Thursday, December 6, 2007

Rainy Day Entree :)

One thing I love doing most during bleak rainy days is to stay at home doing my stuff. Whether that is working on a scrapbook, reading, cooking- anything just to be away from the Manila traffic. Rainy days particularly stir in me a kind of mood to become comfortable- nice pillows, hot chocolate or, yes, even Japanese horror flicks. And… food, of course. :)

When we were growing up in the countryside, there was never a rainy day where there wasn’t any food on the table. Sweet potato fritters, guinataan (banana, sweet potatoes, tapioca pearls, yam, jackfruit simmered in coconut milk), boiled bananas, cassava, or arroz caldo- these comprised our rainy-day menu. Then there’s “pinakro”- I don’t know the English word for this. It’s made with unripe green bananas, boiled, peeled then mashed with grated coconut and sprinkled with a little sugar. It tastes just… like rainy days (funny how there are food that taste like Christmas or the beach). Unripe bananas lose their tartness and just retain a nice texture that makes the product neither mushy nor sickeningly sweet. It is preferable to use brown or muscovado sugar with this because the large, easy-to-melt granules amuse both the palate and the tongue. This is a favorite food any time of the year, but the season where it’s most prevalent is usually after a typhoon. Why? Because after typhoon, many banana trees laden with fruits are felled … Farmers would normally reserve beautiful bananas for ripening, but since the storms just passed, unripe bananas go directly into the boiling pot, so do coconuts, sweet potatoes and wonderful yams… I hold dearly many memories of typhoon aftermaths. I used to love those days when I was younger, but this time it gets quite depressing because you already know a little about economics and the hard times … Anyway, it still puzzles me sometimes why those provincial ‘tiyas’ make such food so superbly. I loved that dish already way before I learned that bananas are great sources of potassium :)

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