Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A Day In The Life

All the people I have encountered so far paint a dreary picture of their own individual economic conditions. The helpers we have engaged during our stay are mostly out of work and quite insistent that we hire then on a regular basis so they can feed their families. The carpenters are the same. The ones hired are out of work and are very glad to find work, whatever work is available. The business entrepreneurs chime in with the same woes. Business is bad, sales are down, and prices for producers are very volatile and most of the times, not good enough to be sustainably profitable.

Except for one.

He used to have a thriving appliance business but according to him, he is just bidding his time before he gets out of the business But he has one good "cash crop" that guarantees good sales and no bad debts. He has deployed in most towns of the eastern portion of the province, what are called videoke machines, at five pesos a pop. Drop a fiver and one can sing along for a few minutes, away from the dreary problems of daily living. He said he has hundreds of them scattered in the province.

And in the world of karaoke machines, the latest is now a DVD player with over 14,000 songs crammed in one DVD disc, showing many pretty petite Chinese ladies in their bikinis, cavorting around different beaches most probably located in mainland China.

One can take this home and spend one's remaining days going through the thousands of songs, available at the push of some buttons.

So, in a nutshell, our compatriots continue to find ways to parry the daily onslaught of hardships and sing the night away, accompanied by a couple of cheap light beer. At 20 pesos a pop.

Aside from this, everything else is heavenly, especially when one is perched atop Dahilayan Barrio in Manolo Fortich, watching the lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, red pepper, etc. grow and eating them dipped in vinegar.

And as I end this, I sit amidst a bunch of shrieking kids playing video games in an internet cafe boasting of over 40 PCs crammed in a little space, as much space as one can muster when one locates very close to a big crowded school like Liceo.

So, rest well because all's well.

Recipes from Central Mindanao - Region XII

Rounding out our parade of recipes so far focused on Mindanao, we take pride in detailing some noted recipes from our inland brothers from Central Mindanao - Region XII, completing our tour of the entire big island.

After this, we shall be visiting the Visayas regions with their equally tantalizing array of recipes born and mastered as only their people could create and concoct.

But for this series, some may find some familiar names such as molo soup, ginat-an manok, or sotanghon, but rest assured these recipes are prepared as only those from this region are noted to do.

1 sandwich loaf, unsliced
1-1/2 cups chopped cooked ham
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup pickle relish
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
6 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely chopped salted peanuts
- Pickles, cucumber and tomato slices for garnishing

Remove crust from loaf
Slice horizontally into four pieces.
Blend ham separately with crushed pineapple, with pickles, with chopped tomatoes.
Spread pineapple-ham on top layer, tomato-ham on center, pickles-ham on bottom.
Wrap in wax paper and chill overnight.
To make coating, beat margarine and mayonnaise until smooth.
Spread over loaf.
Sprinkle with peanuts.
Garnish with pickles, cucumber and tomato slices.

PIARUN (Piyar-ren)
15 tanglad leaves
1 medium dalag, cut into serving pieces
1/2 cup grated coconut
2 teaspoons crushed tumeric
1 tablespoon onion, sliced
1 cup thin cocomilk
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Pound together:
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons minced sacorab (shallot bulb)
4 pieces crushed siling labuyo
1 cup cocomilk, thick

Line pan with tanglad leaves and arrange fish.
Put in the rest of the ingredients except the thick coconut milk.
Cook over brisk fire for 5 minutes and continue cooking over low heat for 30 minutes.
Add thick coconut milk and boil 2 minutes.
Serve hot. Serves 6.

1/4 kilo ground pork
1/2 cup flaked chicken meat
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped white onion
- salt, toyo and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped, shelled shrimp
3"x3" square molo wrappers

2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onions
15 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Mix all filling ingredients together.
Set aside half for the broth and wrap the rest by teaspoonfuls with molo wrappers.
Sauté garlic and onions.
Add remaining half of stuffing mixture and cook for 3 minutes.
Add chicken broth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer 3 minutes before dropping in molo.
When done, add chopped green onion.

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 hear garlic, crushed
1 piece duyaw or yellow ginger, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 spring chicken, cut into serving portions
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups thin cocomilk
2 fresh siling labuyo, crushed
1 cup thick cocomilk

Sauté garlic, ginger, onion and chicken.
Add salt.
Cook for a while then add thin cocomilk and siling labuyo.
Cook until meat in tender and the sauce thickens.
Add thick cocomilk and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve hot.

1/2 kilo ground pork
1/2 kilo ground shrimp
2 onions, chopped fine
5 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 chicken
1/2 cup ham
1/2 kilo sotanghon
2 heads garlic, crushed
1 onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cooking oil
- Patis
- Seasoning
- Chicken broth
- Green onions

Mix the pork, shrimps, onion, eggs, flour, salt and pepper until well blended.
Heat cooking oil in a pan and add this mixture.
Steam for 1 hour.
When done, cool and cut into cubes.
Boil the chicken and ham. When tender, flake into small pieces.
Soak the sotanghon first for 1 hour in water.
Dip in boiling water, and then drain.
Cut into desired lengths.
Sauté the garlic. When brown, remove and set aside.
Add the onion, flaked chicken and ham.
Season with patis and seasoning.
Add some chicken broth and then the sotanghon.
Garnish with fried garlic and green onions.

2 cups lobster meat (2 cans, 6 ounces each)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup enriched flour
1/3 cup butter/margarine
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons paprika
3-1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup sherry wine
1/4 kilo elbow macaroni
1/ 2 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup melted butter

Cut lobster meat in small pieces and sauté in 1/4 cup butter.
For sauce, melt 1/3 cup butter or margarine in large saucepan.
Blend in flour, salt, pepper and paprika.
Add milk gradually, stirring constantly; cook until thickened.
Add lobster meat and sherry wine.
Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until tender. Drain.
Add macaroni to lobster mixture.
Turn into lightly greased 2-quart casserole.
Sprinkle top with cheese.
Pour 1/4 cup melted butter over top of casserole.
Bake in moderate oven (350degF) until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted and delicately browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
Serves 6.

Recipes from Southern Mindanao - Region XI

Our southern neighbors, which include the huge provinces of Davao and Cotabato, reflect their cultural diversities in their exotic recipes, for which these places are noted.

5 cups boiling water
1 cup dried munggo
1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
1 cup flaked smoked fish
3 cups sliced eggplant
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups kangkong leaves

Add munggo to the boiling water and let simmer for half an hour or until tender.
Add tomatoes, flaked smoked fish (tinaponon) and eggplant.
Bring to a boil.
Season with salt.
Add kangkong leaves and cook 3 minutes longer.

6 medium slices dalag fillet
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons kalamansi juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Dash of pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
1 cup oil for frying
2 tablespoons sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced tomatoes

Marinate fillet in soy sauce, kalamansi juice, garlic, pepper and salt.
Drain and set aside marinade for the preparation of sauce.
Roll fillet in crumbs.
Fry in deep fat over moderate heat until fish is well done.
Sauté garlic drained from marinade in two tablespoons of oil.
Add onion, tomatoes and marinade.
Cook 2 minutes longer.
Serve on rolletes, Six servings.

PAKLAY (Davao)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 cup each of cooked and sliced pork (liempo), kidney, spleen, heart and liver
1/4 cup native vinegar
2 cups broth
1 cup cubed, unripe pineapple
3/4 cup sliced gre
en and red pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons salt

Sauté garlic, ginger, onion, pork and variety meats.
Add vinegar and broth.
Bring to a boil.
Add pineapple and pepper.
Season with salt.
Cook 5 minutes longer.
Serve hot. Six servings.

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons sliced onion
1 cup shredded young corn
7 cups water
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups litub (sea-shell)
3 cups malunggay leaves

Sauté garlic, onion, and corn.
Add water and cook until corn is almost tender.
Season with salt.
Bring to a boil and add litub.
Cook 10 minutes.
Add malunggay leaves and cook 5 minutes longer.
Serve hot. Six servings.