27 September, 2008

The earthquake that rocked my sleeping world on the day I learned to cook for myself

The earth shook just before lunch time today. Literally. Because we just had an earthquake.

I was actually in deep slumber when the earthquake hit. It was what finally woke me up. I actually thought I was dreaming. In my sleep-fogged brain, I thought it was but a figment of my hyperactive imagination. That is, until I felt my bed shook violently. At first it wasn’t that strong a quake. It was the aftermath that was scary. The funny thing was that while everything seemed to be tottering, my first thought was “Shimmer (my laptop), where the heck is Shimmer??” After locating her in my bedside table, I proceeded to putting her back in her case. Then I plugged in my iTouch’s earphones and listened to some music while I let the world rock me.

Boy, was it nerve-racking. Our condo is located on the 11th floor and I could really feel the movements. Later, a text message from a friend confirmed that it was indeed an earthquake. I stayed in bed for 30 more minutes, bracing myself for maybe another aftermath. There was none so I got out of bed and proceeded to the kitchen. I was hungry.

I raided the fridge. I found hotdogs, longganiza, tocino, pork and chicken in the freezer. I proceeded to my shelf. Canned goods greeted me – corned beef, meat loaf, tuna, luncheon meat... These held no appeal to my growling stomach.

I went back to our fridge and there on the bottom part, I found vegetables. “ Okay,” I thought. “Now I can cook.” Squash, check. String beans, check. Pork cutlets, check. Coconut milk, check (the powdered version though). I actually did not know what I was about to cook but I was thinking of Vegetables with Pork in Coconut Milk. In Filipino, the dish translates to Ginataang Gulay.

I do not know how to cook and I never bothered to learn but I am a self-confessed food connoisseur. I love to eat, is why. At home, I grew up surrounded by people who cook delicious foods. My dad and my mom and even my siblings all know how to cook and they have each a specialty dish or two (maybe more). Me? My cooking is limited to the occasional frying of such unhealthy foods as hotdogs, meat products, eggs and canned goods. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that my specialty is in making desserts but preparing them is not really cooking, is it?

And since I’m getting older but feeling left out for not knowing how to cook, on my recently concluded 25th birthday, I wrote in “Learn how to cook” in bold letters in my to-do list. Yup, it is a priority. An utmost goal that I am hell bent on achieving.

And today is the day that I will start my cooking.

The dish I mentioned is a childhood favorite of mine. It’s one of my dad’s specialties (see, my dad has many specialties and I am yet to have one, LOL). Whenever family members at home cook, aside from tasting and eating the dish, my participation is limited to peeling whatever needs to be peeled and cutting whatever needs to be cut. And yeah, just watching them in their cooking preparations.

So today, I proceeded with my cooking armed with only distant memories of how my dad does his Vegetables with Pork in Coconut Milk.

First, I sautéed the garlic then onions and added the pork till it turned brown. Then I poured the coconut milk and let it simmer while stirring everything occasionally. Then I added the vegetables, the squash first then the string beans (I do not like eggplant on such a dish, by the way, so I omitted it) then brought them to a boil to cook. Voila. It’s done.

The funny thing about how I did my cooking was that I do not use any measurements. I just mix the ingredients together then add a dash of salt here and other spices (if need be) there up to the point when I have reached the flavor that I like.

So how did my Vegetables with Pork in Coconut Milk taste like? It was delicious.

Or maybe it’s just me talking. Ha ha! :P


  1. shet! shet shet shet! (sorry for cursing!) favorito ko ang putajeng ito! :)

  2. taga san ka ba milai? call center din work mo ne?

  3. @ jules
    hehehe! favorite mo pala ang ginataang gulay. ;) luto ka rin. hehehe!

  4. @ yuri
    i am from makati. and no, i don't work in a call center. hindi ko po kaya magwork sa call center 'coz i don't have the patience to deal with irate and maybe even slow-on-the-uptake callers. hehehe! :P