Saturday, February 7, 2009

Impromptu



I started this 2009 a little bit slow. While everyone is rushing back to work, I, on the other hand was just taking it easy. Trust me, I didn't plan it that way. My activities during the day consist of working out, searching the net, reading books, watching reruns of Prison Break, listening to Jack Canfield, cooking in the kitchen once in a while, expecting a mail from the postman, rewriting my dream/goal list, working on my blog and being tranquil for a moment.



On the last Tuesday of January, I woke up feeling the same way as I did a few weeks ago but then I always have a choice to make it a better day. I acted on faith by telling myself that something good is going to happen to me. As I was preparing breakfast for my mom and my brother, I decided to do something in the kitchen that afternoon. It’s not because I wanted to increase my employability, although that wouldn’t hurt at all. There were days that I feel I don’t want to cook at all. But, something rose from the inside and I have no idea what it’s called. I was determined that no matter how simple the recipe might be, I’m going to do it and I did. I hope I could feel like that every single day. I didn't pay too much attention if I was making a healthy dish or not for as long as my soul is fed and that’s what mattered to me at that time. It's all right if I burned the brown rice the other night, if I looked like a dish rag at the end of the day, if I over-soaked the ladyfingers in the espresso mixture or if I over-creamed the mascarpone cheese. We all deserved a second chance.


I was busy during the first week making chicken stock on Tuesday morning, which is always a weekly routine whether I’m in the mood to cook or not. That afternoon, I made a basic tomato sauce which I used for the Spagettini with Sardines and Dill for dinner and roasted some bell peppers for the cauliflower salad. I made some gingered tomato jam, pesto and even clarified butter. I also made a cluttered yet harmonious plate of roasted eggplant, oyster mushrooms, arugula and tomatoes with poached egg.


I could have made some Gnocchi but cooking and taking photos at the same time takes a lot of effort most especially that I have to bring down whatever it is that I’m making from the kitchen (second floor ) to the living room (ground floor) or even to the third floor. So, you may not see a lot of complicated recipes on this blog. If the clouds are covering the sun and the room is not brightly lit, then I would have to stop and wait or even cancel it for a day or two.

Anyway, while the potatoes were baking in the oven the following day, I cooked some spelt in plenty of water with a little bit of salt. I just realized that that I have this grain sitting inside the fridge for a few months now.


Aside from being a comfort food, making gnocchi is therapeutic. When you are having a bad day, feeling under the weather, worrying about your future or being in a negative situation, make gnocchi. It helps you to live at the present moment, being in the “now” moment. The most healing part of making gnocchi is shaping them by rolling each piece of “pillows” through the back of fork or a gnocchi board to form ridges. This shape will evenly cook the gnocchi and will allow the sauce to be absorbed. I don’t mind making more gnocchi even if I don’t have to eat it.


Then, I used the spelt to make Spelt, White Bean and Chorizo soup, a salad of Arugula, Citrus fruits and Walnuts. I also prepared Spelt with Currants, Yogurt, Apples and Honey which could be a great alternative for breakfast.

I also made pancakes which are probably the best that the family has ever tasted. There would be leftovers for mom’s snack in the afternoon and it’s one of those few things from my adventures in the kitchen that my nephew likes to eat. Thanks Dawn for the recipe.


The second week was a bit of exhausting. I guess exhausted from waiting, expecting and hoping. I just want to keep on going but there were days that I feel apathetic. But I need to keep going even if I don’t feel like doing it. If only I could do what Elizabeth Gilbert did on Eat Pray Love, I would do it. I feel that I need to get away for awhile to find some inspiration, to have a second chance to feel alive again with my life and to create my own serendipity.

But since it was mom’s birthday the other day, I decided to make tiramisu. I used to make this dessert almost everyday at Piccolo Mondo Ristorante (now called Saveur) in Vancouver. But when I made it here about 4 years ago, it didn’t turn out the way I used to make it. So, this is the first time I’m making it again. That morning, I was already thinking whether to keep the yolks raw or to make a sabayon. I ended up making the sabayon with Kahlua which is what I have at home. Then, I made “espresso” through a French press instead of brewing some coffee. As I was cooling the sabayon and the "espresso", I over-creamed the mascarpone cheese and even over-whipped the egg whites and over-soaked some of the ladyfingers. But four hours after assembling it, I had a taste and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Just a little bit grainy but nobody noticed it. I just realized that I forgot to take a photo of it after my last bite. Oh well, there's always a next time. =)



I’m supposed to make a Red Lentil and Grain Chowder today but after checking that the camera is not working, I thought I should just cook the chowder and make another one next week hoping that my sister’s camera is already in good condition. Well, it's about time that I should buy my own camera. I think I should include "raising funds for a new camera" on my goal list. This pending recipe has been postponed for three weeks now. I still have a few on my list that needs to be written and published soon, and then there's more things do be done.. and it's okay.

Expecting an exciting and enthusiastic life,

Divina


6 comments:

  1. I'm actually proud of you. I know it was challenging these past few years but God has a great plan. I totally understand what you've done in the past and people should understand that too. Hang in there. Also, you may not know and be proud of it, but you are great chef.

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  2. Hi Divina...the photos look great and they make me hungry for good honest food. I would love that recipe for tiramisu the next time you make it.

    Cheers

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  3. I appreciate you for giving your time to take care of our dad. I'm proud of what you did in the past and what you are doing right now. Others may not consider it a great deal but it is a start of something worthy for the future. I'm one with you in your goal, your vision and your cause. God has wonderful plans for you, the work has just begun, He is not yet finish.

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  4. Hi! Maybe next time, you can do a blog about the pancakes :) My eldest son loves pancakes, I usually buy the ready to mix ones in the grocery.

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  5. help!!! I overcreamed my marscapone cheese for the tiramisu too! What can be done to fix it???

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  6. @ Cinday - Hi Cindy, maybe you try gently folding unwhipped mascarpone to the overcreamed one, a tablespoon at a time until they form again slowly. May apologies for the late reply. I hope this helps.

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