Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not

Just the other day, I listened to a Stanford podcast in which the Executive Director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program spoke, on how she shared with her son( just about to graduate) on "What I wish I knew when I was 20". No details into the podcast. Just that one of her top 10 points sets me thinking-"Find an intersection on your interests, skills and market". Well, well, well, easier said than done, right ? It might be easier if we have known that before we turned 20 but becomes more challenging once past 30s.

My interest is FOOD (eating being the main...). I've picked up cooking after moving into the Bay Area and cooking is all on-the-job experimenting. I've never followed strictly to any recipes I've seen in books, magazines or the internet. I just look out for base and secret ingredients and the rest, they're mostly self-creations.

My skills do not limit to engineering, analytical, research, tech./project management...but whatever I could jot down, it still has nothing to do with food ? So help me out now, what is my intersection point ? If I were to find it with the associated market, then I would not be updating my blog right now (would be too busy on my career, and if lucky my own business). Oh yes, the speaker did mention that the intersection point would be your career. Or else working purely on interest would be just a hobby, and wholly on skills is just a job. Agree ? Anyway, it is just a personal opnion thingey, so don't ponder too hard about it. I did not. I just wanted to use this as a preamble to my upcoming postings on some home-cooked food recipes.

I have already missed out taking pictures on my own version of spaghetti aglio olio, spicy baked penne, beef stew, chicken stew,"braised" chicken rice (because I thought I would never need the pix anyway). But I could still share the recipes as far as I could remember the ingredients. Of course, there are those that I have taken pix of and will share the recipes as well.

I REALLY do not have many experiments and recipes. I don't cook as often nowadays because my theory of "efficiency in cooking" does not work for one-person. So, when my hubby is not in town (almost every alternate week), I don't cook.

If you will note in my future postings on my recipes, I actually don't measure the quatities of the ingredients used, thus you will not find cups, tbsp, tsb etc. being used in my recipes. Oh, I'm going to make a disclaimer about taste though ...hahahaha... since I believe taste is really up to the individual. Some like it hot, less sweet and some may like it more salty etc. Plus, I am an amateur. So, my efforts to make my food "tasty" to our liking is based on my own gut feel and judgement.

To start off, these are my soup recipes. Please get your "equipment" ready...the slow cooker, that is. Mine is a 3-litre cooker pot.

Watercress pork rib soup
Ingredients:
-2 bunches watercress (Need to wash thoroughly to get rids of the soil and bugs. Yes, unexpectedly I found many bugs "hiding" in the watercress and decided this is the first and last time I am doing this soup)
- ~1lb pork ribs (Mistakenly used baby pork ribs because it was on-sale in the supermarket. Do stick with the "normal" pork ribs)
-warm water

Method:
-blanch the pork rib (put in boiling water for 5-10 mins)
-add blanched pork rib and washed watercress in slow cooker
-add warm water to partially "submerge" the ribs and watercress (warm so that it takes lesser time for the soup to boil)
-put slow cooker to HIGH (~45mins), then turned to LOW (1-2hr)

Ready to serve:


Outcome: Bitter, rather than sweet. Not the usual watercress soup we have tasted.

"Post mortem", what possibly went wrong:
Probably due to the stems of the watercress that were not removed. Also, did not use red dates that are normally be seen in "commercial" watercress soup.
Check out my mogua pork rib soup in the other postings. A better bet ! That worked but this did not.



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