Brain Cloud, Thursday, 28 June: Watering, Hollywoodland, Farmer’s Market, Doreen’s PALAYOK

Today, self is musing about her English 1C class, which took their finals yesterday. Self thinks it ended on an “up” note. That is, students asked self to pose with them for pictures, which self is sure they wouldn’t have done if they had *hated* the class. So, looking forward to next year and more teaching.

Told hubby self would attempt to water using his “system” of dividing entire yard into quadrants, arranging the hose and sprinklers in perfect diametrical diagonals, and moving every 5 minutes. But, after staring at very neatly arranged hose coils in the side yard, self knew in her heart of hearts that she would never be able to return hose to its perfectly coiled completeness, and the battle was lost before it had even begun: all self’s good intentions went for naught.

Today is San Carlos Farmers Market, which had a wee reference in the Food section of yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. Article mentioned the “community atmosphere”, and also included a picture of diners on Laurel Street, enjoying the bustling market scene. Self does intend to go (in a few minutes), as she needs to return Hollywoodland to the Blockbuster on the corner of Laurel and xxxx street.

Self’s opinion about Ben Affleck remains unchanged. Movie was so austere and so determined to rise above its tawdry material that even the seduction scenes had no music. In the end, self fell asleep about 3/4 of the way through. When next she opened her eyes, Adrian Brody was on his way to visit his son. Then, credits rolled. Hubby awoke, rubbing his eyes and asking, “What happened? How did it end?” And, sorry to say, self could not enlighten him.

Self will not line up for RoliRoti Chicken, as the past three weeks line has been atrocious. But there are many other things she can purchase: for instance the smoked salmon which she bought last week, and which was instant hit at Cal Shakes picnic. And since now self is on the topic of food, think this is the appropriate time to mention that today self has been reading beloved former teacher Doreen Fernandez’s Palayok: Philippine Food Through Time, On Site, In the Pot (The Bookmark, Inc., 2000). On p. 54 is a discussion of different types of Philippine bread:

Wheat does not grow in the Philippines, and therefore wheat flour was brought in by the Spaniards, along with the techniques of bread-making, and in many cases, Spanish names as well. The most common bread in the country is pan de sal, literally “bread of salt.” This is the breakfast roll that is small, brown, and crumb-sprinkled. Other breads are similarly named:

pan de limon (with lemon)
pan de coco (with coconut)
pan de leche (with milk)

When sliced bread (sandwich loaves) became popular, it was called pan americano (American bread).

A little further on the same page, Doreen discusses Philippine desserts:

Many of the desserts that Filipinos consider “traditional” are Spanish, because native panghimagas, or sweets after a meal, generally consisted mainly of fruits, fresh or sweetened, like bananas, coconut, jackfruit, or guavas cooked in syrup. The dessert repertoire is thus principally Spanish: leche flan (milk custard or creme caramel), buñuelos de viento (wind puffs), turron (nougat), yema (egg yolk sweets), mazapan (marzipan), Cañonigo (meringue with a sauce) and many others, like Brazo de Mercedes (literally, Mercedes’ arm, a meringue roll) and Torta del Rey (the King’s cake).

And at this juncture, there surfaced unbidden in self’s mind a vision of a 17th century Spanish friar, sitting in his little church somewhere in the Philippines, and feeling homesick for a sweet. How, then, self wondered, would he devise his leche flan, if there were no cows to produce the milk? Then self remembered that there were probably water buffalos. And instead of Spanish almonds for the mazapan could he not substitute native pili nuts?

And then self started to think of a story.

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