Developing my Cooking & Baking Portfolio

Ever since I came back from Singapore and made a conscious decision to just stay at home while I wait for the baby's coming, I have been trying to learn some new things to get me occupied and for extra income every now and then.

A lover of "native kakanin" (native foods), I am so happy to have learned how to make two of my all-time favorites - "pitchi-pitchi" and "palitaw". My boyfriend's mom has been so kind as to share well-kept recipes with me and so far its been good. I get orders every now and then and every time I make these delicacies, looking at the finished product always makes me forget all the hard work that has been done.

Pichi-pitchi is made from a rootcrop called balanghoy and cooking it is a bit delicate because apparently, it can be toxic if not cooked properly. So its a bit of a science when you make it because of all the careful preparation and processes it has to go through. And if looking at it makes your mouth water with excitement, eating it affirms all your thoughts. From the tasty coconut shavings its been bathed with to the chewy and fragrant inside of the pitchi-pitchi itself. Even if I made them every night, I still would eat every time and it never gets old.

Here is a picture of the pitchi-pitchi for your viewing and salivating pleasure.

Aside from the pitchi-pitchi, I also have a penchant for the palitaw and so now that I have too learned how it is made, I have a new appreciation for it as well. Although not as finicky as its friend the pitchi-pitchi, it has its own share of work as well. Just like you make bread, you have to work with dough and that part is definitely not the easy part because it sticks to your hands if its too dry and melts away if its too wet. I love working with my hands though but since I am a bit OCD, I wash my hands way too many times during the entire process and it doesn't make the work any faster or easier.

The finished product is not as tempting as the pichi-pitchi because the palitaw is all white; from its dough to the coconut shavings and the sugar. The only ingredient that may add a dash of color is the sesame seeds, if you prefer to sprinkle it with, but its a matter of taste and not everyone has acquired a taste for the sesame seeds.

I have yet to take a picture of the palitaw as I did not have time for a pictorial the last time we had a batch of orders for the palitaw. I will definitely add it here as soon as I have one.

Other than the native kakanin, I have also dipped my fingers into baking as well. Not something I am fond of doing before because I did not like the idea of being tied to measuring cups and spoons. I always pictured baking as a very calculated process, very kin to Math and I hated Math - therefore! (no explanations needed here..) I also remember a baking experiment gone wrong when I was younger, I tried to simulate an oatmeal cookie but it was a disaster so you can imagine why I am not into baking as I am into regular cooking. If anyone baked though, you can be sure I'll be there to eat.

That was before though because now, I am proud to say, I actually made a perfectly good Chocolate Cake and did it twice! Once on Itoy's birthday and the second time when my ex-officemate ordered for a birthday celebration. I have more to learn about the decorating aspect though and will have to learn making the icing but based on the feedback I got - my cake is delicious and tasty. No bias though, but it really does taste good! ;-)

Fortunately I got some pictures of my Chocolate Cake and can definitely post it here as form of advertising as well. Too bad, you can't take a bite from the picture though but here is a picture of my masterpiece. (Yes, I like to think of my baking as an art and the products, my masterpiece.)

My learning will not end here as I plan to learn more things to cook and bake so I have a nice portfolio for when I open my own business someday. I have been dreaming of opening my own business one day, I just have to acquire a bigger capital so I can open a bigger one. But I'll start here first then maybe soon work my way up.

After all, no matter how cliche it may sound - great things still come from small beginnings. So one step at a time...

P.S. If you're in Cebu City and would like to order any of my products, you may send me a message through my blog and I will cater to your needs. ;-)


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