05 September 2008

My take on kitchen knick knacks

As embarrassing as it is, when I got married, I didn't know one bit about cooking, housekeeping, homemaking, sewing, etc (I don't think I paid much attention to our home economics class). Like ms firefly, I am an undomesticated diva. My parents provided me with my "starter kits" in the kitchen as in the Chinese tradition, these are given to the daughter as part of the dowry. I have helped my mama cook pork/chicken adobo and spaghetti but I admit I can't fry a decent egg - the yolk would break or the sides would end up burned. My specialty is the mashed potato, though (is that even a dish?). But I do learn as I go along, and I'm still learning now. I am even researching recipes on the Internet that I would try so that the menu won't always be repeated (and so that my daughter would appreciate me and my cooking, according to my hubby).

Here's a list of things, that in my experience and what I heard, are important for the kitchen: (I hope this could be of some help to ms firefly and her dilemma)
  1. dried herbs and spices - McCormick Italian spices for pasta dishes, laurel leaves for adobo or caldereta and other Filipino dishes, fine and coarse salt, cracked pepper, rosemary is said to be great for roast chicken, paprika for added flavor (I saw in an adobo recipe that paprika is added), ginger for health, broth cubes for soups and stews
  2. sauces/vinegars - Worcestershire sauce, Knorr or Maggi seasoning great for Beef and Mushroom, Mang Tomas sarsa for lechon and fried pork chops, Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce for vegetable and seafood dishes, Lee Kum Kee Hoisin sauce for asado, ketchup, fish sauce (patis)
  3. brands of laundry soap - I tend to try different brands of laundry soap and powder like Ariel and Surf, Mr. Clean is harsh to the hands said our helper
  4. cookwares - I'm using a big stainless casserole for soups and for cooking pasta, a medium-sized for stews, a small one for reheating viands, I also have a stainless frying pan and a non-stick wok for frying and cooking fried rice, stainless steamer, pressure cooker, deep fryer for frying yummy fries!
  5. cooking utensils/tools/gadgets - measuring cups for trying out recipes (I don't normally measure out the ingredients, he he!), big plastic strainer for pasta, small wired metal strainer, peeler, I wish I had a nice knife set (the one I saw on Home TV shopping that comes with a 12-piece set steak knife), can opener, sharp scissors for cutting chicken instead of chopping
  6. kitchen appliances - I think almost everyone has a refrigerator with freezer, microwave oven, oven toaster, blender for fruit shakes and baby food, we have a 9-minute marinator!
  7. tableware - Multiple Choice brand (we chose one with a multiple colored design to add a splash of rainbow to the table, comes with coffee cups, microwave oven safe), juice/water glasses, pitchers
  8. all for the toilet/loo/WC - cleanser, bleach for disinfecting, Albatross deodorant
  9. cleaning agents/materials - Mr. Muscle kitchen cleaner, scrub brush, sponge, old toothbrushes for tiny areas, Joy dish washing liquid
  10. anything else you'd like to add - cornstarch for thickening sauces, plastic bags with Ziploc for keeping stored food fresh, aluminum foil, cling wrap
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