Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Smoothie? Fruit? Oreos?

I'm willing to bet that Mindanao is the fruit capital of the Philippines. I've not read this. This is not official information. It is just my two cents. But believe me when I say the fruit is AMAZING and FRESH! Having said that, there are fruit stands everywhere. Over these last few years I've learned about all fruits exotic and strange. I've tasted the gut wrenching stench and yet delicious flavor of Durian- it smells like gym shoes but tastes like garlic and honey... and? ... and? ... I'm without words.

It's a must taste to believe kind of fruit. I've delighted myself on Rambutan, Santos, Lansones, and a whole mess of other fruits that I never learned the name. The ones I like the most are the Mangosteens! Right now, its Pomelo season. If you are unfamiliar with Pomelos, imagine a grapefruit on steroids and much much sweeter and we're in business! Okay... I got off on a tangent. Smoothies. Smoothies here are fantastic. I'll miss the fruit and I'll miss the smoothies. But I won't be missing all the flavors. Yesterday, I walked up to a smoothie stand and saw that one of their featured smoothies blends; cantaloupe, green mango and oreo cookies! I must confess I wasn't even a little bit curious as to what it tasted like! Can you imagine! I'm going to miss Filipino smoothies!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

.... closure?

As I prepare to go home... I've been thinking a lot about the things I'm going to miss, as well as the things I won't! This week, I took all my assignments to a book binding/photocopy center to get them bound. I want to use them to study for my NARM exam this coming August. They told me to come back the following day. But when I got there, the place was CLOSED. For reasons that are still unclear to me, the city shut them down and sealed off the premises.

As I stood there a bit confused (but laughing inside), just staring at the barred up doors and official seal, the owner's son saw me and came my way. He told me not to worry; that they would be open the following day! Sure enough, the next time I passed by, they were open and my books were safely returned- beautifully bound.

Moral of my story~ a year ago, that would have stressed me out. Two years worth of assignments are taken hostage by the city's closure?!? I probably would have gotten a bit flustered and tried to be all "American" on them and stuff. But after seeing how normal that is, and being subjected to it for over two years... I think my Surprise-O-Meter is broken. All I did was shrug, laugh and come back another day. However, I must confess, I won't be missing this when I leave.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Water buffalo with pumpkin mash and braised witlof -- Yum!

Water buffalo with pumpkin mash and braised witlof (Endive)

Serving size: Serves 4
INGREDIENTS 4 x 150g fillets water buffalo 1-2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper 1 medium onion, sliced 45ml port 1/3 cup beef stock 50 ml fresh pouring cream 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 teaspoon picked thyme leaves 4 head witlof 2 tablespoons caster sugar 40g butter 5-6 baby zucchini 80ml white wine 40 ml white wine vinegar Pumpkin mash to serve Parsley sprigs, extra, to garnish

METHOD Season buffalo fillets and rub with olive oil. Heat a large pan, cook buffalo to your liking, as you would with a fillet of beef (4-5 minutes each side) for medium/medium-rare. Remove, cover with foil and rest. Meanwhile return pan to heat. Add a little extra olive oil, if necessary, cook onion until soft. Add port, beef stock and cream, cook, simmering reduce by a 1/3 or cook until sauce thickens. Stir in fresh herbs and remove from heat. Meanwhile cut witlof in half and rub cut side in sugar. Heat a medium pan, place witlof sugar side down and cook a few minutes to caramelise. Reduce heat, turn witlof. Add butter and zucchini and cook covered until vegetables soften. Add white wine and vinegar, simmer until wine and juices reduce by half. Serve Buffalo Fillets with port sauce, pumpkin mash and caramelised witlof. Garnish with a little extra parsley if desired.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

New life! New Adventure!

After 109 births, I got the chance to do something brand new! I got to sign my very first birth certificates! To me, that is just flat out exciting! It makes me feel like a midwife. All the previous ones were signed by my supervising Filipino midwives. But here in Tabuk, they don't care that I'm not Filipino.
These are pictures of my third catch up here at Abundant Grace of God Maternity Center. She was expecting her 5th child and was hoping for a little girl. All the rest have been boys up 'til now. But alas, there was no doubt when he was born that he was ALL BOY! We laughed and told her that now, they can start their own basketball team. Basketball is huge here! :-) Look how cute he is! - little Ericson!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh the things you will see!!!

This unusual mode of transportation is called a Huliglig. The engine is actually a rototiller that is attached to the body of this 'car' to get around town. It is detached again when they need to till the fields! :-) I love the ingenuity of it!

This sign says, "Your Army in Kalinga is just a text or phone call away to serve you..."! I have never called the Army to do anything for me... I wonder what might occasion it here! :-)
Here are more beautiful views of the mountains during out trip to Bugnay! Here the clouds are low on the mountains.... It turns the view gray and chilly but oh so beautiful!!