Pork Menudo

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Ingredients:

3 slices of lemon

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 kilo of pork, diced

1/4 kilo of pork liver, diced

2 large carrots, diced

2 large potatoes, diced

3 pcs garlic, crushed

1 medium sized onion, cut

4 pcs bay leaves (laurel)

1 table spoon black pepper

2 table spoons gourmet fish sauce (Barrio Fiesta)

2 cups Del Monte tomato sauce

2 table spoons cooking oil

1/2 cup water

Optional:

celery, chopped

2 pcs bell pepper, sliced into thin strips.

1/2 cup green peas

  1. Marinate the pork with the lemon extract and soy sauce for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Put some lemon extract on the liver, as well, to remove the “bloody” odor.
  3. Saute the pork for 5 minutes with onion, garlic, black pepper and bay leaves. I include the black pepper and bay leaves to release their unique taste.
  4. Pour the tomato sauce and 1/2 cup water and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Put the fish sauce and liver and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Put the vegetables and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.

In cooking, timing is everything. You don’t want to undercook your pork or overcook your vegetables. Menudo is a popular dish in the Philippines and it’s commonly served during birthdays or fiestas. Happy eating!

 

From Fried Fish to Fish Soup

At home, we normally have left-over food that I put in the refrigerator for breakfast. Last Sunday, we had left-over fried milkfish and fried round scad (galunggong). When I was about to re-heat them on Monday, they looked dry and hard so I thought of recycling them into another dish, instead of throwing them away.

Ingredients:

2 pcs. medium-sized sliced tomatoes

3 pcs. crushed garlic

1 pc. medium-sized sliced onions

1 tablespoon of gourmet fish sauce (I use Barrio Fiesta patis)

2 tablespoons of cooking oil

2 bundles of jute (saluyot)

4 cups of water

Instruction:

  1. Saute garlic, tomatoe and onion. Do not burn the garlic.
  2. Put the fried fish and saute for a minute.
  3. Pour the 4 cups of water and let it boil.
  4. Put some fish sauce.
  5. Put the jute leaves.
  6. Let it simmer for another minute.

Note: You can add other vegetables like squash and eggplant. Others use fish paste (bagoong) instead of fish sauce (patis). Be creative and customize according to your taste!

🙂

Moms

If a mother prefers to continue working after giving birth, is she less of a mother than those who quit their job to become stay-at-home-mothers?  The answer would depend upon the situation like in my case, we need a double income household for us to live a comfortable life. But just because I’m a working mom is not an excuse not to be a hands on mom. I prepare my children’s breakfast, I bathe them, I dress them up for school, I help them with their homework, I help them with their school project, I bring them to Sunday worship when my husband could not make it. I don’t sleep at night until they fall asleep. I wake up when one of them needs a trip to the restroom; disrupting my precious sleep.

If a mother is forced by nature to bottlefeed, is she less of a mother than those who breastfeed? The answer would depend upon the situation like in my case, I’ve tried malunggay soup, malunggay capsules, breast massage. I gave up pizza because the quality of my milk would taste like onion. I bought a manual pump to stimulate my milk production but to no avail. My baby was crying. I was desperate to feed him. I tried mixed feeding but my breasts were not producing enough milk. I held the baby close to me during bottlefeeding. I wanted him to feel loved.

Motherhood is a unique experience. What is a common experience among mothers is just the tip of the iceberg because the deeper the experience goes, the more we discover the uniqueness of it. When a mother brags about how good she is because of her choices, I feel that there are closures that she needs to address like an approval for the decision that she made. A really good mother knows and understands how other mothers feel. A really good mother does not need to put other mothers down so that she could stand taller than them.

Adi is Most Cheerful!

Adi while looking at the fishes.

Adi while looking at the fishes.

Last week, just like any other day after office, I opened my four-year old’s schoolbag to check for his teacher’s reminder. I was not expecting any academic awards from Adi because he was not focused on school. I guess, the more correct way of saying this is—I have accepted the fact that my son will not get any academic award for his first school year.

But really? Was that the case yesterday when I refrained from going to the stage with him just because the only award that he got was “MOST CHEERFUL?” Yeah, I knew about the special award two days prior to yesterday’s graduation. I expected something like “Best in English” or even “Best in Arts” but the least that he got was “MOST CHEERFUL!” What does it got to do with school?
I don’t know if my husband felt the same way. Anyway, he was the one who went with Adi on stage to receive the award. My officemate was pushing me to go to stage to join my “mag-ama” and she even grabbed my digicam to capture that supposed special moment but I was firm in my decision not to oblige. And you know, I realized that I made a very BIG mistake yesterday.

After receiving the award, Adi went straight to my location, showed me his medal and planted a sweet kiss on my lips. I realized that Adi treated the award as a precious gift he could give to his parents. I felt guilty for not going to the stage with them. I felt guilty for asking too much of his young mind. I felt like I would explode and make a scene yesterday!

How could I belittle such an award? “Most Cheerful”—the school said. How could I measure Adi’s progress and achievements on the academic level when having a high emotional quotient (EQ) is just as important as having a high IQ? Adi is a happy child—no more and no less. I don’t mean to say that his classmates are unhappy but my son’s cheerful disposition is just hard to ignore. My son is a happy person, period! And the school acknowledged it.

I kissed him before bedtime and whispered, “Thank you for the award, you made me proud and happy.” He smiled and said, “I love you, Mama.”

Bye-bye Rebond!

Hindi lahat ng kulot ay salot.=p

Hindi lahat ng kulot ay salot.=p

“Would you like to try our hair rebonding?”

That seems to be the SOP of every hairdresser here in the Philippines. Hair rebonding is a lucrative business in a country where the standard of beauty is having fair skin and straight hair. My hair is wavy though it does not fall under the rough and kinky type. My hair is effortlessly wavy and resembles a beach hair. It has a lot of volume so a good conditioner like Tresemme is what I need to keep it tidy-looking.

I started with hair relaxing in 2003 but I hated its effect on my hair. My hair’s texture became rough and dry and I needed to spend too much on hair treatment. My first rebonding was great but it limited me to certain hairstyles that would not break the strand or else, I would have “crooked” hair.

I stopped rebonding my hair when my youngest child was born. Robi has curly hair and though people find him cute with it, the question on where he got his curly locks sometimes gets into my nerves.

“He got his hair from my father’s side of the family and oh, my mother was curly-haired, too!” I would often reply. At that time, the effect of the rebonding treatment was still evident on my straight hair.

I realize that my son does not have to pick up that having curly hair is NOT normal in a society that appreciates fair skin and straight hair. He does not have to feel different because his siblings and parents have straight hair. I don’t want him to feel how I felt when as a child, I felt out-of-placed whenever people would say that I looked different from my brother and parents. Children like affiliation and acceptance. If the basis of Robi’s sense of belonging would come from his mother who share the same physical trait with him, then bye-bye hair rebonding!

To those who prefer their hair to be rebonded- it’s your money and your choice. Get a good hair treatment afterwards.

To those who prefer to maintain their curly/wavy locks- try Tresemme! Promise, it’s a very good conditioner for our type of hair.