The Corona Lockdown Made Me Cook It

Sunday 30 August 2020

The Corona lockdown was definitely a good opportunity for me to upscale my skills in the kitchen. I have been learning how to cook since 2016, when I took a career break and lived in New Zealand for almost a year. I mean, I know I can now cook, however, I have only been cooking food that I am comfortable cooking. In short, I (always) play safe because I am very impatient in the kitchen (this is the only aspect of my life that I am impatient with). So, when the lockdown was imposed, I decided to level up in my cooking. I started cooking food that I would not normally cook, food that I haven't eaten in a very long time and food that I very rarely cook. I even learned how to bake bread, cakes and muffins. So yes, another good thing that came out of the lockdown is the fact that I am now inspired to take on my cooking into new heights. So, watch this space. :)

Allow me to please share the food that I have cooked during the lockdown:

1. Cakes, Breads and Muffins
- I say this as if I actually baked amazing cakes. Haha. Not really. I started baking banana bread during lockdown just like everyone else. I am comfortable with banana bread because I have baked it once before. For me, it's the safest and easiest to bake. Then my birthday came, and I decided to throw an afternoon tea party for myself and J. I was forced to bake scones, cupcakes and my birthday cake. It was my first time to bake a proper cake. I chose pistachio cake because I found the recipe easy. I also baked red velvet cake for the first time. Surprisingly, I pulled it off very well. 

Then I tried to cook pandesal- the first proper bread I ever baked. I mean, it wasn't the most successful pandesal, but it was not bad for a first timer. 

2. Pasta
- Although pasta is easy to cook, I very rarely cooked it before lockdown because J and I were cutting on carbs. But since lockdown, we have declared Fridays as our pasta night, so I have been cooking pasta more than ever before. The pasta dishes that I enjoy cooking the most are fusilli and cheese (because J is not keen on macaroni), creamy carbonara and garlic pasta. 

3. Steak
- To be honest, as much as I love steak, I don't really want to cook it because it is messy to cook. I don't like it when the oil splatter all over. Besides, I was never good at cooking steak. So, whenever I craved for steak, I would go out to eat. Saying that, it is J's favourite so I really made an effort during lockdown to learn how to cook it properly because we couldn't go out. I still haven't got it 100% right, but at least I am a lot better.

4. Filipino dishes
- There are not many Filipino dishes that I can cook, and J can eat. This is the reason why I very rarely cook Filipino dishes at home. During the lockdown, I craved for some really badly so I cooked my favourite kare-kare, liempo and adobo. To be honest, it was only recently that I was able to cook proper adobo. I mean the colour and the taste finally tasted like the adobo back home. Yes, they say that every Filipino should be able to cook adobo. I was one of those who couldn't. But perhaps now I can? Also, I tried to cook sisig for the first time ever and it was definitely a success!

Oh, I also made an no-churn ice cream for the very first time. Of course, I tried my favourite Filipino ice cream flavour- ube.

5. Pancakes
- You probably wouldn't believe me if I say that before lockdown, I couldn't cook pancakes. I mean, I have attempted many times before but they were either bitter (from too much baking powder) or flat and chewy. I was on the verge of completely giving up on pancakes when I came across Food with Mae's recipe. Her 4-ingredients recipe gave me hope. You have no idea how happy I was when I finally saw those fluffy pancakes. J was even wondering why I was so happy. Then I took my pancakes to another level and made my version of "duck and pancakes" (instead of waffles). :)

6. Spam and Corned Beef
- I really can't remember the last time I ate spam and corned beef. But the lockdown gave me the excuse to eat them again after God knows how long. And boy, was I excited!? It was definitely the perfect comfort food for me during the time of lockdown. And of course, garlic rice which I haven't cooked like in forever.

7. Tofu, Dahl and Nando's Chicken
- Okay, I never thought that I would and could actually cook tofu and dahl. These two dishes really never occurred me. And although I knew that I could buy Nando's Peri-Peri sauce, I never really tried using it for cooking. So, thanks to Mindful Chef for inspiring me to cook  dishes that otherwise I wouldn't cook. 

8.  French Onion Soup
- I have always wanted to learn how to cook French onion soup because this is J's favourite starter but for some reason, I never tried it. Perhaps because I thought it was difficult to cook. But I was wrong. In short, my first ever French onion soup was a success. Another dish that I can add to my starter list.

I still have a long way to go, but at least now I am more motivated to cook. :)


My Dear Keith- You Would Have Been 20 And Making Your Dreams Come True

Monday 17 August 2020

Seeing your friends' posts on social media always make me wonder if you would have done the same, too. You know, creating your own social media accounts and regularly posting stuff that interested you. You were very shy when you were a child, but saying that perhaps you would have gained more confidence in university. Yes, you would have been 20 and chasing your dreams.

I am very pleased to tell you that I am still in touch with some of your friends. Thanks to facebook and instagram for allowing us to do so. Your friends have grown into very fine young men and young ladies. I am sure you are proud of them. Your best friend A is attending PLM, whilst X is studying Psychology in my alma mater. Every now and then, I chat with A, I and V. From what I can gather, they are all doing well. Hayyy, I can only wish you were still here so I could enjoy watching you become an admirable young man. All I can do now is take comfort in the fact that you are in a better place - a place where you see lighters all the time.

To celebrate your 20th birthday, Meow and I donated blood for the 9th time. Unfortunately, they had no appointments today so we had to do it one week ago. The blood has now been issued to one of the biggest hospitals in London. Thank you for inspiring me to give back this way. 

Some traditions continue of course. As soon as I woke up this morning, I went to your little corner in the house, lit a candle, said a little prayer and played your favourite song, Lighters. I also wore your favourite colour blue. I feel better now, however I remain hurt. As I said many times before, I don't think the pain will ever go away. But I know you are looking down on me. You give me the strength to fight the challenges that come my way. I know you do. There are times when I want to give up on something and then I think of you. In an instant, I find the strength to carry on. You have always believed that you could do things no matter how hard they were. I think the same way now because of you.

Anyway, back home, they celebrated your birthday as they always have done since you were born. Apart from our immediate family, only people from the church were invited. 

It has also become my tradition to honour you in my social media accounts. My instagram story today is dedicated to you and of course, I posted something about you, too. You know that I have been writing for a long time now, right? In fact, I still need to finish your book. I really should find time to continue working on it. 

By the way, I received a few heartwarming messages today from those who still remember your birthday. My friends and yours also left comments on my posts. One of your friends left a comment that made my heart so happy. You see, a lot of people loved (and still love) you because you were a very good child. You were the perfect package- good natured, good-looking, talented and smart! I wouldn't have been surprised if young ladies were chasing after you. I can imagine you being an ideal man to a lot of young ladies out there. Oh dear Keith, how I wish you never left.

I am sure you had the best birthday on the other side, anak. I can only imagine you being surrounded by lighters and beautiful angels. As much as it always hurts me that I can never celebrate your birthday with you ever again, I take comfort in the wonderful memories that we have shared when you were still with us. I will always be proud of you. 

I love and miss you anak, always and forever. Please continue to pray for us.

Mommy TIN x

P.S. I hope you have seen Tatang Cardo out there. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...