Most memorable meal

Over the holidays, I experienced my most memorable meal. It was my first time seeing my family in over a year. If anyone knew what Christmas is like in the Philippines, it is about family bonding; and the one thing that brings all families together is a dinner table.

This year my family decided to get away from the overwhelming craze of the festivities in Manila. The six of us, including my two nieces flew to Coron, Palawan. This tropical paradise consist of white sand beaches, clear blue waters and a breath taking view that cannot be captured by a post card or a mere photograph.

For Christmas Eve, a memorable family dinner was appropriate for such a vacation. The resort arranged a beachfront dinner for my family. The dinner table was surrounded by torches, which added the perfect touch to the already amazing ambiance. The smell of freshly grilled seafoodmixed with the fresh aroma of the ocean felt so natural. This quickly had me drooling up tothe point of my first bite.

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The grilled squid was stuffed with peppers, onions and tomatoes while drowsed in soy sauce and vinegar topped with “sili” or chili.

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The prawns were marinated in lemon garlic butter with shaved cheese on top that melted as they were being grilled.

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The tilapia was grilled perfectly that that the inside was soft and juicy while the outside was crispy. It was stuffed with salsa that went well with a sort of vinegar sauce.

We ate everything with rice on a banana leaf “kamayan” style, which means eating with your hands. Perfectly ripe mangos, watermelon and pineapples were also served.

After the dinner, we were all full to our stomachs. The night was young and yet we were all under the spell of food coma and went to sleep only to be awakening the next morning by the smell of breakfast.

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Midnight sack!

left overs are just life savers. We have all experienced going on a trip to the kitchen to satisfy our hunger in the middle of night. However, there are times when we are greeted with nothing but expired milk in the fridge. It’s times like these when you wish your favorite restaurant is open 24/7. Luckily, when we have left overs, we quickly heat it without even thinking twice. There are times when we don’t even heat it just because we know it’ll still taste delicious.

So I went to the kitchen and noticed that I still had 4 slices of pizza from Mountain Mikes. The pizza was 2 days old but I needed to eat something. I heated it, took my bottle of ranch, grabbed some parmesan cheese and chili then sat in front of the tv. The pepperoni still looked fresh after I heated it in the toster oven. Every bite was still crunchy. I smothered the pizza with parmesan cheese and sprinkled some chili on it then I dipped it in ranch and took a bite. After finishing all 4 slices of pizza, I was ready to brush my teeth and let the food coma kick in.

Midnight snacks are awesome.

Santa Ramen

This is by far the best ramen place that I know off. It’s located in San Mateo. The place isn’t big but judging from the taste of the food and the length of the line waiting to be seated, they should really expand.

I decided to go and have dinner in Santa Ramen today. I got my usual order, which is pork miso with everything on it (bean sprouts, seaweed, corn and bamboo shoots) I also ordered extra stewed pork. As soon as I got it I could already smell the spicy broth. This quickly made my stomach grumble. The first bite is usually the best one because the whole bowl is still steaming hot. Using my chopsticks and spoon, I pulled a good amount of noodles and placed it on top of the spoon filled with the soup. As I swallowed my first spoon full, It immediately put a smile on my face. I tried to take my time but I knew that it was only a matter of minutes till I started devouring this. You know the food is good if no conversation is exchanged in the table while eating. Both my sister and I were silenced by the taste of the ramen. I honestly knew this was gonna happen. This restaurant never once failed me.

Panda Express!!

Beijing beef and honey walnut shrimp. I could eat this everyday. The spiciness of beijing beef just works perfect with the sweetness of the honey walnut shrimp. Every bite makes me even want it more. For such a cheap meal this is definitely one of my all time favorites. Together with the beijing beef and honey walnut, I would usually get fried rice or chow mein. Either way, I know both will taste great.

Kitkat madness

One of my favorite kind of chocolate is Kitkat. Earlier today I was able to get my hands on a party pag filled with kitkat goodness. It quickly brought me back to memory lane because I remember eating tons of it as a child. The way I eat it is I bite off the sides just enough to leave the middle untouched. I would then eat the top layer till only the wafer is left. Lastly, I would eat the whole thing and enjoy it while opening another bar of kitkat. I repeat this process every time I have a kitkat in hand.

Tri-tip Sunday

Sunday is usually the day we all spend at home with our families and enjoy eating. However, being away from my family I find it difficult to spend Sundays with them. So just because I’m away from my family doesn’t mean I can’t do the eating part of the day. I usually always try to find the best possible food that would satisfy my hunger and my love for food. 

As a Saint Mary’s student living in Moraga, we have all heard of the famous sandwiches of Bianca’s deli. Their homemade sourdoughs and fresh meat just killed my love for subway. That’s a good thing. For the same price you get more than what you get from the fast food chain. The deli’s menu is a bit overwhelming at times when their special section is just filled with delicious sandwiches. However, 8 out of 10 times I usually get my favorite, the tri tip sandwich.

The meat is just so tender that it melts in your mouth. The taste of it works well with the house baked sourdough and with all the toppings. I would always add jack cheese because it adds a sort of creamy taste to the sandwich. There are times when the juice from the meat slides down your arm. This is when you know that the meat is freshly cooked. Each bite tastes like what it did when I first tried the sandwich. I can safely say that I eat at least one tri-tip sandwich from Bianca’s deli every week.

I consider the sandwich as a big part of my college life. I am graduating in a month and a half and moving back to the other side of the bay. I wouldn’t be surprised if I drive the whole 40 minutes just to get another bite of this sandwich. I can already see that it will be a nostalgic memory that will remind me of my days in SMC.

 

 

 

The Shabu Way

Today I decided to visit the one place I tried to avoid for over six months now. Not because I hated it but because it’s just too addicting. Shabuway, a restaurant that serves shabu-shabu a dish popular among the japanese that is slowly creating a name around the world. It’s a little on the pricy side but it’s all worth it.

I ordered what I usually get, which is a large plate of Kobe Beef. What makes this dish different from any other is that you cook everything yourself. A steaming hot broth is placed in front of you where you cook the beef and the vegetables that come with it. The trick is to dip the beef in the broth and leave it for about five seconds. After that, the once pinkish uncooked piece of meat turns to a very tender perfectly cooked beef. The meal also comes with a dip called sesame sauce. The taste is almost like a creamy peanut butter goodness. It’s perfect with the meat. After dipping the meat you transfer it to your bowl of rice and start devouring it. Each bite just reminds me of every time I used to go there. it never seizes to fail me. 

I definitely have to control myself because I don’t want to end up eating there everyday. If only I had all the money in the world and if it was impossible for me to gain weight I’d definitely be their number one customer.

 

Wingstop at home

When thinking of a Saturday night the first thing that comes to mind is to leave the house. We can either hang out with our friends or spend time with our families. However, Last night I found myself doing one thing I consider a torture. Staying home on a Saturday night is a very rare occasion for me. However, sometimes I find myself having no choice but to lock myself in my apartment.

When being home alone, it is only a matter of time when you start getting bored. I was honestly about to go crazy. I watched nine straight episodes of Spartacus and I was getting quite sick of it. I decided to get some food to go. I called WingStop and ordered my favorite lemon pepper and garlic parmesan with extra orders of ranch dip. Despite being 15-20 minutes away, I was determined to get my chicken wings.

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After a long thirty-minute wait for the food I finally arrived home excited to start eating. I first grabbed the lemon pepper chicken and ate it to the bone in three bites. The taste was sour tangy and delicious. It reminded me of when I used to order a bunch with my cousins on game days. Next, I grabbed the garlic parmesan, dipped it in ranch and again devoured it even quicker. Once it touched my tongue I could already taste the garlic, which was followed by the parmesan. Eating this one particular flavor always puts a smile on my face. After ten minutes I looked the box and realized that I had already eaten all fifteen wings. I was full but my stubborn stomach was asking for more. Luckily I started feeling a bit sleepy, which I’m positive, is caused by food coma.
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Before coming up with the brilliant idea of ordering wingstop, I had thought that I would be stuck at home the whole night, starving while watching tv shows. I can honestly say that wingstop saved my Saturday night from being one of the worst ever.

Food Politics

Coca-Cola. We all have drank it at least one in our lives but most of us have never really wondered how it came to be one of the leading brands of soda in the world. Well, I for one tried to ignore everyone who told me that everything about coke is wrong. Sadly, I had no escape when Bart came to our class and explained everything there is to know about Coca-Cola.

He starts off by telling us the history of the company and how it started from 1886. I was surprised to know that founder actually included cocaine in it. This tells me that there was no room for error. The outcome was bound to be a success no matter what. However, cocaine was finally taken out in the early 1900’s, which forces the company to change their recipe. Bart says that nowadays, Coca-Cola is the largest consumer of Cocoa-leaves, sugar and caffeine. Instead of having their own sugar plantation, they started outsourcing from different plantations. This not only saves them money but also makes them a lot more flexible to changes they need in the future. Also, the coal that Coca-Cola uses is apparently extracted from coal. Yes, the same material that is used to run trains in the olden times. The brand of Coca-Cola is very deceiving because it’s hard to believe that they became this popular by methods that are usually avoided by true businessmen. For example, care for the environment and the people are somewhat ignored.

I’m glad that I was able to hear Bart speak about Coca-Cola. I never would have thought that Coke, which is my all time favorite drink, actually has a history that is just mind-blowing. The last thing I want on my drink is cocaine. Every time I see a bottle of coke, I remember everything Bart told us. I guess it’s a good thing.

Interview with Yaya Sally

My parents are both on a trip to Europe at the moment. I won’t be able to contact them till next week. Instead of interviewing them I decided to call home in the Philippines and asked my “yaya” a.k.a nanny, who has been with our family for over 20 years now. She used to take care of me during the times when my parents would be working at the office. She means a lot to me.

1) Q. What did I hate eating when I was younger? How did you deal with that?

A. You hated eating everything that was put in front of you. Every time you ate something you would just puke it all out afterwards. I had to make deals with you for every meal. If you didn’t eat you wouldn’t be able to leave the table to play.

2) Q. What are your favorite food memories of me growing up?

A. I remember one time when we stayed in the dining table for 5 hours because you didn’t want to eat. Once you heard your mom arriving from the office you quickly ate everything on the plate. I was very mad.

3) Q. Is there a special food that reminds you of me?

A. Yes, the one food that reminds me of you is Bacon. You loved Bacon but your mom didn’t think it was good for you.

4) Q. Did you ever think of leaving our family because of how hard it was to feed me?

A. No, but I thought about it. If you could only experience what you put me through. I didn’t want to leave you because I knew no one would be able to handle you well. As you grew old you started getting better. Everything was worth it because you grew up to be a great person.

5) Q. Do you enjoy cooking, or do you do it because you have to?

A. Yes, I do enjoy cooking. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have been able to cook for your family for 23 years now.

6) Q. How would you rate yourself as a cook?

A. I think I’m ok. When you were younger I had to add a little bit more flavor just so you would eat it. It was challenging but I learned a lot.

7) Q. Did you have any kitchen disasters?

A. Yes, I have a burn on my arm that happened 12 years ago. I was cooking dinner for your family and I accidentally spilled some oil on my arm. It was the worst pain I had ever felt. I will never forget that because your mom took care of me and paid for the hospital bills. I am forever grateful for that.

8) Q. What do you hope I’ll cook when I have my own family?

A. I hope you end up being like your parents. They took good care of you when you were younger. They would ask me not to cook certain types of food such as Bacon, spam and pansit canton. You should definitely cook healthy food for your children in the future. Good luck and I hope they are not going to be as hard as you were.

I asked my yaya all of these questions through the phone. It was a fun experience because I never thought she felt this way about me. I didn’t even know that I gave her a hard time. I apologized and said thank you. I had to translate some of the things she said because she spoke to me in both English and Tagalog.