My kitchen adventures in the past have been limited to a few pasta dishes, a handful of desserts and maybe a few ulams (note: not the basic Filipino staples!). These adventures were rare and far in between and usually just brought about by a sudden sumpong to cook or to impress my ex-boyfriend (now my hubby!). That being said, I wouldn’t consider myself unable to cook, although my Nanay (maternal grandma) would probably think otherwise. I am not at all intimidated by the kitchen. :D
Now that I’m faced with a totally new life role, that of a SAHMmy (stay at home mommy) or “domestic diva” as my cousin (in-law) Pinky likes to call our “kind”, for exactly a week now, I’ve been whippping up meals for my two babies: hubby and Abby. And I’m proud to announce that I’m not doing a bad job at all, if I may say so myself. :D Like a first time gym goer, I’m starting it slow. I’ve only been cooking regular Pinoy dishes, nothing ala-Wolfgang Puck. And thanks to YM, I am able to get instructions from my Mom in real time. So far, I’ve been able to cook adobong manok, nilagang baka, sarshadong hito, ginataang kalabasa and pork afritada…all for the first time. Today we had steamed prawns and a little adobong pusit (meant for tomorrow!). They weren’t all perfect, I admit. The adobong manok had a little too much vinegar (no thanks to Nora Daza’s recipe!) but I was able to do damage control just before the adobo turned to paksiw (note: hubby hates as in HATES vinegar!). The potatoes in my afritada didn’t turn out nicely because I didn’t follow my Mom’s instruction of frying the potatoes first. I guess I got a little too impatient with the frying and besides, I never liked frying because I was afraid to have hot oil splatter on any part of my anatomy! But my sarshado and ginataang kalabasa turned out really well, thank you. *Bow* And so did the adobong pusit (even if there was very little black ink)! The steamed prawns drowned in 7-up was a smash hit (kahiya naman kung steamed na nga lang e pumalpak pa!).
The biggest blow to my self esteem happened last Friday, because for lunch, I chose an ulam which required years of hands-on experience and cooking expertise…fried chicken. I decided to face my fear of frying head on. I simply took to heart my Nanay’s advise to turn down the fire or move the pan over to the unlit burners of the stove if I have to turn over whatever it is I’m frying.
And so, there I was, frying like an expert. *Tongue in cheek* I was like a boxer dancing around the wok and ducking with every loud fizzle while holding my wok spatula at arm’s length. However hard I tried to avoid getting in contact with the hot oil, natilimsikan pa rin! I still have the remembrance on my right hand. When I was through frying a few pieces, I called my starving hubby and daughter to the table for lunch while I continued frying the rest of the pieces I had left. I saw hubby having a hard time slicing the meat? I asked if it was still undercooked? Maybe a little, so back to the frying pan they went. After a few minutes, the drumsticks and thighs were back at the table. We were just so surprised at how the darned thing was still so tough, hard to chew and hard to slice. So like freaking rubber! I thought that it might be the Texas chicken Pinoys liked to joke about…chicken for sabong! I fished the packaging the chicken came with out of the trash. The label said “whole hen”. Isn’t a hen a chicken? I phoned my aunt in California to ask. I then found out that hens were usually used for stews. So hen doesn’t necessarily mean chicken! Ayayay! :D Poor hubby, probably not wanting to hurt my feelings, ate a quarter of a rubbery chicken, holding the drumstick by the hand and tried with all his might to take a bite after bite after bite! Abby probably thought she was eating gum! :D Majority of the chicken hen pieces are still in the fridge waiting to become part of maybe a salad or pancit.
By 4pm, we were starving, so we had sandwiches. It was a good thing we were invited to a bar-b-q dinner at the house of Dondi’s former boss.
No chicken dance just yet! :)