27 April 2007

The Science of Tsamba - Che's Way of Cooking

When I was a kid, I didn't really have a chance to cook BUT I did love watching those Kitchenomics segments in TV. I simulated these using flour (old forgotten stock in our cupboards) - kunwari magbe-bake ako or I pretended to be hosting these segments when I was in charge of bussing the table and washing dishes.

As I grew older, relatives usually asked if I knew how to cook. And of course, when A & I were preparing for our wedding, I was always asked if I knew how to cook. Honestly, I get confused on how to answer their question - it was never a YES or NO question for me, more of a NO BUT.

No, I don't know the "technical" way to cook caldereta or kare-kare BUT with common sense I know which should enter the pot first because naturally, the ingredients that would take longer to cook should be the first to go in and veggies usually go in after the sahog. I've always argued that if I want to know how to cook a dish, I'd just have to look for the recipe (online, in a cookbook or call Mama) and voila, I have the step-by-step process. BUT to REALLY cook it, that would require a discerning tastebud.

And that's what I believe I have...I know how the food should taste like. I don't know whether it's luck or my amazing sense of tsamba (hehe) but as far as I remember, I've cooked only one dish that A&I didn't like (that was the beef stew which came out malata).

But is it really tsamba? With the risk of sounding pompous, I've always been able to cook the same dish (with my tsamba technique) and still would have it come up tasting okay. At least, ok for A&I...or pinipilit lang bang isipin ng asawa ko na masarap ung luto ko? At ako naman ay sadyang matakaw lang at masarap pa rin ang kain ko? But I don't think so, because we usually finish the whole dish everytime except na lang kung sobrang dami nung naluto ko. Hahaha.

Whatever. But that's always been my technique. I search for the recipe or call Mama to know the process of cooking the dish, then rely on my taste buds to inform me whether the taste is how it should be. So far I've cooked pork steak, tuna mushroom macaroni, spaghetti, chicken macaroni (A's mama's recipe), almondigas (A's favorite), chicken curry, adobo (pork, chicken, kangkong and last night chicken gizzard and liver), chicken wings, pinaputok na tilapia, chicken sopas, ginisang ampalaya, sinampalukang manok oops, that's A's specialty hehe and some others I may have forgotten. And I will continue to do so because that's just how I do it :)


Heidi said...

I guess we have the same technique when it comes to cooking, so far naman once lang ako pumalpak and I can always blame it on the fact that during the time na nagluto ako ng adobo (chicken gizzard & liver) 1st time ko to cook for two lang, with new cooking utensils in a new house (about two weeks pa lang kami mag-asawa non) but of course it's a running joke between me and Charlie whenever I cook the same dish he gets this weird look na parang duda sya kung masarap ba o hindi and then he will suddenly say "uy, iba na! edible na!" ok lang kasi nagulat din ako sa naluto ko noon pero I'm more capable now, besides nasanay na ako to cook for two. BTW, thanks for the greeting sis!

cheryll said...

hahaha...oo nga...ganun din ako. natatawa nga si albert pag nagluluto ako at nakikisilip sya kasi pag naglalagay ako ng panimpla, tantya lang talaga :) pero so far naman, working pa hahaha...

ur welcome sis!

Ann said...

hindi tsamba yun... that's what you call talent :)