Lutong Bahay. This is about all the food cooked and served by different exchange students here in our residence halls (so far). One of the things I love most about our dorm is that we have a common room in each floor where we have a kitchen which has everything except an oven. I have never cooked this much in my life but now that I’m doing it, it’s pretty cool. I never particularly liked cooking (or being in the kitchen in general) but I realized that it’s just really because I never really had much chance to try out kitchen things. So, since exchange sem is all about exploring and testing your limits, yes people – look at me, I’ve actually cooked (good) food! (Sorry for the different quality pictures. Pictures came from different people, no idea how to edit them.)
Chicken Adobo. September 28, 2011. We had to cook Filipino food because I lost to a card game called Shit Happens. I really suck at these things. For the record, neither my roommate nor I knew how to cook anything. I can barely fry an egg. So we both asked our moms to teach us how to cook adobo (it’s like the most famous one and I think also one of the easiest to cook) and we looked for the ingredients here. But, we had to improvise because some of the ingredients like laurel leaves had to be taken out because we couldn’t find them, so, we resorted to youtube videos. I found a really good one and we just watched it step-by-step. Considering we did not know how to cut a whole chicken into smaller parts or how to know precisely when something is cooked, we did pretty well. Our friends say they liked it. It was a bit salty for some, but they say they still love it. Filipino food is awesome. This dinner was sort of like a milestone for me. Haha. It made me feel really good about myself. It’s not perfect, but hey, it’s something plus no one died. Next up is sinigang (I had just received the sinigang mix from Patti who came to visit HK), hooray!
Kaiserschmarrn. September 7, 2011. Our Chinese friend (who grew up in Austria) Dong invited us over for an afternoon snack. He said it was a German snack and I was pretty impressed he made it from scratch. Scratch meaning eggs and flour and stuff like that. I’m so used to those just-add water things I forgot that some people actually mix many ingredients. It was topped with confectioner’s sugar (my favorite) and we had to eat it with the pear and apple puree because apparently, that’s how they do it in Austria. It was different but not so different, filling and really good.
Pasta in Cream Sauce, Sayur Lodeh, Perkedel Kentang. September 27, 2011. We had a mini airport reunion one night. It was impromptu for us because we just found out we were cooking at the same day so we just sauteed vegetables. Our student ambassador (who picked us up from the airport) Clair [leftmost] cooked us pasta in Cream of Mushroom Sauce which was pretty good. But I have to say that my favorite was the Indonesian food cooked by our Indonesian friends Susan, Lani (not in picture) and Clarissa. Sayur Lodeh is a dish with vegetables in coconut milk. I missed coconut milk or gata so badly, I couldn’t stop eating their dish. They also cooked very good potato balls called Perkedel Kentang, couldn’t stop eating again. We were literally the people who finished off all the dishes. Thank you Indonesia!
Pancakes and Snow Mooncakes. September 24, 2011. Another random cooking session. Eric cooked us pancakes for lunch. (I’m starting to realize Europeans really do love pancakes. They eat it for snacks and lunch. Haha) He cooked a lot – so that was awesome. We ate it with nutella and sugar. Then for dessert we had snowy mooncakes which were sooo good. Mooncakes are very big during mid-autumn festival. This type is the modern version. And you also prepare them yourselves (post to follow). Pancakes for lunch are really growing on me now.
French Brunch. October 22, 2011. Another thing I love about our dorm is that on the top floor there is a roof deck with a small garden in it. People have barbecues and small parties there and the view is just incredible, seriously. So one Saturday morning, Jihed and Melissa invited us for a french brunch with pancakes, nutella, bananas, maple syrup, scrambled eggs, chips, tea and different flavored juices. The weather was perfect and the sun was really bright. It was a really happy Saturday. Our group picture here is one of my favorites so far. It’s such a happy picture and everytime I look at it, it takes me back to that perfect morning – full of sunshines and smiles. In case you don’t get it, we were trying to form a pyramid. Why? Just because. Haha. Oh and I tried to eat pringles with nutella. It wasn’t that bad. It just tasted like nutella with a crunch. This morning is one of my favorite mornings ever if not my most favorite one so far. The food was great, the place was inspiring, everyone was there – everything was just perfect.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.