Sunday, August 07, 2005

Arcosteel and Arroz Caldo

My mother and I must have had this conversation a thousand times:

'Dapat matuto ka nang magluto!'
'Bakit?' Vainly hoping the inevitable wouldn't be said.
'Para pag nag-asawa ka na, hindi ka naman nakakahiya!'
'Eh di, hindi na lang ako mag-aasawa.'
To which mom would just shake her head and exclaim, 'I'm telling you, you will get married someday.'

And I silently thought, fat chance of that happening!

Later on, when Gryphon came into my life, we had a modified version of the talk:
'Dapat matuto ka nang magluto para pag nag-asawa na kayo, hindi ka naman nakakahiya.'
'Di bale Ma, magaling naman syang magluto!'
And that would be the end of that! Point for Christine. Bwahahahahahahaha.
We have an eatery back home so we get most of our food from there. Consequently, I only learned to make spaghetti for special occassions and baked the rare cookie.

Coming to Australia, my aunt took good care of me foodwise. But I moved out of my aunt's place last year so I've had to (*gasp) learn how to cook. At first I subsisted on instant noodles, Spam and my flatmate's cooking. Through trial and error and the help of kind people, I can now cook adobo (taught by my flatmate), sopas (taught by a churchmate), lasagna (taught by an officemate), some stir-fries (attended a demo at the library) and a curry (from Slimming magazine). I can honestly say that I love cooking and I'm always on the look out for new recipes.

Recently, Joan (churchmate and part of our Bible study) lent me her diary where she put down recipes from when she moved out of her family's home. It has menudo, tinola, beef steak, sinigang, sweet and sour meatballs (which I've tried) and a fave of mine, arroz caldo. The problem is, we only have two small sauce pans and a wok, so couldn't use these to cook arroz caldo or nilagang baka. Despite the tight budget, I made up my mind to buy a stockpot.

So we went to K-Mart today intending to buy a stockpot, egg rings, possibly a grater and groceries. Must admit, I felt really happy when I saw all the kitchen utensils (very strange). Found my stockpot (on sale!) but then my flatmate pointed out the box of Arcosteel 23-piece kitchenware (on bigger sale!).

I tried to resist, tried to remind myself of my budget, tried to think of happy thoughts, looked at other kitchen starter boxes, looked at other pots but I kept going back to the big Arcosteel box. Even rang up Gryphon on the mobile to ask him if this was a good idea and if a dutch oven is better than a stockpot (still don't have a clue).

The short of it is that I ended up with a roaster, dutch oven, sauce pan, steamer, frying pan, grater, colander, mixing bowl, chopping board, knife set and other goodies like ladles at a $100 discount!Didn't receive stuff like this during the wedding because couldn't bring them to Oz. Was positively tingling with excitement and delight. Never thought kitchenware would have this effect on me in my old age.

Cooked the arroz caldo this evening and made use of my new sauce pan and dutch oven! It's my first stab at this dish but because I had Joan's advice and recipe, it turned out well. I even fried garlic for garnish. I know my husband would be proud of me. And after all these years, I think my mother has the last laugh!