The Wonder Pot Stories I

I am fond of eating sweets and decided to have a project in making them. One of the popular sweet delicacies here in my country is called steamed rice muffins or popularly known here as Puto. Two weeks ago my mom told me she still have her “wonder oven” also known as “Wonder Pot”.  According to mom, the pot can bake a cake and can serve also as a steamer. That gave me an idea to jumpstart my mini-project. I searched for recipes in the internet and found lots of them. I decided to follow a recipe from Panlasang Pinoy. Getting the ingredients from the supermarket was quite easy, what gave me a hard time was looking for the puto cups.  I went to two malls and searched in their supermarkets, department stores and specialty stores and almost gave up but the itch to make the puto was stronger. Finally, I was able to find them in the 3rd floor of the kitchen ware section of the second mall. I have never been so happy looking at cups in a department store.

At home

I started to prepare the ingredients and to my dismay I was pouring on the second cup of flour but the mixing bowl is up to the brim already. I decided to make half of the intended recipe and needed to make adjustments to all the ingredients.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose-flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 tbsp baking powder

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 1/4 cups water

1/4 cup melted butter

1 piece egg

1/4 tbsp vanilla extract (optional)

small slices of cheese or salted egg (optional)

Procedure:

1. Mix first the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, sugar in a bowl and then mix the wet ingredients-evaporated milk, water, butter, egg and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.

2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl. Mix them until no lumps is visible in the batter.

3. Pour the batter into the puto cups and put slices of cheese and/or salted egg on top of each cup.

4. Place the puto cups into the steamer. Wait for 20 minutes.

cups in the steamer

After steaming the first batch of puto, I was nervous to see if it was cooked or not and hoping I did not make any mistakes in tweaking the recipe. It looked cooked but I do not know if it will pass the judges discerning taste buds. I had three judges from the taste committee – mom, dad and my six-year old nephew. Clearly, I got a thumbs up from dad and nephew since they gobbled up the puto in just one second. But mom is a different story. She was perplexed and really looks like a real judge in a cooking contest. Evaluated the appearance and smell before tasting it. Her judgment – she did not like the consistency and the color.  She said it tastes delicious but she was looking for a certain roughness and fluffiness that she finds in her favorite puto from the market and it could have had whiter color.

1st batch – puto with cheese

So,  I made another batch using a different type of flour – rice flour and lessen the vanilla extract. (from 1 tbsp to 1/4 tbsp). The result of which is a rougher, fluffier and whiter puto.

steamed rice muffins

2nd batch – puto with cheese and salted egg

Finally, I get three thumbs up and plus one from me.  My next kitchen adventure would be baking a chocolate cake in the Wonder Pot/Oven.

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First Impression

up close and yellow

There is a saying – First impression lasts…but are they true? Just like these mushrooms. They are a beauty and very attractive. But looks could kill you, I mean, literally. This is a poisonous mushroom according to my dad who is an agriculturist by profession.  The more colorful they are the more poisonous. He added if the mushroom has a ring in its stalk – add another notch in its poisonous level.

mushrooms on a log

mushrooms and ferns

Top View of the Mushrooms

My eight-legged surprise

It was 5 a.m. in the morning and still raining like there is no tomorrow. I watched morning news before preparing breakfast and according to local channel, there was flood everywhere. Good thing I do not need to go out. While getting all the stuff to prepare breakfast I went to our dirty kitchen (kitchen outside the house but within the extension of the house). I turned on the faucet and noticed something in the kitchen sink.

And here it is….

Spider

Arachnid

The fellow was with someone or something – a dead roach. I am no expert with the creepy crawlers but I think they had a fight and the eight-legged creature won over the six-legged one. I rushed inside the house to get my phone camera since I do not usually encounter a big spider such as this size. I always have been amazed with the spiders on how they weave their cobwebs and I do not wish to squish them since they trap my flying enemies – the mosquitoes. I was only able to take two photos since the spider was crawling away from me. I think I scared it away or maybe it is camera shy.When  I get back to the kitchen again hoping the spider gone but to my surprise it was still there running away from a four-legged creature – a big lizard.  I think everyone came out to play –  predator versus prey.

Just another post

It has been awhile since my last post due to heavy rains but mostly because of procrastination. I had a list of topics to discussed but changed my mind. I cannot seem to write as much as I would like to. Been looking at a blank page, lots of images and more blank stares. I always would like to start with an image then describe and tell a story about it. But have not been lucky to find an interesting image to talk about. So, in finding inspiration, I search for ways to amuse myself. I recently decided to learn Spanish (Yo hablo ingles) and familiarize myself in photo editing particularly Pixlr. Hopefully in the coming days I could write more posts.