Like other Filipino boys growing up, my brothers and I would wake up on Saturday mornings to the sound of spitting oil and the hiss of garlic, a pungent cloud of hot allium filling the house. It was instinctual: Mom was thirty seconds from adding the last night’s rice to the pan. A minute or so after that, three ravenous little boys eager for grade-A cartoon time would descend on our poor mother, noisily feasting on garlic-studded rice heaps, crowned with an olive-oil fried egg and Jufran banana ketchup, a staple of Pinoy kitchens. We’d make short order of breakfast like locusts plaguing Egypt, before holing up with our Gameboys and TV for the rest of the morning. Dishes could wait. Growing up, rice was available at every meal. For Mom, rice reaches levels beyond comfort food. Even if pasta graced the table, she’d still make a pot, anticipating her garlicky breakfast the next morning. Rice was mixed into pancit (stir-fried rice noodles—more rice!), accompanied lumpia (rice-paper wrapped egg rolls!) and spooned over adobo chicken …
“I like bars just after they open for the evening. When the air inside is still cool and clean and everything is shiny and the barkeep is giving himself that last look in the mirror to see if his tie is straight and his hair is smooth. I like the neat bottles on the bar back and the lovely shining glasses and the anticipation. I like to watch the man mix the first one of the evening and put it down on a crisp mat and put the little folded napkin beside it. I like to taste it slowly. The first quiet drink of the evening in a quiet bar—that’s wonderful.” —Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
I’m the worst kind of blogger: I start gung-ho about a project (ahem, this blog) but then! Something shiny over there! WANT. That’s the case now. I haven’t posted since February because, well, I got a job! I’m Assistant Editor over at Wine Enthusiast Magazine. I’ve been working for both the print and online components since starting, and the best part? I get to cover my favorite subjects: wine, food and travel. While I’m deep in the weeds as far as back-end editorial goes, you’ll still see some of my work in the magazine from here on out. Huzzah! Now that that news is out there, I’ll try to keep this blog up, if only so I can keep producing content I enjoy. Below, one of my new favorite go-to summer recipes.
It’s so easy to come home from a long day at work (in my case, 10 hours managing a wine shop, which is not as glamorous or lovely as it sounds) and. Just. Give. Up. Preparing food is the last thing on my mind, but obviously, a guy’s gotta eat. Oh, and feed the Sig O, (who happens to be kitchen-literate in his own right). But still. Dinner! It has to happen! Put food in my mouth then send me to bed, my brain tells me upon arriving home on Sunday nights. I must oblige.