For the first time in two years, my daughters decided not to take summer courses in their school. I made a proposal. Since they enjoy experimenting in the kitchen anyway, why not cook dinner for two nights every week? Sam can cook on Mondays and Wednesdays; Alex, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Of course, there was initial resistance since they didn’t feel they knew enough to cook real meals. Well, it’s about time they did.
Alex asked, “Bakit, Mommy, tinatamad ka na magluto (Why, Mommy, do you feel too lazy to cook)?”
No, I told her. It’s just that I don’t want them to grow up feeling that they don’t need to learn to cook regular meals because I am here to do it for them. It’s great that they can make polvoron, bake brownies and roll maki. But I feel they need to learn more than that. So, why not utilize the two-month summer break to learn cooking right here at home? You know, practical education.
They seemed flustered at first saying they did not know any real recipes. But I assured them that I would be there with them, to help and guide them. There wasn’t any more whining after that. Two days later, as an afterthought, I even threw in an incentive. We’ll treat it as a summer job and they would get a hundred pesos for every meal they cooked.
Summer cooking school and summer job started today. Sam was insisting on cooking chicken but we have no chicken. We have pork spare ribs though. I suggested braising the pork ribs in barbecue sauce and grilling them afterwards.
I handed Sam the basic
recipes ingredients for making barbecue sauce — garlic, onions, mustard, ketchup, soy sauce and sugar. I let her decide how much of each ingredient to use. She wanted to add chilies and she did. Great idea. I told her the pork would have to be turned over every fifteen minutes or so during braising. When I went and checked some fifteen minutes later, she had already done it. Nice.
Braising done, the pork ribs had to be chopped to serving size pieces before going into the oven. She did the first one very nicely, then dropped the second piece on the kitchen floor. :razz: Well, those things happen — sometimes, even to the most seasoned cooks. Worst things have happened to me. No big deal. I told her to place the pork under the tap for a few seconds and to resume chopping.
(We have uber clean kitchen floors. One of Alex’s classmates even commented one time how nice it was that he could sit on the very clean kitchen floors.)
So, Sam finished chopping the rest of the pork ribs — she knew how to cut through the bones without any need for me to show her — and threw everything into the grilling pan. I said she had to arrange them for even cooking and she started complaining. “Pinapahirapan mo ako eh (You’re giving me a hard time).” No, I wasn’t. She arranged the pork pieces in the pan grudgingly.
I told her to turn on the oven but she complained that I didn’t have to teach her that because she already knew how to operate the oven. Great. The pork ribs are now in the oven and the braising liquid is simmering to allow it to thicken so it can be served as a dipping sauce later.
I’ll update this entry later with a photo of Sam’s barbecued pork spare ribs.
UPDATE @ 8.58 p.m.
There were no leftovers so that should give you an idea about how it tasted. :)