Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Isang Linggo ng Pagluluto (A Week of Cooking), Part 1

Having just gotten my new cookware and flushed with the success of my arroz caldo, I was excited to do some serious cooking. Charry, my flatmate, had a special request - chop suey! So I asked my mom to go online to share her recipe with me via Yahoo messenger. While waiting for my mom, I searched for a chop suey recipe from the Internet and discovered Sassy Lawyer's cooking blog - Pinoycook. Pinoycook turned out to be such a treasure trove of great dishes so I downloaded a lot of recipes.

Last Monday, August 8, became the start of my cooking obsession. My husband, family and Charry know how I am. I have (as Sarah Turnbull puts it) 'shooting star' phases. I usually get excited over something then I will learn all I can, do a lot of that thing and it will be all I think about. But it's a cycle and I will quiet down eventually. Over the years, this has involved ballet, tennis, baking, etc. Some are real shooting stars that I never take up again. Some do stay on like books but I have cycles of interest and disinterest. I'm not reading so many books right now because my book cycle is in a downspin.

Before Charry got home in the afternoon, I made a list of all the things I wanted to cook for the week. Then I followed Pinoycook's recipe for making my own garlic bread spread so by the time Charry opened the door she could smell the bread browning in the oven. We went to our local Coles (supermarket) and Charry was so excited as well that she went into vegetable overdrive and bought so many! Then we headed to the library where we borrowed a lot of videos. I took home videos of cooking shows - the hyperactive but cute Jamie Oliver and elegant Nigella Lawson. These are English cooks who are well known in Australia for their no-nonsense cooking.

Then I took out the wok and it was hard stir-frying the vegetable overload. I followed my mom's recipe but put in more water than called for because I didn't know the veggies also had their own juices to give up. So it turned watery. But it was still good and my flatmate loved it.

The next day, I made blueberry pancakes from a recipe in Slimmingmagazine. Unfortunately, I put in the blueberries too early and mixed it up with all the ingredients. So the blueberries were bruised and the whole batter turned blue. Then I couldn't cook the pancakes properly because the blueberries got in the way. So I had to eat it alone because Charry wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. I had a lot left over because some were burned on the outside and raw on the inside. Yuck!

Wednesday found me cooking pasta with tuna, a recipe I got from Super Food Ideas magazine, July 2004 issue. It turned out delicious and healthy. The chop suey and pasta were able to go a long way in covering us for our lunch baons and meals at home until Friday. It was great and I was looking forward to cooking during the weekend.