"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Sunday, September 07, 2008

cooking 101: adobong manok

"Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."
--Swami Sivananda

i already talked about doing the laundry in a previous article. now, i'm going to talk about cooking.

my friend, yoni, must be right. i am getting domesticated (and yeah we're growing old. no, i mean, we're growing up.) if before i couldn't be made to deal with mere rice cooking, now i have the will to cook whatever my mind fancies.

i remember that one of my reasons for trying to live far away from the comforts of my own home and family was so i could push myself to take care of my own affairs especially when it comes to doing the laundry, keeping my own place neat and organized, and cooking, among other things. to put that simply: so i could push myself to do household chores. at home, i found it rather difficult to do chores because if i did try to lift a finger and did something as simple as slicing potatoes or hold a broom, people in the house would start thinking something was definitely wrong with me and they'd tease me about it. the dear heavens know i dislike being teased about such things.

when i first moved away from home and stayed in diliman, my doing the laundry was limited to washing my own underwear and socks (as we were not allowed to do the rest of our laundry in the dorm and laundromats took care of my soiled clothes). i kept my side of the dorm room relatively neat and relatively organized (take note of that word -- relatively). i did not cook -- i just didn't have the will but i surely had the thought.

with my stay here in batangas, i re-wrote my own story -- at least, where household chores are concerned. not only did i have the patience and will to deal with my laundry on my own, i also earned the will to try honing my cooking skills (long-been-dormant cooking skills, i'd like to insist. after all, i belong to a lineage of good, if not great, cooks! hehe.)

just recently (read: more than a week ago), i tried my luck with adobong manok. one early morning, i went to the market. i had just alighted from the company bus then and i had just finished a night shift's worth of workload. i didn't know what got into me but i walked my way to the market and bought half a kilo of dressed chicken, had that said half sliced and took it home.

i remember being sleepy and i should have hit the bed right away but...

i had a half a kilo of chicken to deal with. after putting away my bag, i went to the kitchen, washed my hands, and did what i had to do. i had once observed my officemate when she came to visit and cooked adobong manok for us. i somehow had the confidence that i'd be able to cook adobong manok based on that one instance of observation -- with no written guide whatsoever to pull me through. i thought: "i'm gifted with good memory and, should that fail me, i could always go by with my instincts."

i got me some garlic, onion, salt, soy sauce, paminta, and vinegar. i simply mixed all of them ingredients in a clean used-to-be ice cream container. for good measure, i mixed them with my own hands. i then turned on the rice cooker (we don't have a stove in this house and we won't buy one anymore), put some cooking oil inside the cooking bowl, and when all that was ready, i transferred all the pre-mixed ingredients and waited for my adobo to be ready for eating.

either i must really be bad at waiting or i must have been really tired from work or both. i fell asleep! when i woke up, the contents of the cooker was close to drying up. good thing, i woke up just in time (to the tempting smell of adobo and before the chicken and the rest of the stuff got burned, you know) and was able to save the day. whew, that was close. i simply added some water, vinegar, and soy sauce and waited some more until i felt certain all was well with my first ever adobong manok.

it smelled like adobong manok, looked like adobong manok, and tasted like adobong manok. i say, it was really an adobong manok which i was able to cook on my own.

that was more than a week ago. tonight, i made adobo out of canned tuna. next time, i'll try cooking pork adobo. when i cook, it's usually a hit or miss. i tried cooking tinolang manok not too long ago and it ended up being a nilagang manok, pft. hopefully, when i try pork adobo, it'll be a hit.


  1. any other adobo recipes?

    living alone sure helps us find our new skills.

    nice site you got here. ciao.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...