Saturday, August 20, 2005

Isang Linggo ng Pagluluto, Part 2

I came home Friday night and discovered that all the chop suey and pasta was gone! So I thought that I would get a head start on the weekend and roast the chicken sitting in the freezer. It took a while to thaw it but I eventually got there by using the microwave. The recipe instructed me to put in quartered lemons in the cavity. Easy-peesy. Then I had to massage the chicken skin with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. No worries! I then prepared the chicken 'bath' by putting in chicken broth on the roaster and putting the chicken into the liquid. The final ingredient was a cup of wine wine on the chicken bath. No problem, we had bought the cheapest white wine. I went to open the bottle and to my horror, found that it was cork top, not a screw top. It was the first time I have ever bought wine so I did not remember to check if it was corked. Oh well, look for a corkscrew! Looked in one drawer, then another and all I found was can openers. Not used to drinking alcohol, we never needed a corkscrew until now.

No need to panic, I thought, I just need to chip away or push the cork in. Used a big knife and tried pushing the cork down but it wouldn't budge. Then tried boring down into the cork and was able to to whittle away some of the top part using the big knife but soon enough I couldn't get the knife farther down. Then, aha, use a small knife to drill down. This was labor intensive so I turned on the television while doing it. Then I started making the chicken broth (recipe from Pinoycook) for the pancit molo I planned to make on Sunday. This took a lot of hours to simmer but as I still had my wine to open, I was preoccupied.

Got a lot of cork bits here and there but at 10 pm, I finally gave up and my hand was so tired. I was trying to be a cheapskate but it wouldn't do, really needed a corkscrew and my chicken went to sleep that night in its cold bath still not cooked.

Saturday came and Charry had another request - garlic prawns! I found a recipe online on Thursday from Epicurious and it was named Mother Pepa's Garlic Shrimp and it called for sherry but I thought white wine would do. So I really needed the corkscrew now and I got one from the Warringal mall. But it took the two of us to open the wine bottle, as I had whittled down a lot of the corkscrew it didn't have much wood to hang on to, so we both had to pull hard to get it out.

Anyway, cooked the garlic prawns together with a vegetables and eggs recipe from Pinoycook. These turned out excellent! And in the evening, I finally got to cook the chicken. It was soggy and took a while to roast. And when I got it out of the oven, found that it was overcooked. But chicken is still chicken and it was still full of flavour so we ate it for several days.

Sunday turned out to be a cold and windy day. We went to church in the morning and it was a good service because we started the '40 Days of Purpose' campaign based on the 'The Purpose Driven Life' book by Rick Warren. But then we stayed indoors the whole afternoon. While Charry watched 'The Deep End of the Ocean', I prepared the pork mince mixture and put it in little wonton wrappers. They looked very cute. Made pancit molo from a recipe by Pinoycook and it was the perfect accompaniment to the cold afternoon and the perfect end to my week of frenzied cooking.

It was the first time I ever tried sitting down and planning a menu beforehand. There were some botch ups but I tried all the recipes for the first time so I'm pleased with the results. I also tried to modify the recipes so they could be healthier and because I don't like vegetables much, I tried to make them more palatable. This helped me stay away from 'bad' food the whole week and gave me a boost of confidence in the kitchen. I can now see myself cooking nice and delicious meals for my husband and our future family.