It seems I spoke too early.
Last week, while we were promoting 2022, I’ve been encouraging everyone to help the economy and “spend, spend, and spend” by either eating out or ordering food. And now, in the blink of an eye, a lot of sick and sick, sick.
My heart goes out to all the restaurants and chefs whose businesses are just starting to pick up again during the Christmas season, only to have to close their doors again. I hope you find a way to guide your actions, adapt and stay afloat. I pray that frustration does not turn into despair.
For perspective, be aware that even Quiapo, the minor church of the Black Nazarene, had to close today for the first time in its long history to celebrate Poong Nazareno and Traslacion, which is usually attended not only by thousands but by millions. This was though proven this time last year – under the leadership of the Archbishop of the Quiapo Church Mgr. Hernando Coronel – That the church is able to carry out a disciplined festival where worshipers wait patiently to enter the church, practice social distancing, and don the necessary face masks and shields. To dear devotees reading this today who are so hungry for the spiritual nourishment that faith provides, which Cardinal José Advincula has classified as “essential,” please regard this as a divine gesture for Nazarino himself to be with you in solitude at this most difficult time. .
Now I wonder what Jesus would have done if Nazareth had been closed during His time. Was he going to cook? Did he know how to make hummus? Was he going to make tzimmes, a Jewish vegetable casserole? Did he make his own olive oil? How does he learn to do that without YouTube guidance?!
Seriously now, since we now have to cook at home again, can I introduce you this time to a position that could become your best friend in quarantine? Check out themayakitchen.com.
Most of us are familiar with the Maya brand of hot cake mixes. But this site has become a very useful source of information not only on how to make pancakes or bake brownies but practically everything anyone needs to know about surviving and thriving in the kitchen.
For example, coming from Christmas they posted a guide on what to do with leftover noche buena. These include: (1) Throwing leftover pork into fried rice. (2) Convert the remaining lechun into baxiu or adobong lechun quali; and (3) converting the remainder of the queso de bola into pimiento cheese.
For those who overstock their baking ingredients during the Christmas season, they also have tips on how to store flour, distinguish between whole grains, cornstarch and refined flour, and decide what you can put in the freezer and what can last up to a year if kept in an airtight container. Closure.
As the nation returns to home cooking, they also have tips on how to make tough meat tender. Tips range from rubbing salt to seasoning with acid, regardless of cooking on low heat, although you should know that by now.
They also spot common cooking mistakes, such as not waiting for the oil to heat up completely; Frying pan and stir-fry a lot when frying meat.
If you are just starting out with baking now or want to enhance your baking skills, they have a post on how to properly measure in baking, with a note: “Baking is not only an art, but also a science as it requires precision and an understanding of the role of each ingredient in obtaining results. Fantastic every time.” This includes tips for measuring sticky ingredients like honey: “Gently spray the inside of the measuring cup with nonstick spray.”
Or if you’re going to start making your own bread, they have a Breadmaking 101 section, with tips on what to do if your dough doesn’t rise; If your bread is uneven; Or if your bread rose but collapsed in the oven.
They also have an easy kitchen conversion chart, so you won’t have to rely on your own memories of sophomore algebra when trying to figure out a teaspoon equals 1/8 cup.
For those more serious about improving their kitchen skills, Maya Kitchen offers classes as well (visit themayakitchen.com/classes). They have a workshop on healthy snacks, for example, healthy sandwiches and two healthy smoothie recipes on January 15th; Another piece on bread to pair with coffee, like apple muffins, on January 22nd; one about Italian, specifically Tuscan, cooking on January 29; And just in time for Valentine’s Day, one about chocolates on February 5th. These are all online classes and you can enroll as an individual, as a pair or as a group! You can make it a family affair in quarantine!
It really is a great location, encouraging and convenient for the kitchen. Just what we need to accompany us in these dark days of solitude. Just like brownies from their delicious classic mix!
Clearly, now is not the time to spend and spend. Instead, cook, cook, cook… Pray, pray, pray!
Happy Black Nazarene to all worshipers despite restrictions. Keep the faith, and never lose hope!
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