Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Work at Home Mom: Life in the Philippines: Let's Eat and Be Merry!

On a more upbeat note...

I got this Masayang Survey (Fun Survey) from a blog I just discovered, Confessions of a Domesticated Party Girl by fellow Filipina blogger Mom, MrsPartyGirl.

I will be translating the Qs & As since visitors come from all over.

Ano ang iyong almusal kanina? (What did you have for breakfast today?)

A mug of Milo with CMD Mineral Drops, my health supplement. I very rarely take a full breakfast as it makes me feel sluggish. I don't get hungry until several hours after waking. Nope, this isn't a diet. I actually eat A LOT at lunch and EVEN MORE at dinner, which is not a very good thing. It's supposed to be the other way around - more in the morning and very little at night. Oh well...

Ikaw ay may itlog — nilagang itlog. Paano mo ito kakainin? (You have a hardboiled egg. How will you eat it?)

Like MsPartyGirl, I like eating hardboiled eggs with patis and rice. Patis is salty fermented fish sauce, Filipino style. Other Asian neighbors also have this, most notably Thailand. Practically anything with patis becomes so good with rice. Yum! Yes, I the sodium! And watch the rice! Too much starchy carbo!

Ano ang paborito mong local na junkfood? (What's your favorite local - meaning Filipino- junkfood?)

Argh! There are so many! Cheese-flavored Clover chips, Spicy Granny Goose Tortilla chips, Lala Fish crackers, Boy Bawang, Spicy Shing-a-ling, Cloud Nine, Piattos Sour Cream and Onion...okay I should stop now. I'm starting to crave them again and I just made a pinky swear with my kids to not have softdrinks and junkfood. I need a crunchy, salty, spicy fix! Is popcorn junkfood? Homemade? Airpopped? Pleeeeeese?

Ikaw ay kinuhang TOP CHEF sa isang engrandeng pagtitipon. Ano ang iyong ihahain sa mga bisita? (Note: Ang mga pagkain na ihahain mo ay ang mga alam mong lutuin. Bawal magsinungaling) (You have been made Top Chef for a grand affair. What will you serve? Note: You can only serve what you know how to make yourself. No lying.)

I must confess, I don't cook at home. Well, sometimes for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve Noche Buena since our helpers are off to their families then. We more often opt to just order food, though, which is so un-Filipino. Nothing fancy - usually grilled bangus (milkfish) from Pixie's, lechon manok (roasted chicken) from Baliwag, skewered pork barbecue and grilled squid from Grill Queen, lumpiang ubod (spring rolls stuffed with - i don't know how this is called but it's the core of the coconut tree's trunk) from Aling Lita.

Traditionally, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve dinner and midnight treats are supposed to showcase specialties of the mother of the house. My poor family...

Having said that, I can whip up something when there is no other recourse. I am allowed to have lots of assistants to do the chopping and cleaning up, right? Then it would be:

-Mediterranean fresh and grilled vegetable salad (fresh lettuce, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes and grilled eggplant, bellpeppers and portobello mushrooms) with green and black olives and a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar seasoned with salt and cracked black pepper;

- Oriental Sashimi a la Gerry's Grill, our version. Fresh tuna drizzled just before serving with a dressing of Kikoman soy sauce and sesame oil, on a bed of lettuce and topped with finely chopped green onions.

- Corn Soup Visayan Style (similar to MsPartyGirl's Suam Mais but without the chicken and with lots of malunggay leaves instead of sili tops;

- Halabos na Sugpo (Stir fried Prawns) in Star Margarine and lots of garlic;

- Pork chops or pork ribs "Pinatuyo" (simmered till all the liquid evaporates and the pork renders fat in which it is allowed to fry to brown a little) in water, salt and lots of garlic. Don't ask me the measurements. I just do it by "tantya" (estimate). A spicy vinegar dip on the side.

- Plain rice

- Mango refrigerator cake - the one in the TV commercial with layers of crushed graham crackers and lots of sweet ripe mango slices mixed with cream and condensed milk. I would add crushed cashew nuts to the crushed graham crackers.

A hodgepodge with no theme nor unifying element, I know. That's why I'm not a cook.

But now I think I'm in trouble next Christmas Eve!

Kung ikaw ay makakain sa restaurant ngayon din, saang restaurant ka pupunta at bakit? (If you can go to a restaurant right now, which would you choose and why?)

Tough one. There are so many we like and too few really special occasions when we can rationalize the expense. If we have some extra to splurge on an expensive family dinner we often choose Dad's Ultimate Buffet, though. Sulit! (Worth the price!) Oh, the Japanese buffet with unlimited sashimi, sushi and prawn tempura plus the Filipino buffet with crispy-skinned lechon de leche/roasted suckling pig plus the Continental buffet's dessert bar. You see how we love to pig out? It's tough to find something to wear that's all dressy and yet has enough room in the tummy area to really enjoy the night. :D

Tip: Don't drink too much iced tea or any beverage for that matter so as not to use upall your tummy space. Okay, I'm exposing my katakawan too much already. No,I'm not going to translate katakawan. You already get the picture.

Saang restaurant mo gustong makapunta, pero di ka lang nakakarating pa? (What restaurant would you want to visit, which you haven't been to yet?)

We've been hearing about the buffet at Spiral, at the Hotel Philippine Plaza. Recognize that word again? Buffet! So Pinoy!

May pizza sa harap mo. Ano ang ayaw mong makitang topping sa pizza mo? (There's a pizza in front of you. What don't you want to see on your pizza?)

Pineapple! But I love anchovies, olives and garlic on my pizza. Definitely not for a romantic night :D

Ano ang madalas mong orderin sa Jollibee? (What do you often order at Jollibee?)

Two-piece Chickenjoy with rice, Coke Light (okay, no more softdrinks from now on), Chocolate sundae.

Paano magluto ng Sinigang? Marunong ka ba? (How does one cook Sinigang? Do you know how?)

Again, I'm not the one making this at home. But from the style handed down by my Mom and Dad (my Dad loves cooking), the pork cubes and gabi cubes (taro) are first sauteed in a little oil and garlic with patis. Unfortunately, my eldest daughter is allergic to patis so we use rock salt instead. After the pork has absorbed the flavors, add water or, preferably, hugas-bigas (water in which the rice has been washed). Let boil till meat and gabi are tender. Add vegetables. We like a mix of kangkong (swamp cabbage), lots of okra -my favorite, sitaw (stringbeans) or sigarillas (wingbeans), eggplant, whole or halved red onions and long green chili peppers.

OH! I forgot the most important part. The sourness! We like using calamansi juice. Lots of it. As in a kilo or more of freshly squeezed calamansi juice added just after the fire has been turned off. This isn't even enough sourness for my youngest daughter. She adds about a half cup more of calamansi juice to her big bowl of sinigang!

When I eat this with rice I crush the green chili peppers in my patis dip. Then I crush the taro cubes to make my soup thick.

We also love Sinigang na Bangus sa Miso at Mustasa (Milkfish Sinigang With Miso and Mustard Greens) but I am totally clueless at preparing that. Our helper is the expert.

Ikaw ay may fried chicken sa harap mo. Ano ang dapat niyang kapartner para masarap ang kain? (You have fried chicken before you. What would be its perfect pair?)

That depends on what kind of fried chicken it is. If from Max's, it needs the original banana ketchup. If from KFC, the KFC gravy. If from Jollibee or McDonalds, I don't use gravy. At home, tomato ketchup mixed with Worcestershire sauce.

Kumakain ka ba ng dinuguan? Alam mo ba kung saan ito gawa? (Do you eat Dinuguan? Do you know what it's made of?)

I love dinuguan! Preferably sour and spicy and thick with lots of rice!

Yes, I know what it's made of. It's blood stew (am not sure if pork or beef, though) with meat and innards. For non-Filipinos: it's black, not red.

I'm starting to get hungry already.

So if you're Pinoy/Pinay by blood or affinity or appetite, you're tagged!

Now where can I get Dinuguan? Or maybe call for Jollibee Chickenjoy delivery? Hmmm...


J@n!ce said...

Hi Maia,
I drop by to say "Hello" to you :)
Your entry really makes me hungry ;p

See you around....

MJ said...

Glad to see you here, Janice! Yes,it makes me hungry, too. Waaah! I want those dishes! Now!

Trinity said...

Just a comment on the sinigang response. You mean you don't use Mama Sita's sinigang mix?! I thought everyone did that these days! And you think you don't cook. ;)

THE ANiTOKiD said...

Now, i know I am not alone with my stomach's call for food! I love sugpo, pritong pusit and alimasag! I have a high tolerance for such foods! No high blood, no nothing! Just pure dining pleasure!

Loved patis too! My youngest daughter's nickname is "Patis" - And I kid you not!

MrsPartyGirl said...

hi manila mom, thanks for answering the meme. fun no?

we're alike with the breakfast thing. i only eat (real) bfast on weekends, when hubby's at home. but when he's off to work on weekdays, juice or tea lang ako, and then i eat a big lunch, and then an even bigger dinner, hehe. (bahala na si lord sa sikmura ko.)

oh, and how can i forget shing-a-ling!! i loved it, well, before i realized what it was really made of. :D

crushed cashew on ref cakes... i do that, too! my easy-peasy version of sans rival, sans the rival. :D

a fellow mommy blogger, munchkin mommy, loves Spiral. she loves it so much she can give you a detailed blow-by-blow of each buffet dish from memory. :)

i can teach you my husband's version of sinigang sa miso (na tilapia with baby bokchoy), we love it! pero we use mix ha, kasi hirap kami to get the real ingredients here. :)

last but not the least, its actually MRSPartygirl (not MS), magagalit si hubby if he sees me parading around as dalaga, hahaha!

it's a pleasure to (cyber) meet you. i'll link you up, ok :)


MJ said...

Trinity, I replied to your comment yesterday but it seems like it didn't register.

We don't use the mix since it's just as easy to squeeze fresh calamansi anyway. We do use the ready mix for caldereta, though. Still, I'm not the one actually doing the cooking, hehe.

AnitoKid, we love those, too. We can't have seafood often, though, because our eldest daughter is allergic to seafood. There always has to be something else for her.

Patis! What a cute nickname! She's in good company - same as Patis Tesoro, the designer of Filipiniana couture.

MrsPartyGirl - I linked to you, too - in all my blogs! (well,i'll go to veranda after this and add you there, too.)

and what is shing-a-ling made of? I thought it was just flour and flavoring?

i definitely am going to munchkin mommy's blog after this, too. our youngest is having her birthday in july so there's going to be a reason to eat out grande :D it would be great to get a review of spiral beforehand.

i'm going to try that sinigang sa miso with tilapia. We love tilapia, too. well, i'm going to ask our helper to try it, hehe.

EJ Cooksey said...'re It...

just wanted to let you know that you have been tagged in the game/meme "7 things about yourself" ...

Play along if you like, not a problem if you don't...Thanks!

MJ said...

Thanks for the tag, EJ! I just finished 8 Random Facts so I'll wait a little while, but I'll definitely do this, too. Always nice to have a way of telling readers more about the person behind the blog :D

FILAM finance said...

With all those food, nakakagutom na!! (I'm starting to get hungry)

MJ said...

So let's eat and be merry, FILAM! :D

Tahn said...

Kagutom naman nito. Tsalap!

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