Friday, April 12, 2013

Kitchen Chronicles

I've been dabbling in kitchen duties the past weeks. In our desire to eat healthy, we try to cook our own food. And so this kitchen chronicle is born. 

I was never good in the kitchen. Probably due to the fact that I've avoided kitchen duties at home, growing up. I'd rather cocoon in my room reading and starve than venture into the real world of slicing, basting, and cooking. 

But life caught up with me. I found myself living independently in Cebu for a few years. And I could no longer wing it -- unlike in college when one just buy from fast food. I shared a flat with a friend who likes home cooked meals. And she is good at it. And she generously shared her meals with me. I, on one hand, offer a token of my appreciation by washing the dishes.

One fateful night I received a text asking me to cook rice. She'll prepare the main dish when she arrives from the mall. Well, I did prepare the rice. The challenge was in switching on the gas stove. I've seen her do it so many times I only need to mimic what she does -- turn the dial clockwise and a flame will appear. But when I did, nothing happened. 

I frantically called her. Told her that we have already ran out of gas. She was aghast because the weekend before we just bought. Uh oh. So what's the problem then? She asked if I did use a match. Of course, I did. In fact, I've stricken so many of them. 

An hour or two later she arrived and discovered that I haven't turned on the safety switch of the gas tank. Bummer. 

In college, my dorm mates took pity on me. The scrambled egg I was cooking turned out to be a "pancake". And that's because there was no more gas in the stove. 

My kitchen mishaps extended even in Batangas where I got assigned for a few months. I cooked rice in the microwave. After so many experiments I finally knew the proper way and correct measurement of water to get the desired results. I also boiled egg which resulted in so many heart-stopping moments -- loud explosions and egg particles all over the oven. 

Now that am married, I try a little harder. I tried to google easy to prepare dishes. Unfortunately, I become jittery in ensuring I adhere to cooking time and which ingredients goes with what. 

And so I did the next best thing: experiment. Some are a hit. More on the misses. But hey, in life, you win some, you lose some. 

Then, I discovered tomatoes. I fell in love with it. 

Every dish I make has to have tomatoes. Pork, fish, chicken. I started with this. 
Pork cutlets in tomatoes with pepper to taste
  Moved on to this. 
Pork tenderloin with pineapple chunks, tomatoes, capers and pepper
I got inquiries on Facebook hahaha. They said it looked yum and healthy. Well, they are because there's very little oil in it. I only used some to grease the pan. My friends and lunch buddies have given it a thumbs up. I am beaming to the moon and back. 

I discovered breast chicken fillet. It's easier to sear it on the pan. I think it tastes better, too. 
Pan seared chicken breast fillet seasoned in pepper, rosemary and basil, simmered in tomatoes, topped with capers and olives
I'd say cooking is an acquired skill. And anyone has the potential to be a domestic goddess. And I believe that all you need to do is give it a try. 

Now, if you'll excuse me am off to the grocery to buy some cooking wine for the weekend's cook fest... in my kitchen.



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