Bourdain: Ugly Crying

Not real. Not real. Not real.

In celebration of food, community, and life, all the food pictures self can pull from her archives in 15 minutes:

  1. Cherries, Belmont Farmers Market, May 2018
  2. Leeks, Palo Alto Farmers Market, April 2018
  3. Giant Tomato, Mendocino Art Center, March 2018
  4. Buko Pie, Philippine Airlines, January 2018
  5. Dearest Mum’s Lunch, Manila, January 2018
  6. UP Town Center, Diliman, Quezon City, January 2018

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Beloved 2: From Self’s Recent Trip to Manila, January 2018

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First cousin on mother’s side: Maitoni Cu-Unjieng

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Home-Cooked Food, with Lots of Fried Garlic

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Self is named after this iconic Filipino soup from the central Philippine islands: Batchoy

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Needs To Have the Letters ‘O’ and ‘U’ in the Word

Another great Fun Foto Challenge from Cee Neuner: Needs to have the letters O and U in the word.

Self’s word is SOUP. Specifically, a delicious Philippine soup that originates in the central Philippine islands of the Visayas:

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BATCHOY: Super Special Bowl of Heaven

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

UNUSUAL: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 19 July 2017

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is:

UNUSUAL

The prompt comes from guest host Lignum Draco: “Experiment.” Try something “unusual.”

Don’t know whether self is interpreting this week’s Photo Challenge correctly but, without further ado, self’s takes on “unusual”:

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Gina’s Filipino Café, 1101 Twelfth St., downtown Sacramento

  • There is only one Filipino restaurant in downtown Sacramento. And it just so happened to be very close to the apartment self was renting. Adobo is the quintessential Filipino dish. Anthony Bourdain said the best pork he ever tasted was in the Philippines.
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Still can’t get over the fact that this bridge over the Sacramento River is such a vibrant, fun yellow! Cool!

  • It’s all there in the caption.
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Dearest Mum was the reigning superstar of her day (She won the New York Times International Piano competition when she was just 14). In spite of that, she was very demure.

  • Photos from a stash self had in her closet. She stumbled across them just two weeks ago. Dearest Mum as a shy flower. Before self was even a notion. She went on to marry Dear Dad, who took her home to the Philippines (She had grown up East Coast, mainly New York City) and with whom she had five children.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Pleasures of Sourness

Does our taste for asim come from our sour green landscape? From the proliferation of sour-towards-sweet tastes in our fruits and vegetables? Certainly we Filipinos have a tongue, a taste, a temper for sour notes, which is one of our chief flavor principles. We not only sour our soups (sinigang) and cook sundry dishes in vinegar (paksiw, adobo); we also use vinegars (nipa, coconut) and citrus (calamansi, dayap) as dips and marinades.

—  Palayok: Philippine Food Through Time, On Site, In the Pot, by Doreen Fernandez

P.S. Señor Sigig, a Filipino food truck, was just featured on Bay Area food program Check, Please! Owner says everything is marinated for at least 48 hours. But the lines!

It’s Filipino/Mexican — there are burritos and nachos. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Average price of a meal: $12.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“Appetites” (The Café Irreal, Issue 31)

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Bakery, Kanlaon City, Negros Occidental, The Philippines

  • When she was a toddler, cook cut everything into tiny morsels so that the girl’s mouth would not stretch and become wide and ugly. The girl ate only the sweetest pastries, only the smallest and most tender eggplants. Cook herself grew these in a corner of the garden, which every summer sprouted with little trees with purple-tinged leaves.

— “Appetites,” published in The Café Irreal, Issue 31

Easy Open Cap, Complete Nonsense

See the words on the lid of this bottle of macapuno (coconut fruit preserves)?

Self has been trying to get at the contents for two days. Granted, anyone who spends two days trying to open a bottle must be bonkers. But self really, really loves macapuno. And she hasn’t had any in about 10 years.

In Redwood City, she used to have this nifty thingamajig by Zyliss that wrenches open bottle caps in 10 seconds. But here, she hasn’t seen any store that sells the thing. So, she has to resort to:

  • running bottle neck under warm water
  • pounding on top lid with knife, block of wood, and hammer
  • inserting knife tip under the lid to break seal
  • wrapping lid with rubber bands and twisting and twisting and twisting

The Filipino manufacturer should be proud! They have perfected the super-tight seal! Bottle lid’s tighter than a seal on an oil rig! Paging BP Oil! No, even better, paging NASA!

In the meantime, those words EASY OPEN CAP on the lid are simply taunting her. Has the manufacturer never heard of “truth in advertising”? This dilemma has also given rise to snarky thoughts such as: You want the macapuno? You can’t handle the macapuno!

This problem would not occur in the Philippines where self recalls never having to touch food of any kind — because of help! LOL — unless it is delivered on a tray.

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Jar of Macapuno, Absolutely Impenetrable. “Easy Open Cap.” Bought two days ago. Enough is enough. Tossing today. Good-bye, $3.99

When all hope is lost, self shares her dilemma on Facebook. Which then leads to a Filipina sending her a link to this instructional video, which contains the words: “Even a two-year-old should have no problem opening a bottle lid using this method.”

LOL LOL LOL

Stay tuned.

Look Up 5: Nando’s Flame-Grilled Chicken, Calgary

Really love The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week: LOOK UP.

It’s all about “taking a moment to check out what’s above you.”

Last night, self’s cousins took her to a restaurant called Nando’s, in NE Calgary. It’s famous for its chicken inasal (barbecue). And she has to say: this is the best chicken inasal she’s ever tasted outside of Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, Dear Departed Dad’s hometown.

The owner is, interestingly enough, not Filipino. She thinks her cousins said the owner is from Australia.

One wall is entirely covered with little squares, each one telling a kind of story. She wouldn’t have bothered focusing on the squares if she hadn’t been thinking of LOOK UP:

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Nando’s, in Northeast Calgary: Barbecue Chicken Almost as Good as Bacolod’s Inasal.

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Those tiles do tell a fascinating story. Wouldn’t you agree, dear blog readers?

Stay tuned.

Careful: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CAREFUL:

SHOW US SOMETHING CAREFUL — A PHOTO TAKEN WITH CARE, A PERSON BEING CAREFUL, OR A TASK OR DETAIL REQUIRING CARE.

First: Can you believe the drapery on this statue? Self doesn’t know who the sculptor is. She’ll find out, though. And when she does, she’ll post it here.

Close-Up Detail of a Statue in the Greek and Roman Antiquities Gallery of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Close-Up Detail of a Statue in the Greek and Roman Antiquities Gallery of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Here’s something else done with care: a dessert from a small Mom & Pop Filipino restaurant in Queens:

Swimming in a Sea of Condensed Milk: MY Kind of Dessert!

Swimming in a Sea of Condensed Milk: Self’s Kind of Dessert!

Finally: Food is love. You didn’t know that? Clearly, you have not LIVED!

Self will say again: Food is Love.

Here, from self’s favorite food nest in London, Chez Mamie on a little alley she stumbled across while trying to make it to the West End to watch a play:

The food at Chez Mamie is cooked by a mother-daughter team from Belgium.

The food at Chéz Mamie is cooked by a mother-daughter team from Belgium. Going a day without dinner at Chéz Mamie: perish the thought! It was self’s little home away from home.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Today Was a Good Day: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY.

SHOW US WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

Self responds:  QED!

Taho + Gulaman on a Hot Day: Fabulous!

Taho + Gulaman on a Hot Day: Fabulous!

Summer Reading: The Act of Love by Harold Jacobson; and Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Summer Reading: The Act of Love by Harold Jacobson; and Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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And here’s a very happy memory from when self visited Jenny Lewis at her home in Oxford in July. Jenny’s granddaughter Abigail is such a ray of sunshine, self loved seeing her. She also has a very beautiful voice.

Abigail !!!

Abigail !!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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