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,