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.

Food List: “Appetites” (Café Irreal, Issue Thirty-One) for the Season of Indulgence

Desire and nostalgia for food of yester-year. Always hits self when December rolls around.

Below, the first paragraph of a piece called “Appetites,” published in Café Irreal, Issue Thirty-One:

When she was a girl, she ate crab, bitter melon, rice soup. She loved milkfish, which at that time was still abundant. The cook, who was as dear to her as her own mother, served her glutinous rice cakes, salmon cured with tamarind salt, grilled squid stuffed with chorizo, the meat of young coconuts.

Further Dreaminess: Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga

Abe's Farm in Magalang, Pampanga is a working farm, but also a resort. Self took this picture in the resort's restaurant.

Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga is a working farm, but also a resort. Self took this picture in the resort’s restaurant.

Breakfast (Philippine mangoes are the BEST in the entire world)

Breakfast (Philippine mangoes are the BEST in the entire world)

Suman/Ibus for Breakfast: The sauce consists of melted brown sugar.

Suman/Ibus for Breakfast: The sauce consists of melted brown sugar.

Endurance 3: Various Interpretations of This Week’s WordPress Photo Challenge

Again, self knows nothing about the creator of this. sculpture. It stands just outside the Olympic Theatre (the one designed by Palladio) in Vicenza.

Self knows nothing about the creator of this. sculpture. It stands just outside the Teatro Olimpico (designed by Palladio in the late 16th century) in Vicenza.

Backyard Watering: Takes Endurance, especially in the summer.

Backyard Watering: Takes Endurance, especially in the summer.

Spam was first introduced to the Philippines by the Americans. Now we Filipinos crave it -- it's become "comfort food."

Spam was first introduced to the Philippines by the Americans. Now we Filipinos crave it — it’s become “comfort food.”

 

Containers: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CONTAINERS.

And, as luck would have it, self stumbled across a series of shots she took in Glendale, December 2012, where one of her Villanueva nieces hosted a reunion of the Villanueva clan.  The day was an all-day eating marathon, a veritable cornucopia of gustatory delights.  People from Bacolod (Dear Departed Dad’s hometown) know how to live!

You’ll find a variety of containers below:

Brazo de Mercedes:  a butter and egg yolk filling is encased in an outer shell of light meringue.  Yummm!

Container # 1:  Brazo de Mercedes , in which a butter and egg yolk filling is encased in an outer shell of light meringue. Yummm! To spell it out:  self considers the meringue layer  the “container.”

Someone made individual portions chicken a la king -- using a muffin baking dish.

Containers # 2:  The muffin baking dish someone used to make individual servings of chicken a la king. Quelle ingeniousness!  Naturally, half the servings disappeared almost the minute the baking tray was pulled from the oven.

No one throws a feast like the Villanuevas!  Everyone at the party was either a cousin, a niece, or a nephew.

Containers # 3:  food serving trays.  No one throws a feast like the Villanuevas! Everyone at the party was either a cousin, a niece, or a nephew, or the partner of a cousin, a niece, or a nephew.  Southern California seems to be the Villanueva destination of choice!

Self so wishes there were a Reunion Part 2.  Or Part 3.

Hear that, Dear Niece Irene?  Time to start organizing another banquet!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Letters 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

It’s strange that self is in London but here she keeps posting about back home.

Nevertheless, she needs to store her London images for a while, it’s all a little bit much (i.e. overwhelming)

In the meantime, here’s a second post on the week’s theme:  LETTERS.

For this post, self decided to focus on signage.

San Luis Obispo Farmers Market, August 2011

San Luis Obispo Farmers Market, August 2011

Picture # 1:  Son attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  Two years after he graduated, we finally attended San Luis Obispo’s famous Farmers Market, where self took this photo.

Filipino American Fiesta at Yerba Buena, summer 2011

Filipino American Fiesta at Yerba Buena, summer 2011

Picture # 2:  There are so many Filipinos in the US of A!  And the biggest groups are in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Every year, there’s a Filipino fiesta at Yerba Buena Park in San Francisco.  Self wants to say August.  Pampanga, which self visited last year (at the invitation of Alawi Canlas, who she met when she was a Fulbright Fellow at Skyline College, several years ago) is famous for its cooking.

T-shirt self bought today from L'Fisher Hotel Gift Shop

T-shirt is sold in the gift shop of L’Fisher Main.

Picture # 3 is self-explanatory.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

On Top 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Capiz Shell Overhead Lamp, Café Uma, Lacson Street, Bacolod City

Capiz Shell Overhead Lamp, Café Uma, Lacson Street, Bacolod City. Self loves to hang out here when she is visiting Bacolod.

The Lamp is the Philippine Flag (Negros Museum Café, Bacolod)

The Lamp is the Philippine Flag (Negros Museum Café, Bacolod: another of self’s favorite hangouts when visiting Dear Departed Dad’s hometown)

Signage:  The Foster Freeze in Menlo Park has been a local landmark for decades. The employees (a Chinese American family, who may very well be the current owners) have known son since he first stopped by, in grade school.

Signage: The Foster Freeze in Menlo Park has been a local landmark for decades. The employees (a Chinese American family, who may very well be the current owners) have known son since he first started going there, in grade school.

Thus Far, 2014

  • There are times when self feels fanfiction may just save her life.
  • The Hunger Games cannot be called a rip-off of Japanese movie Battle Royale because the Japanese movie didn’t have a boy who bakes.
  • In late February, self attended her first AWP Conference since 2009.  It was really excellent, discovering the Pioneer Square area:  Davidson Galleries, Glass House, Grand Central Bakery, Occidental Park and chess board, the Globe bookstore.  She has got to return to Seattle.
  • The AWP Book Fair is the coolest thing to have happened to her so far this year
  • She loves the soundtrack of Frozen and has been listening to it over and over in her car.
  • Listening to Angela Narciso Torres read always makes self feel like crying.
  • The Man can still make a mean callos.
  • Her most visited local farmers market is the one in Belmont.  She loves Heidi’s Pies (in business for 47 years: the bakery’s on El Camino in San Mateo)
  • The members of her writing group are the most unheralded fabulous writers in the whole US of A.
  • The service in Ling Nam (South San Francisco) is still terrible.  But The Man adores their goto with tokwa’t baboy. And who can blame him.
The Goto (which The Man always orders with Tokwa't Baboy) from Ling Nam, South San Francisco

The Goto (which The Man always orders with Tokwa’t Baboy) from Ling Nam, South San Francisco

  • She sweats.  A lot.  Self is beginning to worry that the yoga is responsible for unleashing something unspeakable and mystifying.
  • She can’t stay up past 10 p.m. anymore.  That’s why she hasn’t posted about Justified and Saturday Night Live for so long.  But, if she gets to sleep by 10 p.m., she doesn’t suffer from insomnia.
  • The new Bay Bridge is soooo beautiful.
  • She can’t read anymore.  It is terrible.  She’s only on her third book —  The Hemingses of Monticello, by Annette Gordon-Reed — since the start of the year.  The other two she started this year were In the Shadow of Man, by Jane Goodall, and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, by Rebecca West.  Strange, she used to be able to tear through at least 60 books a year.  At this rate, by the end of 2014, she’ll be lucky to finish 12.
  • Her 1998 Altima may be ready to give up the ghost.  After spending 1K at the mechanic, the engine sounds worse, and it has so far failed three smog tests.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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