Monday, October 11, 2010

Cooking Monster

One of the things that made me anxious prior to coming to Colombo is the fact that I would need to cook.  I do not hate cooking let me get that straight.  In fact when I was in high school I enjoyed baking and had a few signature dishes under my belt.  As time went on and I got a little busier with life in general, the love affair with cooking or baking fizzled.  So for years, I had no practice with cooking whatsoever other than the occasional pasta here and there.  And now I’m thrown to a situation where my most significant DAILY contribution would be to provide a meal everyday of the week. 

To add to the anxiety, my husband is some kind of a gourmand.  When he was on his own here, he would cook steak, calamari, complicated pastas, etc.  Plus he has a discriminating taste, not to mention the words he would use to describe something that is just plain wrong (or totally right).  To make matters more complicated, both my parents are awesome in the kitchen.  My younger brother is a culinary genius while my youngest bro has shown potential.  So imagine the pressure.  Of course this is all self-imposed.  My husband nor my family are not expressing great expectations (now is that a good thing or bad?).  Except for one question by my dad: “So, what will you feed your husband?” 

O.M.  (Oh my!)

So for my first week in Colombo I took the bull by it’s horns and transformed myself into a cooking monster.  And these are what I fed my hubby for dinner (which is his packed lunch for the day after):

4 Oct, Monday

Sinigang na Baboy
A Filipino classic – much like the Thai’s Tom Yum only more sour than spicy

Avocado Salad

Hubby said the Sinigang elements were cooked very well and just right (crunchy raddish, very green kangkong).  On the Avocado Salad, hubby likes it a little bit more creamy so add milk and sugar he did.

5 Oct, Tuesday

Naked Burritos with Tomato Salsa and Guacamole

Fresh Strawberries with Newdale Yoghurt

Hubby was pleased I think even if it didn’t taste too Mexican as I didn’t have cumin (only seeds in the market and no powder).  He ate a lot!  I personally was not pleased with my Guacamole.  Andy Alberto, please send me an authentic recipe!

6 Oct, Wednesday

Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Sweet Corn

Cupcakes by Mon Gateau (Sri Lanka’s First Cupcake Shop!)

I did the barbeque sauce ON MY OWN!  It was a bit too sweet though but I guess it’s to hubby’s taste.

7 Oct, Thursday

Mixed Greens with Pesto Vinaigrette

Carbonara Pasta Topped with Bacon

Ferrero Rocher

Hubby said the combination of the pesto vinaigrette salad and creamy carbonara pasta was a good complement to each other and created balance to the overall menu.  Of course he is happy that I chilled chocolates for dessert.

Friday and Saturday are my days off and a chance for hubby and I to check out cool places in town (watch out for future posts!).  Sunday lunch was a re-make of our Saturday dinner doggy bag left overs done by hubby.   

10 Oct, Sunday

Steamed Lapu-Lapu
(instead of Grouper, Mullet – which in hindsight was more of a broil fish)

Hubby liked it but I like my mom’s recipe for the sauce better.  Plus I could have used a less tough fish.  And de-scaled it.  Oooopppsssie!

The journey to making these dishes is exhilarating.  For a newbie in everyday cooking it was a feat being able to prepare all of these.  From menu planning, to sourcing ingredients, preparation to actual cooking.  Plus, because I was not in my home country I didn’t have the luxury of having all the ingredients.  There was a lot of substitution and making do with what I have.  I had to change a lot of my plans - depending on what the trusty grocery or neighborhood market can provide.  I guess I am not a newbie at that – it’s pretty much what I’m used to at work.  Now I just need to translate change management to the kitchen! 

A week into this I still get excited over cooking.  I live for cooking dinner these days!  It is a foray into something new, something yummy and something I can pleasure my hubby with.  And the verdict?  Nothing orgasmic (yet!) but definitely good enough for everyday meals!  The anxiety over cooking is gone but is now replaced with a simmering passion for crafting gastronomic delights that fill the tummy and the soul not just for me but more so for the people I love.  The culinary adventure continues!              


  1. I so love how you've turned so domesticated! Are you now getting used to this? hehehe

  2. nice goin, Tala!
    i make a pretty simple guac..but i'll look for a better recipe for you!
    in the meantime..avocadoes, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chili (i forget what they're called..basta they're long-ish and green. hehe), salt to taste and some people put a bit of limon (lime! not lemon!)
    as far as quantities are concerned..dont ask..good cooks (as if u have to cook guacamole!) never measure. hahaha!!! enjoy!!!

  3. Wow! See ... I told you there will be many things that will keep you busy :-)

  4. Didi! I thought I was domesticated at home - because I knew how to do stuff and we didn't have a full-time helper. But when you're domesticated full-time and you're the lead domesticated person in the house (well, it's just hubby and I! for now! haha!) - it is totally different! Right now, going through roller coaster of emotions! But enjoying it at least most of the time!

  5. Thanks Tita Leah! Go go go! :-)

  6. Ananta-Ma! Thanks for the recipe :-) I hope the readers of this blog will find that useful as well!

  7. Bing! I know, right!? :-) I miss you!

  8. didnt recognize me ata..this is Andy Alberto posting. HAHAHA

  9. Of course I know you Ananta-Ma! It's just weird calling you by your real name when your profile name is different. Hahaha!!! Ok fine, ANDY! :-) I miss you!


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