Dinner at Mom’s

This week was a little hectic at work, as the students had a short week and were certainly ready for the weekend on Wednesday.

I love my job — working in special education has offered an opportunistic forum for me to talk about philosophy, logic, and history, etc. Whatever seems to enlighten me during the day can be tied to a lesson. If there’s an idea that I’m super excited about (i.e. the idea of the savage, civilization, advertising psychology), I can expound these thoughts on the classroom and they become more real, more alive — sometimes not as smoothed over as I’d like them to be — but nonetheless, this remains such a great outlet for diverting curiosity. Bringing mind projections center stage everyday is totally healthy and seemingly artistic for me…when I’m in the “zone” lecturing is such an exertion of passion…full, free-wheeling, emotion that just barrels out without a sense of consciousness in preparing what to say next.

This aside, the days are challenging at times because I want the students to be just as excited about capitalism or teleology as me. But alas, they are not and I’m constrained to my monthly Philosophy coffee talks with others who are just as curious and see the value in reserving time for these forms of expression.

Today there was a fluke with the babysitter so Siena went to my parents’ house for the day. Of course, I asked my mother over the phone was if we could grab some Filipino food for that night. She obliged, and within the hour she came home with a neatly bundled plastic bag full of bone white boxes, ready to open.

This is what she brought home:

IMG_0006Embutido (Filipino meat loaf)

Siena had some of this…but by the time I had a chance to eat it, the embutido was completely gone! I had the steamy rice on my plate…walked over to the embutido and all that was left were some crumbs, a bed of lettuce and sweet & sour sauce! Oh well. 😉 I’m sorry I can’t offer any testimonials of this, but from what I’ve read it’s the quintessential Filipino comfort food. Ground pork, sometimes raisins, spices, are rolled into an aluminum log and baked into the oven. Its process is akin to the making of beginning, perhaps archaic, sausage. Sometimes they are stuffed with egg or tinned meat (like Vienna sausages or SPAM). Sounded so intriguing, I’ll have to try it next time.

IMG_0010Pancit

A staple…a noodle dish in a soy-calamansi marinade with a cornucopia of Filipino delights — shrimp, chicken, bell pepper, etc. Add a squeeze of lemon and the tinge of tartness really makes this dish shine. Unique to this version of pancit were some spicy calamari rings piled on top. We virtually picked the pancit clean of this topping before digging in. Sometimes, however, pancit is topped with egg slices.

IMG_0015Chop Suey

Lastly, my parents chose a chop suey dish. Chop suey hails from China (literally = “assorted pieces”), but the Filipino version is made with a sweeter soy sauce — Silver Swan. It’s a little sweeter and is reflective of native veggies in its most genuine form. The unique addition to this adaptation of chop suey was the quail egg. Most Filipinos have a natural penchant for quail eggs or fried quail eggs, which are smaller and come in the most charming speckled shells. Despite their lower yolk-white ratio, they were recently found to have the same amount of cholesterol as chicken eggs.

After a long day, sitting around the island in my mother’s kitchen, eating Filipino food was exactly where I wanted to be. This weekend I’m hoping to grab some Filipino desserts; as I’ve been craving ube in any form…along with some ensaymada (sweet, tasty bread). I have a one-track mind for the weekend.

Kristine

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