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Camote Kitchen Disasters

Camote (Filipino for sweet potato) is an expression used to say that something’s a failure. It could be the Philippine equivalent for lemon.

My most recent kitchen escapades were blech. (excluding one that would hardly count) (it involved making a pretty decent lemon miso butter, which is just mixing lemon juice to this) The recipes turned out to be sucky camotes.

First was my attempt at making a too-easy-to-be-believably-good sweet potato ice cream. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been making late night trips to the convenience store for lots of chocolate. I’ve also been stuffing my face with alternating tastes of salty, sweet, salty, sweet. I wanted a sustainable sweet dessert to help me slim down.

This ice cream recipe came from a fitness/nutrition/macho expert friend, who ate a lot of it to shed fat for a body building contest.

I don’t think I did it right. Sorry, beautiful heap of camote.

I mixed some Jell-O cheesecake flavored powder into steamed-then-mashed sweet potato, then placed the mixture in the freezer to achieve an ice cream consistency.

It tasted like mashed sweet potato with some weird sugar.

What could have gone wrong:

  1. My proportions were wrong. Maybe I needed more Jell-O, or maybe I should have mixed it with warm milk then mixed it with the mashed camote.
  2. I should have added something to give it a creamy factor. ICE CREAM MUST BE CREAMY.
  3. My sweet potatoes weren’t so sweet. They were a gift brought all the way from Mindanao, but it’s the pale yellow (white) kind. The sweetest ones are violet type. The kind that when you steam and crack it open, they look like amethysts. I’m serious. They look like amethysts, and have a beautifully sweet taste, enough to make it a culinary gem. Those are so rare. Second best are the yellow ones which can be bought from Arangke (Chinatown).
  4. Or… just adding Jell-O powder to mashed steamed sweet potatoes just doesn’t work?

Either case: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. I shall make a mighty fine sweet potato ice cream that will be indulgent and healthy.

Second disaster: Zucchini pasta

This isn’t my first encounter with zucchini pasta. The first time around, I mixed it up with leafy greens for a more interesting salad. This time, I wanted something neutral to go with an oil-based pasta sauce inspired by the gambas oil from Barcino’s Gambas Al Ajillo the previous evening, so using a peeler, I made the strips then attempted a spicy, garlicky, olive oil sauce. I couldn’t even salvage this disaster with toasted nuts (pine nuts and almond slivers) and a sunny side up egg with crispy edges and a runny yolk. That bad.

The things that went wrong:

  1. The olive oil thing was so bad! My garlic tasted slightly burnt, and I accidentally added too much chili flakes.
  2. Sauteeing sun-dried tomatoes with the mixture is a terrible idea. Mine ended up tasting like giant burnt chunks. I didn’t even cook them long.

But I still think it could work. How it could be fixed the next time around:

  1. Use a spiralizer for making the pasta. #wishlisted
  2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes afterwards. Maybe cook diced fresh tomatoes with the o.o. mixture but not the sun-dried.
  3. Cook some kind of meat in the oil for more taste. Mix shrimp? (gambas pasta!) Beef? (salpicao pasta?)

The highlights of my week mostly involved food and new friends. One of them was eating at a restaurant I never thought I’d willingly try (because my dad and I have a running bet on it’s closing down) with a high school friend and her lawyer boyfriend. The next was being at the Pepper Studio, which gave me an enjoyable behind-the-scenes experience, along with a chance to meet new people and pet fluffy white cats. Afterwards I went to my favorite Greek place with some new friends. It’s too bad the yogurt had a price increase. But it had it coming.

Remaining things I look forward to: dinner with some high school friends, watching The Phantom of the Opera musical with my mom and sister.

I miss reading books. When I’m not reading, I feel like my brain (and in effect, my writing) gets rusty. Actually, I’m reading a book right now. But it hardly counts.

Don’t judge me.

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