Saturday, July 02, 2005

Steamed Rice

Rice is something we Filipinos cannot live without, even now that I am out of the Philippines. I think it is equivalent to potatoes and bread to the Americans and the Canadians. This reminds me of one funny experience I had with my son's friend.
We invited my son's friend, (a caucasian) camping three years ago. I wasn't quite sure if his mom was going to allow him to join us so I did not include him in my plans. This camping was an all-Filipino camping. Just a day before we left, my son got a call. He was joining us afterall. I rushed to the grocery store to buy bread and hotdogs particularly for him.

Well, in our cooler, I had tocino, longganisa, marinated tapa, daing na bangus and a few canned goods. Our friends brought tuyo, dried squid and daing.

Our breakfast on our first day was tuyo, longanisa, you know the usual Pinoy stuff. He was shocked we had rice for breakfast. That was not it. There's more. Because there were rows and rows of campsites, to get to the lake, my son and his friend would pass through our friends's sites and they would be invited for breakfast. Ah of course, camping to us is indulgence. It's where we could have our tuyo cooked without worrying that the smell would stick to the carpets.

As the day progressed, he noticed that everyone seemed to be eating all the time. In one of our friends' campsites, they got invited for breakfast. He secretly asked my son if it was dinnertime already. "Are you kidding? It's only 10 o'clock in the morning!" is what I heard my son say to him.

He was even offered a fried dried squid. He was a little mortified to eat even just a tiny piece but he tried anyway. "Tastes like chicken" was what he said. Of course, a friend suggested that he try it with rice.

Slowly, as the days went by, he was getting acculturized. No, he was polite enough not to ask for bread but I made sure that he knew that we brought bread for him if ever he was going to find a need to have bread.

I haven't seen this kid for a long time after our camping but latest I heard from my son is he preferred rice over bread and potatoes now.


JMom said...

haha! another rice convert. My hubby always ate rice, but only about 3 tablespoons with the entree. Now, I converted him to the Filipino way, loads of rice, and itty bitty ulam :-)

dexiejane said...

even though i know rice goes straight to my hips and thighs, i can't stop eating it..LOL. i just love rice. i've converted my family by adding butter to their hot steaming rice :)

ting-aling said...

Teeny, weeny bit ulam JMom. That will constantly remind me of my husband's way of eating..the Filipino way.

Butter in a hot steaming rice, Dexiekins? Well, that's a double whammy!!! LOL!

Karen said...

Ay! What an influence you all were, Ting! I'm sure that boy will look at that camping trip as one of his culinary turning points someday, hehehe!

Reminds me of my niece in Toronto. Even as a 2y/o, she kept on insisting on having rice, whether they were in McDonald's or anywhere (she's never been to the Philippines). The thing is, she looks very Caucasian! Gulantang daw servers sa McDo, hahaha!