LP XV: Yemas-Mais Muffcakes (Recycled, Reloaded)

Posted by on Nov 10, 2006 in Baked, Biscuits, Breads & Cakes, Dairy, Eggs, Hocus Pocus, Lasang Pinoy, Perfectly Sweet | 6 comments

Yemas-Mais muffins cupcakes maize corn custard

Leftovers? What’s so appetising about leftovers?

Everything! That is if you’re in the Filipino kitchen.

It’s the perfect time to have all those leftovers for Lasang Pinoy 15: Recycled, Reloaded, which Mike is hosting at Lafang. I am also perhaps one of the best persons to talk about leftovers since they make up some of my best childhood memories.

Many Filipinos, rich and poor alike, hold celebrations for a child’s first and seventh birthdays. I really have not dug up the significance of these years but I suspect they have something to do with the transition from one stage of a child’s life to another which also correspond with their growing consciousness (from “wala pang muwang” or a total innocent to “may isip na” – capable of thought). To a certain extent, both the first and seventh years are rites of passage for both the child, whether male or female, and the parents.

It is for this reason that birthdays on these years are big events, not necessarily extravagant but certainly something planned and awaited. Relatives, neighbours and friends drop in on the party, more often than not also bringing food which means the celebration might stretch for days.

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Lasang Pinoy for October

Posted by on Oct 20, 2006 in Lasang Pinoy, SHF | 0 comments

Lasang Pinoy 15: Recycled, ReloadedJust in case you’re wondering why Lasang Pinoy has the recycle button this month, it’s not about which table scraps go to the waste bin and which goes to the compost pit. No, this month’s theme was cooked up to let our creativity soar and make something delectable out of the leftovers almost every Filipino kitchen is bound to have – after almost every meal, everyday!

Oh, did you notice? That large fried (or grilled) fish was what gave your lunch of dinengdeng that complex flavour. Tonight’s corned beef hash will be tomorrow’s omelette breakfast. Even desserts are not exempted from that fate. Remember the haleang ube from last week? A good part of it went into the tub of ice cream sitting in the freezer.

Well, the possibilities are endless! Click over and read Mike’s announcement. If you’re not familiar with our way with leftovers, treat it as a nice, short briefing. Even Andrew seems to agree when he posted this on the IMBB portal:

“You really need to read the intro to the event, a great intro to a little Philippine culture. It is all about left-overs,”

There’s a lot of time. To make it easy on everyone, especially those of us in the Philippines who have suffered major power interruptions after last strong typhoon, among other things, the deadline is set for 10 November.

An important reminder, to use Mike’s words: “Lasang Pinoy was created to promote Filipino food! Therefore, as a challenge to everyone, I would love for those of you who have never tried Pinoy food before, to maybe try one of the recipes” posted on the different Filipino food blogs found on our sidebars. You may also access round-ups of previous Lasang Pinoy events on the link.

P.S. More as a reminder for myself. Sugar High Friday #24 (for this month) is hosted by Jeanne over at Cook Sister! with the theme Little bites of delight. The deadline’s on the 27th.

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LP XIV: My sweet disaster (La Espanyola)

Posted by on Oct 15, 2006 in Baked, Capampangan, Dairy, Lasang Pinoy, Perfectly Sweet | 10 comments

Ningnang mais brazo de mercedes eggs custard

Ningnang mais (grilled maize/corn) confection

Looking at the picture, I can’t help but cringe. My only (flimsy) excuse is that I’m making this by myself for the first time. It does taste like how it should but aesthetically, I’m sure to get a failing mark if this were a graded exercise. Perhaps by the time I use up two dozen eggs, it will look better. But as always, I’m getting breathless and much ahead of the story.

When Purplegirl volunteered to host Lasang Pinoy 14 with the theme La Espanyola (spelling is deliberate, just to show how Filipinised it is), I was excited and thought it would then force me to sit down and write my thoughts on Spanish-influenced food.

I have read and heard it asserted that 80% of Filipino food is Spanish in origin. Instinctively, I question the basis of that assumption. How did they come up with that estimate? Has there been a systematic study that gave them such a result? Well, I may have to track that down sometime in the future but I believe it is worth noting that even in my province, which has been highly Hispanised, 80% would be too high an estimate. Even old rich families do not eat Spanish influenced food everyday.

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Lasang Pinoy on print (again!)

Posted by on Sep 14, 2006 in Lasang Pinoy | 0 comments

Lasang Pinoy featured on What's On & Expat

How time flies! Has it already been a year? Were we not only dreaming about a food blogging event dedicated to Filipino food? Well, apparently we started a good thing.

Mike over at Lafang gave us Filipino food bloggers an anniversary gift by writing a feature about Lasang Pinoy for What’s On & Expat, a weekly publication for expats in the Philippines.

Stef’s and my blogs are displayed prominently on the page. If one reads the feature it sounds like we were interviewed at length. The behind-the-scenes story is, I forwarded previous unused interview material to Mike and he wrote it up. It included, with equal treatment, other LP pioneers and was supposed to have a screen capture of their blogs too. Due to space constraints however, the final edited version came out still excellent though a bit shorter.

To read the full text, visit Mike’s Celebrating Lasang Pinoy’s First Anniversary.

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LP X: Umba/Humba (Childhood Memories)

Posted by on May 31, 2006 in Lasang Pinoy, Pork | 16 comments

LP X: Umba/Humba Childhood Food Memories

Food Memories from Childhood as the theme for Lasang Pinoy 10 is most fitting for me. I always say that what I know about cooking has much of its foundations in my childhood. My appreciation for the intrinsic values of traditional cooking methods was born from that period and is in no small measure learnt from my grandmother. Today, 31 May 2006 is her 20th death anniversary. She may have been gone for two decades, almost two-thirds of my life but the seeds that she planted have grown and bloomed. After all, I am writing about it, am I not? :)

We had many rules about cooking and had as many about eating. Aside from table etiquette, there were rules about serving food, specific platters or bowls were used for corresponding viands. There were many unspoken rules such as what we ate for specific meals and how many times a week we were supposed to have meat.

Since my grandfather had a botica (pharmacy) until after the Second World War, we have a relatively health-conscious family. My grandmother was strict about having vegetables and fruits at every meal. Fish was preferable over meat. Chicken was next while pork and beef were served twice or thrice a week at most.

We never felt meat-deprived because it was accessible to us anytime – stored raw in the freezer, or cooked in clay pots. Of course if the aroma of the cooked meat was ‘calling’ us and it was irresistible, we could always ask for a bite but no more.

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LP VIII: Suam Mais (Cooking with Children)

Posted by on Mar 31, 2006 in Capampangan, Flora, Lasang Pinoy, Poultry, Soup | 25 comments

suam mais maize corn soup chowder chicken
A steaming pot of thick maize (corn) soup

When talking to our town’s renowned cooks, I ask about how long they have been cooking and who taught them to perform magic in the kitchen. Some took cooking seriously very early, some as young adults but to a person, each one had kitchen duties as children. Everyone remembers receiving methodical instructions from their mothers, fathers, grandparents or relatives who were also accomplished cooks. It seems as if they spent years of apprenticeship in the informal setting of home kitchens.

Iska’s theme for Lasang Pinoy 8: Kusinang Bulilit, Lutong Paslit! has made me realise that I would love to explore the topic of informal apprenticeships in the future. For the meantime, I’ll have to remember how I started cooking as a child since the only juvenile I have around is a gigantic kitten who perches on the kitchen bench as soon as I start with prep work.

Pampanga has a long tradition of trade, arts and crafts long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Pre-colonial society had a system of apprenticeships where the youth got to learn their craft from the masters. To a certain extent, I still feel vestiges of this practice when I see and remember how children are sent off to “help out” relatives during fiestas and other special occasions. In many traditional families, it does not matter if one is poor or with a house attended by servants. Each child, whether male or female, is expected to help out with household chores.

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