Since my last post, my many things have changed.
I’m now officially back to school, studying to become a Respiratory Therapist and will be graduating in January 2013. I have done my first of 4 clinical rotations and I have learned that interacting with patients is something that brings a smile to my face. I have learned that a 12-hour day is not very conducive to making delicious home-cooked meals frequently. I have also learned that weekly tests and quizzes are also an obstacle to be dealt with in the quest to become an apron-wearing domestic force to be reckoned with.
Despite said obstacles, I’ve managed to make quite a few delicious dishes. Most of which I photographed with the intent of posting on this little blog. Obviously, that didn’t work out. Hopefully I get a chance to post some of it here.
And then there’s the big change. My husband was hospitalized a few weeks ago with shortness of breath. He had several clots in his lungs (or as my textbook calls it-pulmonary embolism or PE). It turns out that he has a genetic disorder that makes him predisposed to blood clots and is now on Coumadin, a blood-thinning medication. In addition to his predisposition to clotting, he was also diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic. He now monitors his blood sugar levels several times a day. Oh, did I happen to mention that he’s only 33?
I just watched Giant again the other day. They sure don’t make ’em like they used to. Sure, there was so much scandal attached to her, but she still carried herself with such class. If only the Hollywood of today would take note.
I grew up with my Momma’s cooking, and of all of those dishes her Sinigang has always been my favorite. She moved to Indiana from the Philippines when she was in her mid-twenties because my Lolo (grandfather) had moved there to continue his medical practice. She grew up with cooks and maids who handled the usual housework, and she barely knew how to make rice. But, with their new life in a new country, she had to take on the role of cook and maid for my Lolo and her brother. It was a crash course in domestic life for a fine arts major who was more at home with watercolors and canvases.
Luckily, by the time that I was old enough to enjoy her cooking, she had mastered the Filipino classics. I’ve been asking her for her recipes ever since I had moved out, but I never had enough courage to make the attempts and I also never wrote down the actual recipes because she would just rattle them off from memory and I thought that I might be capable of the same. Last week, while hanging out at their place, I got her to slow down and give me the coveted Sinigang recipe while I entered it into my iPhone.
So without further ado, behold my Momma’s recipe:
MOMMA’S SINIGANG NA BABOY (TAMARIND SOUP WITH PORK)
- 3 lbs-pork (shoulder, picnic, spareribs or country strips)
- 2-roma tomatoes
- 1-medium onion
- 1-bunch spinach (add more if you want more roughage)
- 1-packet Sinigang soup mix (you can find this at your local Filipino market)
- patis (fish sauce) to taste (also found at any Filipino/Asian market)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 cups jasmine rice (more if you’re feeding a house full of Asians)
- Cut pork into uniform cubes. If using spareribs, separate ribs. If you’ve chosen a bone-in cut, throw that bone in there for flavor!
- Dice tomatoes and onion
- Combine pork, tomatoes, onion, salt, pepper and patis in large pot. Simmer on medium heat until tomatoes begin to break down and pork starts to brown (approx. 15 minutes)
- Prepare rice according to package directions. When you rinse the rice, save the water from the 2nd rinse and put in a bowl
- When pork is brown and the tomatoes have broken down, add the rice water and additional water (if necessary) to cover the pork and vegetable mix
- Add entire packet of sinigang mix to the pot
- Continue to simmer over medium heat approx 1 1/2 hours or until pork is tender
- Add spinach and banana peppers and continue to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until spinach has wilted (I do not have anymore step by steps photos of this because guests had started to arrive and I had already started drinking)
- Serve over rice and enjoy!
Sinigang can use almost any meat that you’d like. My second favorite is shrimp sinigang, but some people use fish and even beef. Just adjust the cooking times according the meat of your choice.
Is there anyone dreamier than Paul Newman?
See, I told you I was not longer afraid of the broiler!
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my own personal home of the future. It was all inspired by Big Chill, an appliance company whose website that featured a kitchen that seemed like it was plucked directly out of my own little daydream. I can’t stop thinking about this fridge:
Because of this fridge obsession, I keep thinking of the red and aqua kitchen that I will build one day…
Of course this obsessing has lead to thoughts of wallpaper,
Which makes me start thinking of mid-century furniture…
Which always ends up with an inevitable lusting after this:
First things first though, a quick stop into the local Macy’s to pick up the first piece of my 1950s housewife kitchen, my very own recipe box.
I finally fired up the broiler to make these pork chops. I have always been slightly afraid of the broiler mainly because I am accident prone and an open flame would surely lead to my inevitable doom. After walking away from this cooking experience with both eyebrows intact and no burnt flesh, I can now say that my fear of the broiler has ended.
I foresee a lot more broiling in my future.
My first attempt at cooking with wine! (…and not consuming the entire bottle before the actual cooking)
Chicken Saltimbocca was delicious! I’m still on the fence about the taste that the sage added to the dish, but the husband really enjoyed it and packed the leftovers to take to work.
Today, we visited my parents. More accurately, we brought The Captain to visit my parents.After my mother (who at one point was deathly afraid of dogs) finished rolling around on the floor with the puppy and after she had finished singing several lullabies to him before his nap, she showed me the fine art of clipping coupons. For as long as I can remember, my mother had always been an avid coupon clipper. We used to tease her about her massive coupon collection and her organizing system that consisted of about 20 categorized envelopes. When I told her about my plan to make dinners at home, save money and become the 1950s housewife that I always wanted to be, she gifted me with a great little coupon organizer that she had purchased some time ago that could not house her coupon stockpile and she plopped the Sunday paper on the dinner table and we clipped away together.
I’m looking forward to calling her and impressing her with my savings after my next big grocery trip.
The first Saturday of this 50’s housewife project prompted the first two meal day. The Creme Brulee French Toast had to soak overnight, so I prepared on Friday night. Fridays evenings used to be spent swigging booze and chain-smoking, but as we get older it seems like every now and then a quieter, tamer Friday evening gets to sneak in more often. I’ve decided that those Fridays will be followed by delicious breakfast Saturdays!
Behold, the glory of Creme Brulee French Toast:
I am not usually a morning person, but when I started this new project, something bizarre happened. I’ve started waking up earlier. I suppose this will come in very handy as soon as school is officially back in session.
Now onto the second meal of the day. Dinner was Garlic Seafood (I used a seafood mix that had shrimp, scallops and squid instead of the plain shrimp that the recipe called for) and Jalapeno Rice. The rice was inspired by the Scallion Cilantro Rice with Habaneros featured on SkinnyTaste. It was the first time that my husband, who is not very food adventurous actually willingly ate squid. So far, this is my most favorite meal. It was easy to make, the actual seafood dish took less than 10 minutes to make and I made the rice ahead of time with my trusty ultra fancy rice cooker.