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Positive vibes

16 December 2019

Jocelyn Barite (center) with her employers.


Rare are the times when someone who gets featured in our pages comes back with an enthusiastic “thank you” and reports on how the unexpected publicity has made a positive impact on her work.

With many people resorting to social media nowadays for their daily dose of attention, a feedback like this immediately draws a picture of someone who maintains a positive attitude and rarely lets the blues get her down.

And that, indeed, is Jocelyn Barite, whose Korean Beef Stew recipe we featured in September as one of three examples of how meat is made tender while cooking.

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Jocelyn was obviously happy because not only was her recipe published in The SUN, her male employer, according to her, also proudly showed off the article to his parents in New York.

What’s more, she said has just received a raise, and it is not hard to see why. In the recipes she shares below, Jocelyn shows how she makes her own sauce and improvise on the procedure so she gets to come up with dishes – or sauces – all her own.

Her joy in her work she attributes partly to her very supportive employers with whom she has been working for the past five years, and partly to the family she left behind.

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Joyce, who is 43 and hails from Zamboanga del Norte, is married and has three children who make her proud. The eldest has already graduated from University of the Philippines in the Visayas , the second is about to graduate from a civil engineering course, while the youngest is just 11 and still in grade school.

She has worked in Hong Kong for 13 years, with the first 8 spent with a British and Chinese couple with two children. Joyce gives them a lot of credit for developing in her the love of cooking.

“Sir is a pilot kaya kung ano ang mga food na maganda sa ibang bansa (na napupuntahan niya) pinapa try niya sa akin (lutuin) pag uwi niya,” says Joyce.

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In the last two years of working with them she says she was enrolled in a Japanese cooking class. “Doon nadagdagan ang idea ko sa pagluluto,” she says.

Unfortunately, their relationship did not have a happy ending. With barely two months before their last contract was to end, her male employer came home with a striped bag and told Joyce to pack in two hours so he could drive her out.

The reason? The employers said they saw one of her poems which told them they couldn’t trust her anymore.

Until now, Joyce still feels the pain of having been driven out unceremoniously from the home of a family she had cared so much for.

“Simula nang time na umalis ako until now masakit pa rin sa akin. Napapaluha pa rin ako at na mi miss ko ang dalawa kong alaga na ako ang nagpalaki.”

But true to her nature, Joyce still finds something good in what had happened. She says the couple gave her a good release letter, so she ended up with the caring family she now works with.

Even better, the love of cooking her former employers instilled in her continues to serve as a reminder of the good times they had, once upon a time. - DCLM


Eggplant parmesan 

Ingredients:
2 pcs medium eggplant
tomato sauce
2 eggs
bread crumbs
oil for frying
parmesan cheese

Procedure:
1. Peel eggplant then slice into lengthwise in medium thickness
2. Beat eggs and dip the eggplant slices. Roll in bread crumbs.
3. Fry the eggplant slices individually until they’re brown on each side. Set aside.
4. Pour enough tomato sauce to cover the base of a baking dish, then arrange the fried eggplants on top.
5. Pour more tomato sauce over the eggplants, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
6. Bake in oven at 150 degrees celsius for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

For the dipping sauce, I use my own concoction.

Ingredients: 
2 cans Del Monte diced tomato, blended
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs basil
1 tbs parsley
200ml vodka
olive oil

Procedure: 
1. Heat olive oil, then fry garlic until they’re light brown in color (do not burn)
2. Add blended tomato, basil, parsley, salt and pepper
3. Turn fire to low and simmer for another 15 minutes. Your sauce is ready.
(You can make more than you need, but make sure you put the remainder in a Ziploc bag which you should keep in the freezer until you’re ready to use it)


Chicken Kiev 

(My Style)
Ingredients:
2 pcs chicken breasts
2 eggs for dipping
butter
cheese
parsley
garlic
lemon juice
bread crumbs (with cheese, optional)

Procedure:
1. Mix together butter, parsley, garlic and lemon juice.
2. Make a hole in the middle of the chicken breast (like a pocket), then pour in the mixed ingredients, as well as cheese.
3. Close the hole and wrap with cling wrap. Put in the refrigerator to chill. (Best to keep the chicken in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight to soak in the flavor).
4. Beat the egg and dip each chicken breast before rolling in bread crumbs.
5. Fry in low fire until brown.
6. Put on a baking dish and bake at 150 degrees centigrade for about 20 minutes or until the inside part is totally cooked
7. Serve with steamed vegetable and mashed potatoes.
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