Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving Day frenzy’

My family’s holiday food fare

Hi there !

Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

It’s Christmas time, my most favorite time of the year.  ( If you’re not a Christian, it’s alright, you can roll your eyes.  ❤   )

But, before I talk about  Christmas, let me show you what we had for Thanksgiving Day. Yeah, it’s foodie time.

Actually, there wasn’t much food, compared to last year’s. It seems we’re getting less and less food  every year, but it’s okay, we do throw away so much , especially the turkey. That’s why we don’t do turkey anymore.

By the way, I cooked most of the food. Not bragging, though. Just sayin’.

Oh, wait, before I forget…. can someone please translate this? It’s Japanese. I want the exact translation, please.  You’ll help me win an argument.  🙂  Thank you.

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He he. I know it’s juvenile.

Anyway,  the food.

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Roast pork ( lechon),, with liver  gravy, ham,  kare-kare (  beef stew in peanut sauce,) there’s noodles ( pancit ala Malabon ) , fruit salad, potato salad, lumpia ( pork eggroll with sweet – sour sauce), and various cakes.

DSCN2391Kare-kare

DSCN2392Pancit a la malabon. Malabon is a place in the Philippines. I think this is Malabon’s  specialty.  I cooked that.  Do you know what’s in there ? Shrimps, flaked smoked fish, pounded chicharrones ( pork cracklings ) Napa cabbage, and the juice of pounded shrimp heads.

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This is Renxkyoko’s specialty……. Lumpia ( ground pork eggroll. ) I stayed up the whole night ( and morning ) rolling the darn things. I made a lot, for us, and for our Forensic class’s  assistant teacher.

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Huge pastry with Bavarian Cream filling, Double chocolate cake, cheesecake, and brownies.  We baked the pastry. We bought the rest at Costco.

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we call the above dish Ginatan. It’s made of sweet potato, cooking banana ( saba ), taro root, rice balls, and coconut milk.  And sugar, of course.

So, that’s it, our Thanksgiving Day meal.

We already have a menu planned for our Christmas meal. I am definitely going to cook my other specialty….. Paella.

And I’m looking forward to a family Christmas tradition……….. the whole family going to Chrismas Eve Midnight Mass. Here in the US, it’s at 10 PM…… in the Philippines, it’s at 12 midnight.  We used to have our Christmas meal right after the Mass,  but we had discarded that. My mother said it was stressful.   But we do open the gifts as soon as we arrive from the church.  In the Philippines, the midnight meal is called Noche Buena. So, what ‘s a typical Filipino  Noche Buena ?  Bread , ( pan de sal, bite-sized French bread ) with Queso de Bola ( Edam Cheese ). Jamon ( ham , glazed with pineapple and sugar, ), castanas, ( chestnuts) noodles, ( at home, it’s baked macaroni ), leche flan, ube jam, ( purple  yam ) and yes, fruit cake !  These are the icons of Filipino Noche Buena. I’m going to bake fruit cake, that’s for sure. And it isn’;t like the fruit cakes that are sold here in the US.  They ‘re nasty. No wonder Americans make fun of them.  My recipe is delicious. Lots of rhum in it !

I actually want to have  a food blog . But, I don’t think it will happen. I don’t even have time to post here. Don’t be surprised why I’m interested in food. My mother had a successful catering business in the Philippines, and if we didn’t come here to the US, she would be holding a Dunkin’ Donut francise.

Oh. 550 words, already. Time to to say bye for now. Thank you for reading and PEACE !

Happy Holidays !

 

 

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Foodie post and some random thoughts

Hello !

I’ve been neglecting my blog. (~.~) #   Well, not really….. I’ve been busy  studying for my final exams.  Also, this Fall semester is almost over.  Oh , in fact, I don’t have classes anymore.  I go to school for the tests.  I’m sure I’ll get an A in Physics, at least a B in Biology . My Chemisrty is the one I’m having problems with. But I won’t fail. If worse comes to worst, I get a C. That is ,  if   I failed the Finals, but I won’t.   A pretty dim prospect , I know, but that’s better than  F.

I’m so happy I got 1 more Versatile Blogger nomination , my 7th,  from Koopa. Thanks a bunch, Koopa !  I’d like to follow the rules once again. You see,  I left out so many info and people on my previous post, so , now I’ll take advantage of this nomination to acknowledge a few more awesome bloggers. But I’ll do this next time….. I just don’t have the time to reread and check out their posts.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Today, Thursday, Dec. 15 , is the start of my long vacation. It’s a combined  Christmas and semestral break. I go back to school last week of January.Also, I had already enrolled for Spring semester…. 2 Chemistry courses and 1 Biology. I was supposed to enroll in another Biology but it was ” closed” .  That’s the one and only class for this course, and seriously, this whacked schedule is  jeopardizing my future. Why , oh, why can’t the university open more classes. I mean, seriously, just one class for , I don’t know , maybe a hundred Biology majors?  Several days ago, over dinner, my family had a serious discussion about future job prospects .  My sister , who’s a microbiologist, and my brother, who’s a mechanical engineer,  already have   well-paying jobs… so that leaves me alone  with a quite uncertain future.  The discussion was all about me, and how I would cope in these uncertain times when rate of unemployment  is 9.2 %  for new graduates. We also discussed the rate of unemployment for graduates of other majors, such as Psychology, which happens to have one of the highest unemployment rate, even higher than say, Philosophy, surprisingly. However, for Nursing graduates, the unemployment rate is practically zero. I;m talking about RNs or Registered Nurses, not the ITT types who study nursing for 8 months, straight from high school, then call themselves nurses, as well.  My sister suggested I should also take  additional   courses that are needed to enter a nursing school, such as Anatomy ( Sis took that too ). However, the tuition fees are quite intimidating, something like $20,000 a year. My parents say whatever it takes… they’re going to help. I’m now like 90% sure I’ll enter a Nursing school after I finish Microbioloy….. neeed to cover all the bases, y’know?

I know this next topic is kind of stale now, but I still want to write about  this.. my Thanksgiving happenings. Well, we all know about Black Friday sale.  For those who don’t know, Black Friday is the mega sale following Thanksgiving Day and usually starts at 12 midnight. I was scheduled from 10 PM Thursday to 8″30 AM Friday. I left our house , together with my former manager at BCBG and co-worker ( they were our dinner guests) at 9 PM, after dinner. When we got there to open the store, there were already about 50 people waiting outside. When we opened at 10 PM, they  frantically rushed in. We later complained to the manager we couldn’t cope with just the four of us working. . She scheduled  4 people that day. Actually just 3 coz one of us ( me ) worked as the cashier. Thank goodness, shoplifting  was minimal. I didn’t come home empty- handed though. I pre-purchased a few stuff and put them on hold….. a pair of boots, a runway dress, a chic sweater, and a jacket I call  Diva jacket. (^__^)

Also, I promised  Zoe I’d post pictures of the dishes we had for dinner. So, Zoe, here they are:

Not shown in the pics are the chocolate cake I baked , the pulled pork my sister’s boyfriend cooked, and the embutido ( pork loaf ) and leche flan  that I cooked too. It was still in the fridge when I took the pics.

Lumpia or eggroll ( I cooked that) , green bean whatever ( my sister’s dish ) mashed poatato ( mine too )

Brownies, banana nut muffins ( I baked those ) , pumpkin poe and cheesecake ( bought at Costco )

Fruit salad,  chicken macaroni salad, ( I made these ) and chicken adobo ( Mom’s ). Do you see the brown juice in the pitcher? That’s boiled brown sugar with banana essence and tapioca ( sago) pearls. It tastes good.  Sister’s BF and non- Filipino guests loved it.  You can also see our bamboo placemats.

That’s beef Caldereta ( Mom’s dish ) and the turkey. Hmmm, not a good-looking turkey ( my sister’s ) but so far, it was the best tasting roast turkey we have ever had . There was no ” turkey” taste at all, it was melt in your mouth good  and very  juicy. The beef caldereta is just stewed beef , but different,  coz we add liver spread/pate to the dish

I don’t know what this is, it’s my sister’s dish, and it’s delicious and spicy.

The lasagne is in the pic, but I wasn’t able to get pics of the pulled pork ( my sister’s BF’s contribution… it was still cooking in the slow cooker when I took pics of the spread….. it was very delicious ! ) , the leche flan, the embutido and the chocolate cake that I baked/ with icing.

Embutido

Leche flan

That’s it. Our Thanksgiving Day dinner. We didn’t have much, actually, compared to last year’s and the years before that.

Oh, I almost forgot !  My sister, her Bf and I  and sis’ co-workers joined last night’s Santacon Crawl.  If you don’t know what that is, Google it. It was fun !  We  all dressed in Santa outfits, paraded down the streets of Downtown, bar hopping ( I was the designated driver…. I don’t drink ), and man, it was freezing cold…. about 30 F .. for Celsius users ( -1 C ) .

Here’s an image , taken in San Francisco. It’s like a flash mob type of mayhem and anarchy, with quite a few cops observing in the sidelines. I’m sure to go again next year…… and there’s also the Zombie Crawl , a Holloween event. We missed joining this year, but you bet we’ll be there next year.

This image is from a Denver event.

So, anyways,

What am I gonna do during the holidays ? I’ll do a lot of cooking and baking, work and earn some $$$$ ( better start saving for nursing school ), read Eragon, finish playing the video games  Resident Evil 5 and Persona 4,   Prince of Persia and Infamous. We have over 150 games in our collection.

So that’s it….. the rest of my boring, geeky  life. Maybe  I should start dating

, get a boyfriend,

and , as my BFF suggested , get laid. Ahahaha ! Just kidding !

This is all for now. Peace ! Oh and HAPPY HOLIDAYS ! Wooooh ! Vacation time !!!!!

Serenade again and other random thoughts

Hello !  That handwritten signature makes it more personal, don’t you think so ?  I’m going to make that my intro from now on.

Oh, gosh, I don’t even know where to start. First off,  it’s Nov.21  today.  Hmmmm, a significant day for me.  Last night  the family had dinner at our favorite Chinese – Filipino restaurant, after which we went to watch a movie ” A Very Harold and Kumar 3 D Christmas ” . As usual, it’s about the misadventures of 2 idiots, Harold ( a Chinese investment banker ) and Kumar ( a medical student Asian Indian ) . I’ve watched the other 2 H and K movies.  I know not everyone appreciates the humour, but I get it and love it.  Oh, in fact, I had a   zombie overload this week.  For the first time, a Friday with no work and school! ! I got to watch the first season of Walking Dead ( loved it ! ) and the last Harry Potter movie. Of course I didn’t just sit in the couch and did nothing but watched…. …I made my free time more productive by ironing clothes as I watched the movies.  And while taking a break from all these zombies and ironing, I did the laundry.  Then before I went to bed, I managed to read and finish  a 200 page book  , The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon.  ( Uhm , supposedly a book  recommended  for Thomas Pynchon beginners )  Thomas Pynchon received a National Book Award and he was  regular contender fot Nobel Prize in Literature.  Seriously, this book……….@___@….. I know I’m shallow, and all that, but not totally stupid, you know ?  but, to be honest,  I didn’t know what I just read.  Well, it’s about the main character , a woman, who’ s  investigating or trying to get proofs that Trystero, a private mail delivery company  exists and is trying to dominate the world. She sees its logo everywhere, even under a bush. While investigating, she meets people who are even more weird and paranoid than her. There seems to be no resolution, the story ends, just like that, no hee, no haa . WTH !  I don’t get it.  You know what, I don’t care if  he’s a literary giant, I didn’t enjoy reading  his book. Period.  And  that’s what’s important, right ? To enjoy a book ?

 I just bought the last book of Eragon series, Inheritance. My sister is reading it first…. ooooh, I can’t wait to read it. It’s awesome !  Now, this is what I consider good read, LOL.

It seems my post on serenades generated a lot of interest.  I wish I could add some more info about it, although one commented that it is probably of Spanish influence. I’m sure it is. The Philippines was under Spain from 1521 t0 1898, so  I assume  majority of its customs and traditions are  Spanish in origin.    The country is the odd man out in Asia, they say.  90% Catholics,  with customs and traditions that  are more similar to Spain and Mexico rather than its asian neighbors.  Asians , for example are aloof and non- demonstrative, but in the Philippines, they hug and kiss when they greet relatives and friends. Filipinos are a boisterous lot. 

So, okay the serenades…. nothing much there…. except one anecdote from Dad. When he was 17 or so, he had a friend who was crushing on this one girl ( he mentioned the name of the girl, because, later on, Dad was the one who crushed on her… but that’s another story, he he he ). Another friend  suggested they serenade this girl, and so they did. But before that, they had a drinking party first, then, around 10 PM, they got around to serenade the girl. But they were so drunk the song they sang sounded horrible. And instead of the girl coming out to talk to them, it was the father and a brother who came out, and they even let the dog out.  So, the guys said sorry and hastily retreated, then ran off . The dog chased them off the property. LOL  Oh, another one….. one guy  serenaded solo, but used a boombox instead, and played a tape recorded song. I don’t know if the girl opened the window. Ahahaha.   Oh, here’s another  image of  serenade.

Take note of the grandpa  behind her. He looks annoyed. Anyways, if the couple have mutual feelings,  the girl will let the guy or guys , if it’s a group, to come into the house. Maybe they will be served hot coffee or whatever is available…. meanwhile, the family will be lurking in the shadows, listening in to the conversations ,  and when it’s time for them to leave, the grumpiest in the family, the grandma, will spread a sleeping  mat on the living room floor. That means, she’s going to sleep, right there, and it’s time for the guys to go.  And the girl of course will blush and get embarassed… Grandma ?  That;s the movie on my mind.

About the girl my Dad’s friend serenaded…….. The friend gave up on her. Years later, it was Dad who crushed on her. It was also the same time Mom had met Dad. Well, suffice it to say, Mom turned out to be the evil rival…. if this was a manga story, LOL !  Wanna know the story ?  Post a comment and let me know.

I wrote on the post, ” My Vehicle was Stolen” that I was cited for not stopping at a STOP sign. So, the court appearance was on Nov. 15.  Dad came with me, and told me to plead NOT GUILTY. So I stood before the judge and he asked ” How do you plead? ” I said Not guilty. I was asked to take a seat again. I waited for the clerk of court to call me back, … waited for 1 1/2 hours, then she called me and said I should come back on Dec 12, present evidences why I think I’m not guilty, blah, blah…. At that point, I was already at my limit. It was a hopeless case. Everybody else just pled guilty and paid the fine. So I told her I’d change my plea to Guilty. So the judge called me again, and said ” Ms. Iglesias, you’d like to change your plea, so how do you plead,” I said  “Guilty, Sir. ”  ” So, the sentence is either community service or fine of $ 236.00 ”  ” I’ d like to pay the fine, sir. ”  So, that’s it, my court saga.  Ugh. Lousy experience. I swear, Traffic court is California’s money machine.  There goes 1/4  of my monthly wages.

There you go. The picture is making an L sign.  I am a LOSER.  LOL !

Oh, hey ! Thanksgiving Day on Thursday ! HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY ! !

Uhm, here are some random pics ….

Street at  my school.  I just love Fall colours !

And that’s moi going to school…. busy texting…..

 

And this next one… I painted this using colored pencils.

This is all for now ! ! Good day to all ! !  PEACE !

Thanksgiving Day frenzy

It’s 6:05 AM. I just got back from my  after Thanksgiving Day shopping that we Americans call Black Friday. There were news of stampedes everywhere, especially at WalMart, Sears, Macy’s ,and Nordstrom….. well, the usual big department stores…… fortunately, nothing like that happened at the mall we went to, even if there was a Nordstrom and  a Macy’s in there too. Anyway, my sister, her friend ( who slept over ) and I went out at 3 AM, in temperature of 26 F, which is about – 2 C to you, Celsius users. It was freakin’ cold, but nothing would keep us away from this unbelievable and amazing once-a-year sale, ha ha, that’s according to promo come – ons …………. to actually go in freezing weather and shop was self- induced.  ( ^_____^)

Now, about the Thanksgiving Day preparations………………..

Thanksgiving Day is always the last Thursday of November.  Wednesday I went to school, but there were so few of us the teacher just cancelled our afternoon Physics Laboratory class, and gave 10 pts bonus to us who came. That’s Physics! I need all the points I can get. Thank you !

Lucky for mom. I was home early to help her prepare the food for our Thanksgiving dinner  the next day. But, I turned out to be the main guy, and mom was just there to assist me. (~.^). I wrapped the lumpia ( eggroll) and the turrones( wrapped , fried banana ) all by myself, and while resting, I made potato salad and marinated the pork spare ribs. Sis prepped the 20 lb turkey for baking the next day, that was all. I stayed up the whole night, literally , all my lonesome self in the kitchen, frying the turrones at 4 AM and cutting and slicing the ingredients for the other dishes, and washing up all the pots and pans. I am a martyr, I know.

Just before dinner at 6 PM, I cooked my specialty, ” Potato Surprise”. I made up that name, but there’s really nothing surprising about the dish. It’s just ground beef with chopped ham, olives, raisins etc, and topped with mashed potato, is all.  But, I was so tired that as soon as it was cooked and the oven turned off, I left it there, to keep it warm just before dinner, but forgot to serve it. ( ^_^)”    Anyway, dinner was buffet, not a sit down dinner. We had 3 guests , so there wasn’t enough space at the dining table. Since it was buffet, I just brought my food in my room and ate there. I ate very little. I couldn’t eat the food that I cooked.

Here’s a picture of last night’s dinner, sans my Potato Surpise.

Believe it or not, we forgot  to put  out the chinawares, plates and salad plates , so look, paper plates !!.They look odd with our crystal water goblets. Ahh,  that’s how a 20 lb turkey looks like.

Aside from forgetting the chinas, mom couldn’t find the white tablecloth that we put under the lacy one, so she just used a white bedsheet. You can see the under tablecoth is extra long. ( ^__^)

So, Thanksgiving Day is over, thank goodness. It was rather hectic, although, come to think of it, there was no reason for it to be so, after all, it was just family and three other guests. Ah, but we didn’t forget to thank the good Lord for all the blessings we received this year. That’s the most important reason for celebrating Thanksgiving Day.

So, bye for now. Peace !