It was just this morning when I was wondering where to get some lemon grass (tanglad) for my chicken recipe. I asked Roger if I can get it from the nearby fruit-veggie shop in Port Wakefield, and he said no. “Why not use lemon fruit instead, grate its rind and add it to your food?”
Perhaps he wanted me to try something new, the reason why he picked some lemon from his garden and gave it to me. So I did. But of course I didn’t grate the lemon rind; I just peeled it and stuffed the chicken with lemon zest, spring onions, garlic cloves, and green capsicum. With vinegar, soy sauce, salt and coarsely ground peppercorn, I cooked the stuffed chicken in a clear soda drink until the sauce became thick and almost dry.
We were very excited to taste our experimental dish. And it was very good, especially with rice. Roger told me that he hasn’t eaten rice for ages!
For seventeen months of living in Australia, I haven’t only learned how to use lemon juice instead of kalamansi juice for my favourite bagoong, but how to use lemon rind instead of lemon grass for my chicken, as well.
To try something new (as long as it is healthy, safe, virtuous and legal) is good! Just like me, and Roger (who tried eating rice instead of potatoes), have some twists in your life, for a change.