28 April 2017


Swaki (collector urchin), Maasin market

Before I knew what swakî (collector urchin) looked or tasted like, I was already acquainted with its supposedly salutary effect on the male libido. “Pampa-utoooog!” we would bellow in reply to some ambulant vendor’s announcement. As a young boy, it never occurred to me that I would have any need of it.

26 April 2017

Do the grind

Black pepper & pepper mill

When Jenny mentioned that she needed to get some black pepper, I seized the chance to pitch for whole over her usual pre-ground.

“Is there a difference?”

“Only a world of it.”

23 April 2017

In time

Osso buco with pork & beans

When my father told his guest that I had prepared something special for lunch, I knew I had the osso buco down pat. Pa is so finicky, I had long given up trying to figure out how he comes to decide what it is he likes — little wonder Ma gave up cooking for him a long time ago — making the rare pronouncement like this music to my ears.

21 April 2017

Budbud lava

Magsaysay (rolled sticky rice with chocolate center)

Wherever you find yourself in the Philippines, there is bound to be a sticky rice delicacy unique to that place. These are called magsaysay, from Hilongos, Leyte. The first thing one notices is that they are huge, but the most remarkable is that they are filled with a rich, gooey chocolate center whipped from native cocoa.

07 April 2017

Cold comfort

Mixed vegetable soup

After several days of wet and gloom, the sun finally came out. Not a day too soon, too, or I would have had to start opening cans to feed the family.

02 April 2017

Deadpan, deadset, dead-on

Colin Farrell & Rachel Weisz in “The Lobster”
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

I was prepared to dislike The Lobster, if only because of the last Yorgos Lanthimos movie I had seen. That would be Dogtooth (2009), in which a couple kept their children from the outside world, taught them the wrong names for things, and encouraged incest. While The Lobster is not as preposterous — and I must concede that’s not saying much — it is more intriguing, even funny, in ways just as dysfunctional.

30 March 2017

Tell it like it is, then put sugar on mine

Dansalan/gabi (taro) corm

With no one to cook for last week, I decided on takeout pork sinigang (sour soup) from Andok’s. I had a dim recollection of liking their version of the dish at a Tacloban branch many years ago.

24 March 2017

This much is true

Joel Edgerton, Michael Shannon, Jaeden Lieberher & Kirsten Dunst in “Midnight Special”
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols

Two men are on the run. With them is a young boy, who we learn from the news has been kidnapped. Earmuffs and goggles are the extent of his restraint, although we also note that the eyehole on the motel door has been taped over, the window boarded up.

23 March 2017

On aptness

Sweet-&-sour pork

“Bell pepper,” a friend once lamented. “I see people push it to the side of their plate and I break out in dandruff.”

“Try the California Wonder,” I said.

“Eh, have you been listening? Local is expensive enough.”

27 February 2017

This just in…

Stir-fried pechay

If, like me, you think that eating the recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables every day is daunting enough, get a load of the latest news saying the amount should really be twice that, as per a new “major” study. In terms of weight, we’re talking upping F&V consumption to 800 grams, or 200 grams short of a kilo! (I know, I know: you can do your own math; I just wanted to hammer that in.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...