Time to say ‘Thank you’

IN MY BASKET - Lydia Castillo () - January 9, 2005 - 12:00am
We all went through a difficult year. Still, inspite of all the natural calamities, trials and disappointments, 2004 gave us cherished moments with caring relatives and friends. Our readers sustained this column with their continued support, commercial establishments and their staff generally extended courteous service. These and many more are reasons to be thankful. You know who you are, and to you we sincerely say "Thank You" for 2004!

The Christmas season brought about the culinary and enterprising initiatives of some young women, surely to augment their holiday budget. We encourage them to continue and find steady markets for their products. Relish is the registered name of the small company established by young women who are based in San Juan. They have come up with a unique dish they call White Dinuguan. No blood is used, instead the pork innards are sauteed and flavored with vinegar, onions and spices. This is a Batangas specialty referred to as "Taghilaw". It sells for P69 a bottle. Their other products are Spanish-style tawilis and atsara (pickled papaya). They can be reached through telephone number 726-4831.

A young lady named Ann produces the best Food for the Gods, chewy with lots of dates and nuts. Home-based in Parañaque, call her at 623-2961.

To guide us through the year, especially to monitor our budget, we again got the Cookbook Diary, published by the Don Bosco Press. For the last three years this has been our cooking bible. Volume 3 (available at all National Book Stores) offers a culinary journey through Western cuisine, exotic Asian cooking and fine and richly flavored European dishes. It carries valuable tips as well, such as how to select the best from the food groups–milk, meat (including fish, shellfish and poultry, put together because of similar nutritional value), vegetables and bread and cereal. We might yet be successful in making our favorite croquettes.

When desperate for gourmet food stuff, visit Terry Selection, either on Pasong Tamo Extension or The Podium (basement) in Pasig. Frantic for fabada beans, we found them there. We also got a pack of Jamon Serrano and our dish was perfect!

Discoveries: Purefood’s multi-flavored corned beef (garlic and onions, jalapeño, chili con beans; they’ve got chicken vienna sausage as well) and Nestlé (Maggi) ready-to-cook (eat) packs. Maggi’s ‘add water’ line is augmented by Spaghetti Carbonara and Creamy Chicken enriched with nido. Maggi’s liquid seasoning Savor Chili-mansi is also new. There’s the new Milo chocolate coated wafers which come in threes. The good thing about all the canned goods and add-water packs is that they come in very handy when the "kitchen queen" is not quite in the mood to concoct anything. Those days come, you know.

If some of you who cook well cannot grow anything in your backyard, don’t despair. We were just told that most cooks do not have green thumbs. Likewise it is almost a certainty that when your specialty are viands, you better leave cakes and pastries alone. That’s because baking is such an exact exercise for which most cooks (of ulam) do not have the patience.

Do you want a different and healthy pasta topping? Try this. Slice half of each of yellow, green and red capsicums, one zucchini (sliced), 30 gms of black pitted olives (cut crosswise into four), one head garlic (crushed), salt and pepper and 1 cup olive oil, one tablespoon chopped fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Saute the garlic in part of the oil, add the vegetables and olives. Mix well, season with salt and pepper, then add the basil and cheese. Stir and add more oil. After cooking the spaghetti, lace it with olive oil and pour the topping over it. Healthy!
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Email comments and questions to: inmybasket@tri-isys.com

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