Tag Archives: Travel

Let It Rain

Not so long ago, I came to the realization that I’ve lived more of my life in the United States than I have in the Philippines. And for the most part, when I think of “home,” my thoughts immediately go to wherever it is I lay my head at night: next to my husband, not too far from our son, and within the general vicinity of our local congregation. It is no longer this tropical country that instantly, naturally comes to mind.

But when the rain falls, all bets are off. Continue reading Let It Rain

Of Hope and Expectation, and Finding Color Again

Finding color again. It was a phrase I heard Penny De Los Santos utter back in 2010, when she spoke about the darkness that filled her world after a personal loss, and how eventually, a trip to India brought color back into her world. It was a phrase that resonated loudly with me.

For the past 3 years, I’ve been struggling to to re-awaken my motivation for many things that used to bring me great joy: writing, creating recipes, music, and making pictures. I tried many times, failed many times, then eventually stopped trying. Life got too busy, providing me with a convenient (albeit valid) excuse to put everything else on hold while we worked on rebuilding our home. Even when I resolved to try again, everything I did felt forced. There was no flow. Nothing seemed right. I wasn’t looking for anything to come easy; I merely wanted what felt familiar and natural. Continue reading Of Hope and Expectation, and Finding Color Again

An Indian wedding

I have been going nowhere with posting on this blog lately, it’s almost as if I were a giant spider who suddenly realized she’s in the middle of a mine field.

That sooo did not make sense.

Maybe I should just keep quiet and post photos instead. Like these shots from an Indian wedding we attended on our trip to Trinidad almost two months ago. Yes, it’s been that long. So long, it’s almost as if I were a a giant roll of dough in the hands of an expert noodle maker in China who—never mind.

  Continue reading An Indian wedding

Final New Bombay post

This post wraps up my New Bombay recap. Mostly because I just can’t take any more reminders of this lunch when I’m practically halfway around the world away. The home delivery charges alone would exceed our mortgage.

So here are the final dishes from that memorable meal. These were the most unconventional ones (at least, to me). I would not have guessed my carnivorous cousins would be inclined to order these, but I’m glad they did.

This is called, quite simply and rather generically, okra with gravy. The okra was partly crispy, which gave it a wonderful texture and eliminated its characteristic slimy feel. The ‘gravy’ was yet another curry-based sauce, creamy and full-bodied. They were perfect together.

The last of the entrees was the Bombay egg masala. Hard-boiled egg quarters with sauce flavored with red chili powder, ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions, and tomatoes (I think). I couldn’t tell if the softness in the sauce was from some added milk/cream, or from a bit of the egg yolk mixing in with the sauce. Either way, it was simply wonderful.

Finally, dessert came. We didn’t have a chance to order more because the owner came by with a tray of complimentary sweets for the table. They were like milk candy with a nutty flavor. Great way to end a heavily-spiced meal. Plus, I had never seen the chocolate flavored kind before, so that was a nice treat.

My cousin sneaked in an order of gulab jamun too, which is basically a fried dough ball in a sugary rosewater syrup.

It was good, but I have to admit that the best gulab jamun I’ve tasted still belongs to my aunt. Yes, she of the homemade lassi fame. (No, I’m not biased. Why do you ask?)

Now, you may have noticed that most of the angles of these food shots are identical. I can explain that. Imagine a gang of serious eaters at a table, all starving (except that one loser *cough*me*cough* that we won’t mention). I didn’t have the heart to ask them to please hold off on digging in while I painstakingly tried to find good angles with which to document our gluttony feast. All I could do was sit still, hold my camera, while my cousin hurriedly put one dish after the other in front of me for its glamour shot. Then, after just one photo – just ONE – away it was whisked, on its way to an unceremonious demise.

It was a massacre, I’m telling you. It was difficult to watch. Almost as difficult as trying to keep track of where the dishes were.

I loved every minute of it.

Food dreams from my trip

Been dreaming of this the past few days.

Garlic and cheese naan from New Bombay in Galleria, Makati. Light, flaky, and the combination of sweetness in the dough plus the salty creaminess of the cheese and the bite of the garlic? Simply mouth-watering. Literally. Don’t you see the drool stain on your monitor?

Hmm. Would it be too much to ask them to please deliver to New Jersey?

Dinner party, part 1

My cousin has the coolest friends. They’re funny, they’re divers, and they’re foodies. Need I say more?

One of them is an amazing chef, among other things. Some time ago, this chef named Boy hosted a dinner party at his house. And I got invited.

(Yes, I realize I said the chef was named Boy. That’s not my lame attempt at anonymity. That’s actually his nickname. Now, if you’re not from the Philippines, that may seem strange. But trust me. You’ll get over it soon enough.)

The first thing that struck me when we reached there was how beautifully designed his house was.

See that tall candle sitting under the frame? He made that.

See those horns? He didn’t make those. But I’m pretty sure he could if he wanted to.

I wish I took more photos of his place, because it was really beautifully done. Except, I didn’t want to embarrass my cousin by bringing my camera inside, say, the powder room. After all, the smells coming from the kitchen told me that I’d be hoping for a repeat invite.

So for now, these photos of the lovely decorative touches around his house will have to suffice.

Next up, the absolutely fabulous dinner. Brace yourselves for the gastronomic onslaught.

(I have no idea what that meant. Just ignore me. I’ve been looking at the food photos and the hunger pangs are making me light-headed.)