Friday 31 December 2010

Getting Ready for the New Year 2011

In between the last minute general cleaning, blogging call
has not been forgotten. Posting here photos of good luck
bringers in Alemanya:
Chimney Sweeps with mini clover
Back home, people are preparing all sorts of round fruits
to decorate the dining table as round things are believed
to bring luck. This is a consolation for those who are
getting the round figure...carrying luck all the time.
So as the Germans greet each other on this day,
I say, "Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr...
Welcoming the new year, 2011!

Saturday 25 December 2010

O Holy Night of December 2010

Something different this year with my Noche Buena in Alemanya.
In addition to the now called "century snow" in Germany making
this year's Christmas a truly white one, my sister-in-law thought
of surprising us with her new menu. She served wild boar, baked
and tamed with peaches and prunes cooked in white wine. Instead
of having the dreamed lechon - roasted suckling pig (Spanferkel
or Milchferkel) for Noche Buena, I had my first tasting of "baboy
damo", a wild boar. Grunt, grunt, grunt on a holy night this

Pumpkin soup as starter.

Potato gratin and red cabbage as side dish.

For dessert, sister-in-law treated us with her all-time winner
dark and white chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream and raspberry.
O Holy Night
in a Peaceful Land
Peace on Earth and to Men and Women of Goodwill and ...taste.

Thursday 23 December 2010

Christmas Letter Through the Post...a treasure

It came as a surprise, the letter. I was just saying the other week
to my hubby that we don't have many Christmas cards anymore
this year as compared to other years when he came inside our flat
with newly delivered letters and cards - Christmas greetings, the
yearly cards sent by organizations and companies, some with
enclosed bank forms for donations.
And with the pile of papers is this letter from cherished
friends who keep contact despite their hectic work schedule and
distance. These are cherished friends who would drop whatever
they're doing (not when Heike is cooking her soup) and welcome
us in the warmth of their nest.
Nice, thoughtful and cherished friends.
I love this letter, this is a treasure.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

You're all I want for Christmas

(Photo: Shows a Pinoy cook preparing puto bumbong, Christmas
delicacy made of sticky rice steamed in bamboo tubes or
cylinder and served with freshly grated coconut and red
If I would have the means, I would like to have my dining table
on Christmas filled with these goodies:
* Sweet jamon
* Queso de Bola (from the Philippines)
* Pandisal
* Dinuguan (spicy murky soup...only for Pin@ys)
* Puto - rice cake
* Sweet spaghetti with grated Kraft cheese
* Puto Bumbong with freshly grated coconut
* Bibingka with grated cheese and salted egg
* Lechon Kawali
* Buco Salad
* Ube Halaya
* Leche Plan with Macapuno
* Red grapes with bits of ipa (rice husks)
* Roasted chestnuts from Chinatown

But if you insist to give me something, I would
not say no to "little things mean a lot" surprises like
an E Book reader, a new laptop, a flat screen tv,
microwave oven, Blue or blackberry or IPhone.
To my dear KnP, I hope you would be moved by
my "Parinigs" and not tell me again you don't believe in
the spirit of Christmas.

Sunday 19 December 2010

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Glass balls and glowing lights.
Dead tree in living room.
Killed to honor birth.

Ron Loeffler
Taken from Haiku for People

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Granada, I'm falling under your spell!

"Granada, I'm falling under your spell. and if you could
speak, what a fascinating tale you would tell." So goes the
song but I'm not posting here about the city but about one of my
favorite winter fruits - Granada, Pomegranate or Granatapfel.
Turkish fruits stands start displaying them starting
early September, some still yellowish and small. The
displayed fruits go rosier, redder and bigger as the year
I love these fruits. Just looking at them brings me back
to my childhood memory of my neighbor's one Granada tree
with its few hanging fruits, and how this woman neighbor of
ours would looked at me suspiciouly the moment I stopped to
admire her rare tree with such a dramatic name.
I would love to believe to this day that as a little marauding
child I really imagined what would happen if the fruits would
open up and how would they taste?

What tales do they bring?
Here are the perks of eating these Granadas as explained in
the fruit tags accompanying these miracle fruits:
*Balances your blood pressure
*Protects your heart and helps it work regularly
*Protects and increases your resistance against infections
*Gives energy and removes fatigue
*Strengthens your immune system and protects
against diseases
*Regulates your cholesterol and blood sugar levels and
prevents them from increasing
*Prevents diarrhea and helps its treatment
*Good for the skin and provides a smooth appearance

Now, don't take cover. Grab your Granadas and
keep yourself under their spell.

Sunday 12 December 2010

Raclette Dining and bits of discussion on Pin@y Identiy

For our Eat and Meet Group, we decided to hold it in a private
place to be hosted by Christie. Every guest brought something
for the raclette dining: steaks for grilling, marinated chicken
meat,cooked shrimps, champignons,cornichons, red,green and
yellow paprikas,bottled asparagus,aioli sauce, baquette rolls,
cheese for raclette dishes, red and white wine.
Our hostess prepared for the Eat and Meet women squash soup,
potato gratin, drinks, sausages, tiramisu and cheesecake.

While Cologne city was shaking with Shakira's Wakawaka, we were
getting heated in the room from the raclette pan and the instant
discussion on our identity as Pin@ys, regionalism, history of the
country, why Philippines has not moved up as compared with
other similarly colonized countries in Latin America,
on Heiratsvermittlung or marriage/introduction bureaus,
and who is to be blamed for the "backwardness" of the country
we left behind...the government or the people? Quite an evening
of chewing, drinking and emotionally loaded rounds of individual
viewpoints and insights.

End part of the raclette dining...instead of the traditional
exchange gift, Christie introduced a game of throwing the dices
to get the brought gifts comprising of gifts, new ones and
recycled items.
I got an even number which allowed me to get one gift for
that round. At the end of the game, I won a free brunch
courtesy of Sol but with an addendum saying it is either in
her place or mine. Next Christmas Eat and Meet, I will
vehemently suggest to have one traditional exchange gift
and one "stealing" the gift game to keep the spirit of
giving - and receiving.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Some wintry days in Rotterdam...what to do

What's this Asian food doing in this blog on some wintry
days in Rotterdam? I finally braved the drizzling snow outside
to look for this Korean eatery to have a late lunch of bibimpap,
a rice dish made with shredded beef and carrots, spinach, fried
egg, mixed with spicy peppery red sauce and served with
a typical miso soup and kimchi. A piping hot Ginseng tea made
one forget the bitter wintry temperature raging outside, all for
10Euro only.

On Saturday, this open space would be filled with all sorts of
stands and shops selling wares from fresh Tilapia (wonder where
all the freh fish would come from with this kind of weather?)to
old used photo frames.

As a dessert not only on such bitterly cold day, try poffertjes -
Dutch mini pancakes served hot and dolled up with butter and
covered with caster sugar to go with creamy hot chocolate
or your favorite tea, all for 5Euro.

It's December and time for this traditional George's
ad hanging in many European parks.

It's December and time for these delicious but notoriously
fatty Oillebollen-oily balls rolled in caster sugar.
Each delicious mini ball costs around 85 cents. What a cheap
way to get heavy on equally heavy wintry day in Holland.

A version of snow storm hitting Europe since decades

Global warming is surely not the issue this week
when Europe has been under snow since the start
of December. I'm posting a short video clip
here to record this wintry day in Rotterdam.
TV says winds from the east bringing more
snow. Brrrrr.
Here's the short video.