Look what I received in the mail last week? These are dried salted fish straight from the wet market in my home town, Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines. Thanks to a friend who thought of sending them to me. It is very much appreciated. I was only wanting the “amahong” but she sent other kind of dried fish along.
I could smell the scent of the market when I opened the package. For my husband who don’t like these stuff, it smells stinky to him but not for the three girls in this house. I am so loving eating dried fish! Guess, I can make these last for months if I have to and would only eat little pieces every time I cook some to make it last long.
It is nice to know that somewhere along the journey we call life we met people we didn’t expect to come in our way. Some would leave, others may stay and make it to the future. I am blessed to have a few of those who I can treasure and truly call friends. I call them friends not because they give me stuff but the friendship, emotion and time we invested through our journey is so precious to me that I want to keep them in my treasure box. Those kind of friends I am talking about are people who laugh with me, cheer me up, share the same interest with me and most of all are good influence.
One of them lives in the same state with me but in a different city who recently visited her hometown. After a month of vacation she and her family flew back to Texas and sent me these sweet goodies all the way from Davao, Philippines. When I opened the box from her, it wowed me upon seeing these polvoron and macaroons from Goldilocks, my ever favorite Filipino corned beef as well as the durian and mangosteen bars. She knew I and the girls love them. Seeing them in a box is like opening a Christmas package from Santa, haha.
I thank her for doing me such a great favor for bringing me my birth control pills good for 9 months. That way, I don’t have to think about it, I am safe from getting pregnant for 9 months and most of all save me some bucks! Thank you so much, friendship!
I am fortunate we do have places to go when it comes to buying Filipino goodies as well as tropical fruits that cannot be bought in some other states. We are located 45 minutes away from a big Asian market called Hong Kong market that sells most products that I used to eat back in the Philippines.
We went to shop for my goodies there yesterday and I am glad the husband brought me there for I found tons of available products that I so long to eat. Samples of which are these tropical fruits namely; rambutan- those hairy red, yellow and brown color, ripe jackfruit and this very unusual to be seen fruit in this country called atis.
The atis reminds me of my poor childhood, whenever we didn’t have a class, I’d go to a grassy part of our area and picked some of them, once they are ripe they tend to get very sweet and delicious. I was jumping for joy yesterday when it greeted me upon entering their entrance door. Man, atis takes me back to my childhood life.
These fruits should last for days. Feasting my favorite fruits to my stomach’s content is one of life’s greatest joy any Filipina can have.
My mother is known in our place for her love of making the best native vegetable stew. She fed her children the best she can and would always find veggies to serve in our plate. Even at my age today, when I come home, she is still cooking me and the rest of my siblings the same old recipe she loves cooking. It is what we call, “utan bisaya”.
I guess most Cebuanos love the watery soup in their meals, and so do I. I can’t blame them for it never fills my stomach eating grits/rice without soup. Utan bisaya is easy to prepare and is good especially for growing kids for it does have all kinds of vegetables that you can buy in the market for cheap prices. Just add some lemongrass, onion bulbs, ginger or whatever that gives it an aromatic smell and a bit of subak then that’s all it.
Look at the photo below, don’t you drool? I can imagine its smell and the taste of sweet bamboo shoots, squash and horseradish in my taste buds make me hungry and eat a lot again.
So nice of my mother for preparing me these yummy food before I left the Philippines last May 20. She said it is for my advanced birthday celebration coming June 21. It serves as my farewell meal as well. Deep inside I am more thankful than ever to have a mother who cares and thought about me greatly.
I am most touched when she bought me the purple yam cake from Red Ribbon that I so wanted to buy but couldn’t… we went to Gaisano Mactan the last day of my stay in Cebu and she knew that I really liked that cake but due to some unexpected major expense I was low on cash, I had almost nothing left in my pocket to buy the cake and she bought it for me so I could have a taste of the cake before I leave the country. Thanks mother for looking up to me when I am in your place.
It is sad to know that we can no longer eat freshly caught fish like this photo below. In the Philippines, we can get to eat fresh fish everyday without going to the market simply because there are people that go in our neighborhood and sell fish. Prices of fresh fish ranging from 100-180 per kilo. I think that is a pretty good deal knowing what we get has got all the tastiest flesh in them. Filipinos call this kind of fish “isda sa bato” perfect for “paksiw” or “inun unan“. Inun-unan by the way is an easy method of cooking fish with garlic, vinegar, a bit of water, sword peppers, onions, salt and boil it until it is cooked.
Here in Texas, it is just so impossible to buy fish that is not frozen. Everything is like has long been dead with ice and I can greatly differentiate the taste between a fresh fish and frozen ones.
I feel lucky for having been here in Cebu for almost five weeks now. I have been eating fresh seafoods, fresh vegetables, barbecue, Filipino delicacies and those rare fruits that I haven’t eaten for years. I don’t mind my belly getting big everyday for I can easily lose the excess weight I gained during my vacation. All I care about is that I get to eat the foods I craved when I am in Texas.
One of the many foods I enjoy eating fresh are these shells freshly caught from the island of Sta. Rosa. For just 10 or 20 pesos a pack, you can enjoy the sweet goodness of soup it brings to your tongue.
You can only imagine how delicious the soup it makes that will really get you to eat plenty of rice/grits. Even my 5 -year old girl loves the soup and love taking out the flesh from its shell with the use of a pin or a needle. Anyone wants some “aninikad”?
I just had lunch at Jollibee, taking advantage of the time while I still have 5 days left in the Philippines. One of the many foods I would miss eating is this Jollibee spicy chicken joy. I love the gravy and the smell of the chicken itself. Jollibee is not available in Texas so I can only get to eat it when I am home.
I need to bring Jadyn to Jollibee one more time before flying back to Texas so she won’t blame me she missed eating Jollie spaghetti asap we land in DFW airport. Hopefully I can make my little girl happy.
I was dreaming when I said I am going to put all these in one balik-bayan box in order to save me some money when sending it to the Philippines. Sometimes what we thought isn’t always correct for I was unsuccessful putting them in a jumbo Forex box. Looks like I am gonna send two boxes next month eh, I don’t have a choice but to do it.
I am not done with stuffing my box yet, I would want to buy grocery stuff that they cannot find in the market there so at least they can taste of what American grocery stores have. And yes, I need to do it the soonest possible and seal the second box for I feel like the time is drawing near. I am just maybe too excited hehehehe, forgive me people!
I have been waiting patiently for months to make this delectable “kinilaw” and when I finally found tuna steaks at the Mexican market I was just in cloud 9. Kroger and Albertsons used to sell tuna steaks and for months they couldn’t order it, for some reason I don’t know. You know how it feels when you crave for something that you can’t get it out of your mind and when you can finally eat it, you are just SO LIPAY! That’s how I felt when I found tuna steaks last weekend and as soon as I got home from the market I immediately cut them into small cubes and made myself some kinilaw.
Kinilaw by the way is defined as a culinary term of the Visayan language in the Philippines, becomes kilawin or kilawen in other languages. It refers to fresh, uncooked fish briefly marinated in vinegar so that it is transformed from rawness to the very next stage while retaining translucence. It is thus fish ‘cooked in sourness’ (technically, in acetic acid) and then enhanced with such condiments as onions, ginger, and chilli.