Just arrived home from a few hours of shopping alone at Metro East Mall. Hubby was kind enough to drop me there and came back to share lunch with me later. I was looking for some gifts for a friend who had her birthday last month and for my mom’s 81st birthday on Tuesday, April 20. Yes, that’s how old my mom is and we are so lucky that she is still with us and except for occasional pains of her arthritis, she is doing fine. Finding that perfect gift for her is a little difficult. I want to give her a gift that she could really appreciate and something that would last for a long time. Anyway, I had the whole morning to do it and still visit my favorite shopping destinations, National Bookstore and Booksale. It is quite a delight to see that the latter now carries hardbound books, some of them are still in their original plastic cover. I have to scour every nook and cranny to see if I could find something worth-buying. I have to restrain myself because I saw several hardbound gardening books which cost the earth at NBS but Booksale sells them from P250.00 to P500.00 max. All my books on gardening were washed out during typhoon Ondoy so I have to start from scratch all over again.
And if you are wondering what my treasure find was, here it is. Something I’ve long wanted to own but just like gardening books, it costs sky-high too. I am quite enamored with Thai cuisine because Thai food is fresh-tasting , healthy and the ingredients are easy to find. They use a variety of cooking ingredients be it on their salad wraps, Thai rolls, Satay, Barbecued chicken, stir-fried vegetables. One thing I find truly unique in Thai cuisine are their different dips and sauces. You can find a matching dip or sauce for every menu set on the table. Thai food must have that right combination of the four primary tastes: sweet, sour, hot and salty. They are also fond of using coconut milk, curry paste and rice noodles. And don’t you just love their Jasmin rice? Just like here in our country, rice is an important ingredient in Thai cuisine.
For the price of P250.00, I am so proud to have found it. It was still covered in plastic and a bonus pack of notepad, stickers, recipe cards and splash guards are included inside. It’s a wonderful, wonderful find. There is a metric chart at the last page, a very helpful index page, and some Chinese, Japanese and Korean recipes too. I am sure Nissa would be so thrilled by this because about three or four days ago, she just bought two books, Le Cordon Bleu’s, The Cooks’ Bible and Kitchen Essentials. She and some close friends are booked on a Thailand food trip this coming June.
Yes, I was able to buy gifts for my mom and my friend, and they are now neatly wrapped and labeled. Sometimes, it’s good to be alone when shopping, because you won’t have to worry about time or of someone waiting for you. It surely was a very productive day for me.
And here is something you can try.
Shrimp, Mushroom and Omelet Soup
10 to 12 dried shitake mushrooms (about 1 pound)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives or minced green onion tops
2 tsp. vegetable oil
3 cans chicken broth
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
12 ounces medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups lightly packed spinach leaves, washed and stemmed
1 tbsp. lime juice
red pepper flakes
1. Place mushroom in bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand 30 minutes or until caps are soft. Meanwhile, beat eggs and chives in small bowl with wire whisk until blended.
2. Heat 10- to 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat surface. Pour egg mixture into pan. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook, without stirring, 2 minutes or until set on bottom. Slide spatula under omelet; lift omelet and tilt pan to allow uncooked egg to flow under. Repeat at several places around the omelet.
3. Slide omelet into flat plate. Hold another plate over omelet and turn omelet over. Slide omelet back into pan to cook other side about 20 seconds. slide back into plate. when cool enough to handle, roll up omelet. slice into 1/4 inch wide strips.
4. Drain mushroom; squeeze out excess water. Remove and discard stems. Slice caps into thin strips. Combine mushrooms, chicken broth and oyster sauce in large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cook 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add shrimp and cook 2 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and opaque. Add omelet strips and spinach; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 2 minutes or until spinach wilts slightly. Stir in lime juice. Ladle soup into bowls. sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
Quite easy to do. Makes 6 servings.