Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Lasang Pinoy 10 : Food Memories From Your Childhood--It's all in the milk!

We all know that Baguio is known for its luscious strawberries. I knew a man who owned a strawberry stall right in the heart of the city market. He would usually bring us day-old strawberries for us to eat. Well, we're from Baguio and we're not so much crazy about them unlike the "bakasyonistas" during Holy Week (when all produce prices go up sometimes twice or even thrice their normal--and watch me roll my eyes).

Watching all these "bakasyonistas" eat strawberries straight from the baskets made me wonder whether they were shocked that strawberries are not really that good? They only looked good in pictures, that's what I think. I'm sour-graping of course because I never had the luxury to eat those bigger, pricier ones. I only got to taste the day-old ones, remember?

Okey, so how do I eat mine? Mashed! Yes, mashed with my own hands. Did I hear you say eeewwwee? And then I add condensed milk to it. Believe me, that's how I used to eat my strawberries when I was young and that's still how I eat them today. And yes, it's something I have handed down to my kids.

Now, eating avocadoes is another childhood food story I have. In my parents backyard a long, long time ago stood an avocado tree which bear fruit unselfishly. And the fruits are huge(twice as my fists put together)unlike the avocadoes we get here imported from Mexico. They were creamy as well. Just so you know, there are avocadoes which are stale-tasting. Because they were so creamy, my parents just added sugar to theirs and they were happy.

Guacamoles were never heard off in our "barangay" that's why I was so shocked when we once had a caucasian guest and she was so excited to make a concoction out of our huge avocadoes. She started asking for mayonnaise, etc and she went to the city to look for nacho chips. You could just imagine how big the question mark was in my eyes. Mayonnaise? Jalapeno? etc? Yuck! Well, imagine me rolling my eyes again. She tried to educate me a bit by saying it was called guacamole.

In my shock, I showed her how I ate my avocado. With condensed milk of course. Well, this time, it was her rolling her eyes and I thought I heard her say "double yuck!". Well, Becky still remembers me with my mashed avocadoes with condensed milk. That's how she remembers me.."the kid who ate mashed avocado with condensed milk".

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Lasang Pinoy: Lamang-Loob; Odd Cuts and Guts -Bopis

Hey I am not totally giving up on LP yet. I was lucky to get a snap shot of this pack just before my son tried to make it disappear. Dinuguan and Bopis are two recipes akin to every Filipino's menu whenever there is a party.

Bopis (right) is made out of intestines, lungs, kidneys and liver. Don't shudder if you are not familiar with this dish. Not everyone is expected to like this, even if you are a full-blooded Filipino. The pungent smell prevents me from cooking at home. The smell does stick to the carpet so I'd rather just swing by Manang's little nook and have an occasional taste of it. Manang's is not so dry, the way my father used to cook it. Father cooks it in oil until it is almost burnt. The process is long and let me relate it to you.

You see, we only have lechon once a year when I was young and that happens at Christmas time. It's a carefully planned one where mother buys a piglet about six months (maybe shorter; maybe longer I cannot recall) before then. Father and mother put a lot of work in raising the pig sometimes I wondered whether it was more economical to buy the lechon from the city market on Christmas day itself. The work was so enormous. Mother planting vegetables to feed the pig, father buying "feeds" from the store and us washing the pen or helping mother in cooking the "binugbog" were only a few.

When Christmas comes, father is not ready to give up all the odd cuts that do not become part of a lechon. Think about all the hard work we've put into that pig. After Christmas, we'd all be ready to smell the day-long process of cooking bopis. First he has to boil the innards for easy slicing, cut them into tiny pieces, boiling this time with the seasoning, and finally cooking in oil. It is all worth the wait at the end of the day. The aroma of a cooked bopis is heavenly. I do not know what makes this dish delectable. It's either we were "lechoned-out" or Papa simply cooked it in a different way.

I told you Manang's was not dry. In fact it had other ingredients that I have never seen in my Papa's. Manang put some kamias apparently to get rid of the smell. My father puts soy, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic and bay leaves in his. If you ask me whether I know how to cook this, I will honestly say I don't but I am willing to learn how to should the need arise. For now, I would just like to keep my neighbors happy!

About the dinuguan, hmmm, I am almost tempted to ask my kids to write their thoughts about it. One day..soon!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cinnamon Rolls-LP8

Way too late for LP 8 but as they say, "better late than never". My daughter baked this for breakfast(eerrr, this should have been fit for LP 7). Anyway, she lifted this from Company's Coming (Breakfasts and Brunches Edition). Ha, I'm slowly catching up.


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or hard margarine
3/4 cup milk


1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter or hard margarine, melted


3/4 cup Icing (confectioner's) sugar
4 tsp Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla

measure first 5 ingredients into bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly.

Add milk. Stir to form a soft ball. Knead 8 times on lightly floured surface. Roll or pat into 10 x 15 inch rectangle.

Filling: Mix pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.

Brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture, keeping in from edges about 1/2 inch (12mm). Roll up from long side. Pinch seam to seal. Cut into 20 slices, 3/4 inch thick. Arrange on greased baking sheet, placing aout 1 inch apart. Bake in 400%F oven for 12 to 14 minutes until lightly browned.

Glaze: Stir icing sugar, milk and vanilla together in bowl, adding more icing sugar or milk as needed to make a consistency that can be barely poured. Drizzle, in pinwheel fashion, over buns while still warm. Makes 20.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Hello Dolly Bars

It's as easy as 1-2-3!


1 cup of graham crumbs
1 cup of dessicated unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 can of condensed milk
3/4 cup of chocolate chips
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts
3/4 cup of chopped pecan nuts
3/4 cup of toffee bits
3/4 cup of raisins
(substitute nuts with any nuts of your choice)

Combine crumbs, butter and dessicated coconut and press on bottom of an 8 x 8 pan. Layer nuts and chocolate chips evenly over crumbs. Drizzle condensed milk ovenly over top.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until brown. Bake for 5 more minutes if you want chewy bars. Cool before serving.