September musings

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Pizza made with leftover bread is always a welcome snack!

If someone were to ask me on my deathbed what my most significant achievement was, my reply would simply be: I cooked. Day in, day out.

That I managed to keep the hubby married to complicated moi for more than 20 years does not even come close. That I managed to have a trim waist (or so my friends say) after giving birth to four kids –without maintaining an exercise regimen, mind you! – is not even on the list. Cooking, however, is on a different level.

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The first time I cooked chilli con carne, I forgot that I had a Knorr seasoning packet! For once, my kids love this dish even though it’s only now that I introduced it to our table …

It’s an activity that I never prepared for prior to marriage. And. Somehow, 20 years do not even seem like an adequate period of time to be called an expert. I mean, there’s still so much more to learn! I’m not joking, huh … You’d think that by now it’ll be easy peasy for someone who’s been doing it for more than 20 years. But.

I tell you: It. Does Not. Get Easy. With Age.

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This was quite easy to prepare because the fish came from a can of Spanish sardines. All I had to do was saute the vegetables and pour in the fish and tada!

It’s a daily task that, somehow, gets more difficult as the years go by because, well, because my family has gone on the healthy living bandwagon minus any encouragement from yours truly. Yep. My husband and two older boys are now so, so disgustingly into meatless days and veggies all the time that sometimes I wonder what past sin I am being punished for.

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I truly cannot recall when or what the circumstances behind this dish are. My days have actually been quite restful because the meat in our meals come from the sausages we brought back from Europe (had to buy a new luggage to accomodate all the foodstuff we bought!) but there’s pork here so it must have been leftover pork that was recycled.

Their rippling muscles may make any sports-minded or hulk-admiring female gasp but to me, the food, er, meal provider, all they do is remind me that I’ve got to redouble my efforts to cook healthy dishes.

Anyway. Here are the dishes that I’ve managed to come up these past few weeks without – get this! – resorting to take-outs or delivery since the first week of August.

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Who doesn’t love kangkong with bagoong (shrimp paste)??? The kangkong leaves came from our backyard garden. 

It was a painful decision but I determined that foregoing take-outs and food delivery would result in savings of around Dh500/month, reasoning that such an amount would save us Dh6000/year. This September, we actually saved around Dh700. Whether that will hold true till September 2017 remains to be seen.

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Hmmm. This reminds me that I also cooked, er, baked several rolls of embotido earlier this week. What housewife doesn’t like embotido? They save you the hassle of cooking for a day or two. And – they’re so easy to make: just mix up ground pork, pickle relish, carrots, raisins, seasoning and you’re all set for a relaxing day the next day. 

Meanwhile, I’m off to post another status update on FB along the likes of the “Nagmahal, nag-blah, blah, blah ….” meme. It’s not likely to garner many likes (my friends being less than ten) but it’s a truth (though not universally acknowledged) that a woman’s journey to the great beyond usually follows the route of “nagmahal, nagpakasal, nagluto …. hanggang namatay.”

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Boiled 1-1/2 kilo of pasta this morning for my sons’ baon to school. I just love pasta dishes because they’re so easy to make. All you have to do is cut up the veggies while the pasta is boiling, not forgetting to put in the broccoli a minute before you drain the pasta. Then, mix them all up. The seasoning here came from the olive oil that came with the sun-dried tomatoes. 

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