Saturday, August 02, 2008
Thanks to one of my co-residents, I've finally found the one thing that has cured me of my aversion to cooking rice for one... a microwaveable rice cooker. Just measure the grains, add water, pop into the microwave for 12-14 minutes, and voila! Real. honest-to-goodness fluffy rice! Almost as good as what we have back home.
And just in the nick of time, too. Being here has apparently altered my definition of comfort food. Thus encouraged by my new culinary discovery and prodded by a sudden onset case of the blues, I finally overcame my reluctance to cook for one - resulting in my first real home-cooked Pinoy dinner since I got here. And what dish is closer to home than the all-time favorite adobo?
Adobo is a great Pinoy comfort food because you can get the ingredients for it from practically anywhere. (I couldn't find pork cut the way we have it back home, but I did get some pork rashers that worked as a substitute.) Add vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic, and everything is all set!
Unfortunately, I had decided on cooking adobo without considering the logistics of not having a car and getting everything I needed from the grocery. In typical impulsive me-fashion, I just put everything I needed into my shopping cart (in big bottles) on top of my regular grocery shopping. This resulted in my eco-friendly reusable shopping bag containing a cumulative weight of about 6 kilos at least - not taking into account the rest of my groceries. I had to lug this heavy bag plus a lot of other semi-heavy bags from the grocery to the bus station, then, once I got off the bus, from the bus stop to the house.
By the time I reached the house, my back and arms were killing me and I could no longer feel my feet - because I also happened to be wearing heeled boots coming from work. I was so exhausted by just bringing the ingredients home that I wanted to scrap the entire project, but after all the trouble I'd been through, I was absolutely committed to going through with it - and it was a good thing that I did.
As I ate my pork adobo and rice last night, I realized that the effort was well-worth it. It's simply amazing what simple adobo and rice can do to raise one's spirits - just that was enough to make an absolutely dreary day end on an up note. Definitely the taste of home away from home.
No, this definitely does not mean I plan to cook hot rice meals for myself regularly - frankly, I don't have the energy to do that on a regular basis. But I'm glad that my new miracle rice cooker gives me that option in a hassle-free way. And I have enough adobo now to last me for at least a couple of weeks - so my comfort food is all ready for any return bout of the blues.