Monday, April 30, 2007

One Day Blog Silence

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Today, early in the morning, I took some pictures of the beautiful flowers that smile at me everytime I am in the kitchen, to accompany this post. It's been 4 hours but I am still unlucky I feel like GGGRRRRRRRRR!! already. I could download my pictures but each time I uploaded the message told me I could Publish after I hit DONE, but there was no space or place where I could hit DONE! So now I am ............

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Can't Help Being a Grandma!!!

Today was a busy day for me and my students. We prepared several dishes for a Track C foreign language class that celebrated its last day today. (Wish I were on Track C, too!). The day had been so busy I forgot to take any picture! We discovered that if one didn't have a comal, one can still keep the shape of the Sopes shell while frying it. Two of my girls in Period 3 didn't want to work with the sopes because there was no Komal to pre-cook the shells as one of the girls' aunts does it at home. After I showed them how, (with my heart thumping and my fingers crossed cuz I really haven't done this any which way) and everything went well, they all agreed with me that as long as one doesn't give up, any problem is solvable. Volunteers from Period 1 made the chocolate chip cookies. They were so happy when I told them they will bake their own cookies tomorrow. Another set of volunteers from my Period 2 class boiled pasta and pre-cooked the meat for the spaghetti, the sauce for which was finished by my spice wizard, Oscar! Still others diced onions and tomatoes, chopped some cilantro leaves and grated the lettuce. The next period fried the sopes shells, assembled the sopes and prepared the fruit and the vegetable salads. Before the next class arrived, everything had been delivered!!! There were four ladies in Period 4 who readily volunteered to clean up the mess and as a treat for them, they can prepare, tomorrow, anything they want. And their choice? - Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cream Puffs with Pastry/Chocolate Cream! To think that we just finished discussing the Food Pyramid!!! Well, I am also a Grandma, ain't I?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Chelo, one of my goddaughters, is a New Nurse. She'll be graduating this Friday and Ed and I are as excited as her parents, Larry and Fina, to see her march on the stage of Cerritos College.
I saw Chelo bloomed from a smart 8-year old child to an intelligent, charming and kind-hearted young woman. And now, she has her beloved Ryan (a very lucky man, indeed!)
Chelo will be a great, loving, caring nurse. That is for certain.
One of the blogs I read is of Luiza's of Beyond Normal. She's also graduating in Nursing. I asked her permission to post the following. Thanks, Luiza.

If you can bring a special understanding. To all of those entrusted to your care. And meet their needs, no matter how demanding With patience and energy to spare. If you can lend each task your full devotion, & always try to listen and to cheer. If you can learn to understand emotion, & comfort others just by being near. If you look forward with anticipation to meeting special challenges each day. If you keep your faith and dedication whenever disappointment comes your way. If you take pride in giving your profession the finest skills and talents you possess, then all your dreams and goals will find expression. And, as a nurse, you’ll be a great success. Author unknown

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Friday is SDD (Senior Ditch Day). I am not supposed to know it but they "inform" me anyway, even when I tell them that deductions will be given for those who will D the D (Ditch the Day). During such "events", those who decide to earn rather then lose points can use anything from the refrigerator or each student can bring ingredients according to what his group decides on. Oh, you should see their faces whenever they are afforded such freedom. They may even finish assignments from their academic classes, which some decided to do.

Judith is a senior and needed to submit a portfolio of her accomplishments by the last period of the day. I was casually talking to some students about my blogging (they said I should also try MySpace too) and how I highlight some of my teaching moments in my posts when she stood up holding her folder and told me she's willing to give me a moment. It is amazing to see how resilient Judith is: she just lost a box full of chocolate she's selling so she could save for her trip to Paris this summer as part of a program in her French language class.

Oscar, on the other hand, would rather cook the whole semester! He doesn't like reading or writing in my class because according to him he already does a lot of those in his other classes, but he is a wizard when it comes to inspiring his group members to work and produce! He also has an amazing knack for combining/mixing herbs and spices that will make Emeril sit! He moves so gracefully around his kitchen even while hopping in crutches (he hurt his right foot while practicing for a football game). Did I say he doesn't like the first two R's? But he can easily repeat everything I show and tell the class!

Roxanne (left) is the silent one. She prefers doing the paperwork and the cleaning up. She'd rather be manning the back of the stage.

Sandra, (of the "The Food Poem" fame), on the other hand, is the thinker of the group. She's the one who remembers to get a cookbook for ideas, informs me of what the group has come up with and decides on how to plate a certain dish. If there was a report to hand in, she'll surely be the one to draw up the outline!

They are just one of the reasons why I am still teaching.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I Was Nominated?!? OMG!!!

Rachel had nominated me to The Thinking Blogger Awards.
Thank you, Rachel, for the accolade. I hope I can live up to your expectations of me. As a nominee, my instructions are: Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. I thought it would be appropriate to include them with the meme. The participation rules are simple: 1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think, 2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme, 3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).
These are my nominees:
I chose them because they all make me think of what and how to write everytime I visit their blogs. Grammie and Dine remind me so much of the happiness grandmotherhood brings and both challenge me to do beyond what I am currently able to. Virginia and Suzanne both inspire me not to stop thinking and not be afraid to write about what I think. Noemi and Connie together had the foresight to know that mothers enjoy family stories and seek other mothers (I should add grandmothers, too) and that friendship can make all the difference!

I dreamed of Rachel

My night was so "dreamful" and it was of Rachel (the Heart of Rachel, you know! [wink]). I would think that at the back of my mind I was so full of angst not being able to do my part after being nominated to The Thinking Blogger Awards that my sleeping thoughts were so full of the guilt! There were so many fleeting images I can't seem to put together in one big frame. All I know is that Rachel was there, smiling, and at one "frame" she was holding Yohan and both were waving at me. I wish I know how to interpret dreams! I don't mind dreaming of them again but I am sure that is a BIG sign that I have to finish my assignment today! TGIF!!! Right now, I am waiting for my students. After this working day, I will hit my keys until everyone who is on my list gets my message.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

JACOB, My Director!

This is my director, JACOB!

Jacob, the Director

It is always a happy time whenever Ed picks Jacob from his school and he stays with us until his dad gets him. Yesterday was one of those days. We thought he was asleep but as Ed started to lay him down on the sofa he got loose from Ed's hold and jerkily stood up and declared: "I"m hungry!" I just got tagged by Rachel as one of the nominees for The Thinking Blogger Awards and was really looking forward to choosing and writing about my own list. (one of the commitment I have to make is to nominate 5 bloggers more). That had to be postponed. As I was cutting up his apple - a prelude to his dinner, I heard him talking to himself. I peeked and what I saw brought a big smile to my face. He was teaching himself to read! He had already memorized how each letter sounds and was now combining the sounds of three letters together - by himself!!! After his reading moment, he suddenly shifted to being a director. It is amazing to note that he has almost memorized the conversations in the tapes that he views at home! This time, he wanted me to play the role of Jonah and he of Khalil. When I teasingly called him by his name, he would correct me emphatically: "No, Jonah! I am Khalil!" Then I pretended to be falling asleep, and right away he would nudge me saying: "Wake up, Jonah! We have to go." He even had a dialogue for me to follow. He would say a sentence and I had to repeat it exactly as he said it or he would say: "No, Jonah, you have to say......" complete with facial expression and all. He finished his dinner but our drama continued until his dad arrived. This episode reminded me of a paragraph in one of the articles I was reading this morning:

If you display an effort in learning instead of waiting for someone to teach you, you will always be ahead of the curve, especially in recognizing and determining your own future.

Harry Brockwell, VP, ACF

Monday, April 16, 2007

JILO - a Brazilian vegetable

I was leafing through a Culinary Institute of America's publication of Kitchen & Cook when my eyes caught something that looked like a tomato dish. Then I thought it had eggplant or aubergine in it. Both ways I was mistaken. It was a Jilo dish. According to the article

the jilo (pronounced zhee-LO) lends its earthy, smoky, bittersweet flavor to vibrant fusion dishes, and the rustic peasant food of Brazil's southeastern Minas Gerais region. As they ripen, jilos turn red and acquire a bitterness that is prized in Africa, where the vegetable originated, but is avoided in Brazil, where the jilo now plays its most prominent role. Brazilians use them when they're still green and sweet..... jilos can be used in dishes that call for other types of eggplant, such as ratatouille, caponata, Creole stuffed eggplants and others. Their bitter notes also balance salty flavors, and do well in Asian dishes, including those with miso and soy flavors.

I wish I have discovered this veggie earlier. I haven't tasted it yet, but it reminds me so much of an eggplant variety we used to have in Kano. Hausa people call it garden egg. It was bitter and biting the first time we tasted it but then we discovered that if we watered the plant often the bitterness in the fruit was greatly reduced. I will start looking for jilo in my local supermarket or specialty store and try one of the recipes in this article.

Meanwhile, how many of you have tasted jilo?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Where has the time gone?

This last week was so busy it went so fast I can't even remember where my hours went!!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Simple Salad

Yvonne of Grow Your Writing Business requested for this recipe of the salad pictured on my March 22nd post. I am also including a picture of the tube that was used to produce the shape. Enjoy! Concasse of Tomato, Cucumber and Bell Peppers Salad 1 whole tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded and cut into small dice 1/3 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into small dice 1/3 cucumber sliced very thin for the mold 1/4 cup red bell pepper, small dice 1/4 cup yellow pepper, small dice 1/4 cup celery, small dice 1/4 red onion, small dice 1/4 jicama, small dice cilantro sprigs for garnish Combine all diced vegetables. Toss with enough dressing to coat the vegetables. Taste for seasoning. Arrange thinly sliced cucumbers in a lightly oiled mold, approximately 2" deep, 3" round on a medium plate. Drain the vegetables of any extra vinaigrette and fill the ring mold lined with cucumbers. Press the mixture lightly in the mold to keep the shape. Wipe off extra dressing from the plate. Unmold and garnish. (See my posting on March 22). Vinaigrette Dressing 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon sugar, to taste (honey may be used, too) 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 1/4 cup salad oil (you don't have to use all of the oil) 1/4 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper 1/2 teaspoon minced cilantro 1/2 teaspoon minced parsley salt and pepper to taste In a bowl, add limejuice, rice vinegar and sugar. Incorporate the oil slowly, whisking vigorously until mixture is emulsified. Add jalapeno, cilantro and parsley. Blend lightly and season.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


I suddenly felt the urge to look at one of my old (really old) albums. I still remember. We were roommates at Kamia Residence Hall: Baby Songlinco, Cora De Jesus (now Veneracion), and me. Without getting into any sort of pact we became the tightest of friends- even when we don't see each other. I've been out of the country for almost three decades and we've seen each other for, say, only 7 or 8 times in between, but the bond never got any lesser. Somehow each one of us knows that we have each other no matter what. The lower photo was taken when I went back for a visit in 2001. We revisited our beloved dormitory and reminisced almost non-stop. Our girths may have become wider, weights heavier and wrinkles more, but the depth of our friendship stays the same.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Good Friday is a meatless day for us. In fact the whole Holy Week is.
Last night, as Ed and I were about to go to bed, I suddenly thought of a vegetarian pancit. This morning, he went out to have our Sienna van washed and when he came back he had the ingredients for the dish. Jet and Matthew came over so we all had pancit, complete with toyo and calamansi from our own tree. Of course, Matthew had his bottle of milk.
Doesn't Matthew look like an angel in prayer?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Children Learn ......

Dorothy Law Nolte
If children live with criticism, They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule, They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame, They learn to feel guilty.
If children live with tolerance, They learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement, They learn confidence.
If children live with praise, They learn to appreciate.
If children live with firmness, They learn justice.
If children live with security, They learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendship,
They learn to find love in the world.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Thank you, SIBIA

Sibia, another one of my students, excitedly told me Last Friday that she found a book in one of the stores she visited and that she will give it to me. Today she brought it and told me that she thought of me as soon as she saw the cookbook. She obliged to pose while holding the cookbook. I opened the book to show the front and back covers and the spine. Don't you feel like coming in? It is an old but beautiful book, indeed. In the jacket was written:

first, it is a working cookbook, an intimate autobiography of a charming and adventuresone woman whose enthusiasm has given her the vitality to rear three children, manage three homes and develop a multi million dollar business... and finally it is a valuable treasury of early recipes from Mrs. Rudkin's fabulous collection of antique cookbooks which she has updated with her own modern present-day ready-to-use translations

Below are recipes of Cherry Tart written in 1473 and in 1962. 1473 Cherry Tart Grind sour cherries in a mortar after they have been stoned. When these are ground, add red roses, finely chopped, a little fresh cheese and a little old cheese, ground, a little pepper, a little ginger, a litle sugar; mix in four broken eggs. After the mixture has been lined with a crust, cook it in a well-greased pan over a slow fire. When it has been removed from the fire, pour over it sugar and rosewater. Modern version (1962) Serves 6 Preheat oven to 450 F Plain pastry with Butter 2 cups cooked and sweetened fresh sour cherries or 1 can (1 pound 4 ounces) sour cherries, drained of juice 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 cup granulated sugar 3 eggs 2 cups milk 3 tablespoons rosewater 1/2 pint sour cream 8 ounces creamed cottage cheese pink candied red rose petals Prepare Plain Pastry with Butter for 1 pastry shell. Line a 9-inch pie pan with the plain pastry crust. Brush the inside bottom of the crust with beaten egg white and chill in the refrigerator while preparing the cherry custard filling. Wash 2 fresh sour cherries and remove stems and pits. Sweeten to taste and cook for a few minutes. Or, use 2 cups drained canned sour cherries. Sprinkle the cherries with 2 tablespoons rosewater and let stand while preparing the custard mix. Beat together the eggs, sugar, salt, ginger and milk. Add the cherries to the custard mix, stir well and pour into the chilled pastry shell. Bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven; turn the indicator down to 350 F and bake about 30 minutes longer, or until a silver knife blade inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before serving. In the meantime, beat together the creamed colttage cheese and sour cream. When ready to selve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon rosewater over the tart and cover the surface with the cheese. Garnish to your heart's delight with pink candied rose petals (obtainable at food specialty shops).

What a change!