stews, I would leave the electric wok on low settings and go for a walk to enjoy the sunset. I would then be back for a well-deserved meal.

Occasionally I would invite a friend for dinner. It was always a one-wok experience but nobody ever complained.




I tend to be creative when by myself hence the “Cafe for One” name. Stay tuned for easy-to-make special meals for yourself and others.

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JG Estiot

JG Estiot

I write to challenge my audience through creative ideas and pertinent observations. I do not feed any particular worldview.

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