Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Practical Tips in the Kitchen

I am no domestic goddess. I would be the first to say that I do not like doing household chores and I hate the fact that in most cultures, the household chores fall by default to the wife. Well, we can't all like what we're doing. And, whether we like it or not, somebody HAS to do the chores. It's nice that here in the Philippines, we have househelp who can do these for us.

Even if household chores are not my favorite thing, I can proudly say that I can do them. I am not helpless without maids, just inconvenienced. Cooking may not be my favorite pastime, but my mother trained me well and I can cook up family meals even without any assistance. Being lazy about having to cook AND being a frugal, however, has made me develop some tricks that would make it a little easier for me. Here are some of my tips:

  • Save the soup from boiling chicken (for making Hainanese Chicken, for example). You can add asparagus for a tasty chicken asparagus soup, or put in some chicken strips, carrots and milk to make chicken sopas.
  • Invest in nice pots which would also look good on the table. That way, you can serve the dishes in their pots without transferring to plates. Saves you the trouble of having of cleaning both the pot and the dish.
  • Some sauces are good in other dishes. My mother used to save the sauce from Hong Ma or Patatim and use it to make a really good sauce base for bihon. It's also good for cooking kelp and banana blossoms. These are mainly Chinese dishes though, so I don't know if you can relate with me here.
  • Peel carrots, potatoes, and others with some newspaper underneath. This makes for simpler clean ups.
  • Steaming is a good and healthy way to cook. Not only that, it's easy too. You can steam fish or vegetables at the same time as you're cooking some other dish. If you use a rice cooker, nowadays, there's a steaming attachment which you can use at the same time as you're cooking your rice.
  • My favorite pieces of cooking utensils are the wok and the cleaver. They're both very versatile. You can deep fry, steam, boil soup, saute...just about anything in the wok. The cleaver, I can chop veggies and meat, slice meat, crush garlic, lot of stuff. With a good metal spatula and a chopping board, the 4 would be my bare essentials for kitchen utensils.
  • Plan your menu for the week, so that you can do your marketing and groceries in one go.
This is my contribution to Wifespeaks: Foodie Wednesday.


Jen said...

Those are realy good tips. We also save the sauce for making noodles, and when there's leftover soup I strain it and freeze it for later use with other meals. My tip - boil liempo first before making lechon kawali. The stock left will be good as noodle soup base. :)

Anonymous said...

Very smart tips mga misis ;)

janis said...

love the tips! thanks for sharing :)

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A part time ophthalmologist, part time micro business owner, part time graduate student and FULL TIME MOM struggling to find balance in the confusing world of multitasking :)