Posted in city gardening, flowers and blooms, food, fruits, home garden, life, tagged Amazon lily, family life, flowers and blooms, food, gardenia, home garden, Jackfruit, journeys, photography, summer fruits in the Philippines on April 20, 2015 |
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It was a busy weekend but days before that I was so lazy even to go out because of the summer heat. I finished three books in one week.
Fancy an early morning breathing in the heavenly fragrance of Gardenia and Amazon Lily flowers mixed with the lemony scent of Calamansi (Philippine lime) flower buds. It’s a perfect excuse to stay in the garden for a while. My Gardenia shrub is flowering again, a bit early for the month of May when it shows its blooms almost in every tip of the branches. I didn’t know that Gardenia symbolizes love, harmony and grace and it was named after Dr. Alexander Garden, an American botanist, until now. I just love Gardenia and when it is in bloom , I always take shots of the lovely white flowers. Our two Calamansi trees are on their flowering stage too but the fruits are there all year-long.
Finally, one of our jackfruits was ready for harvest. I was as excited as Josef when we finally harvested it the other day and this morning, I sliced it with a sharp knife and separated the pulp from the rind. Josef just wants it fresh and cold from the ref. One can cook it as “langka preserve” or marmalade, the way you cook other fruits in season.
The young green one is cooked as a yummy vegetable dish, either sautéed in pork or cooked in coconut cream with lots of chilis. Try it, it is best served a little hot and spicy.
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“How many times will we celebrate my birthday?” Mom asked me earlier today.
I told her, it is okay to celebrate it again with her favorite desserts and another cake. The other Sunday, we already celebrated her birthday in advance thinking that my brother would fetch her any day soon but it took two weeks more before my brother could schedule a day convenient to him. She will be going home tomorrow after almost two months with us. She was clapping her hands when she saw me making one of her favorite desserts, a yummy buko salad. Josef’s girlfriend gifted her with another cake and lots of baon for tomorrow. She loves munching on peanuts and cornik while playing her favorite card game.
I was forced to watch afternoon television when she learned of the channel that shows nonstop Tagalog movies. There is an unspoken agreement between us that at the strike of 3pm, she positions herself in front of the television to watch feature presentation. Since she is hard of hearing, the sound has to be a little loud. Sometimes she laughs and shouts and enjoys the stories shown there. I will definitely miss her. She has this habit of rubbing my back while we are seated together watching. At times, I have to repeat words so she could understand but that’s okay too. I could not imagine how it is that you can hear sounds but you can’t understand.
Two days more to go.
HAPPY 86th BIRTHDAY MOMMY! You are a shining star in my sometimes bleak world.
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Posted in family, family life, journeys, Nate, tagged family, family life, journeys, life, Nate, our little bundle of joy on April 10, 2015 |
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Our big boy Nate….
Nissa calls this role reversal. I laughed out loud imagining a smiling Nate having this conversation with his dad.
Nate: “Daddy, what color is this?”
Nate: “Very good!”
Hahaha. Smart boy.
Sometimes, I am amazed at the quick way kids learn things. He is two and a half-year old going on twenty.
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Posted in family, family life, guilty pleasures, nursery rhymes, tagged book quote, books, family bonding, family life, life, Nate, our little bundle of joy, reading on March 30, 2015 |
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It was another lovely day spent with my daughter’s family. They came over to visit us after almost a month of not seeing each other. We survived on Viber calls and Skype messages. Nate has grown. He has grown taller and his words now are in a complete sentence. I haven’t taken any picture the last few months because my camera broke and always when they come over, we tend to be busy catching up on news, playing with Nate and just happy being together.
Last Saturday, I had a chance to take a few shots, pics of Nate and Mom, Mom and Nissa, the three of them, Josef and Nate. As always , I was behind the camera. He was thrilled to see his new book which a friend gave two weeks ago for his birthday. I call him our little bookworm. He easily identified all the animals included in the nursery rhymes. I was amazed. Maybe their various trips to the zoo helped a lot. We learn from a child right? Unafraid, ready to explore and always curious about things. So trusting, so confident, secured that he is loved.
Yesterday, I received a message from WordPress saying that I have made one hundred posts on Our Little Bundle Of Joy. I started it a few days before he was born last November 2012 with the thought of documenting every precious moment with him. I showed his pictures once and he said “Nathan, Nathan”. Nissa is making an album of their trip last year to Dumaguete City and Siquijor. I love those pics showing Nate enjoying the beach and the kiddie pool. Nissa has a way with words, the photo descriptions are just lovely. She’ll have it printed later. I wish I could make a similar one but I am not familiar with the program she is using.
Here’s a lovely book quote for kids (using Nate and Josef’s pic which is included in my latest blog post). The happiness of teaching a child to love books and reading. Someday, we would explore bookstores together.
Do you remember your favorite books when you were kids?
And did I tell you that Nate wants to be an astronaut? I asked Nissa how that came about. she said that he remembers the movie/pictures he saw of astronauts. Such a big dreamer for one so young, he is only 2 years and 4 months old.
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There is really no contest between the two. I love both and this is actually another experiment because it was the first time I used chicken as the main ingredient instead of ground pork. I haven’t baked anything in a while, desserts or recipes. I am not really that too busy but the last few days have been so stressful that I have to think of a way to relax and cooking relaxes me. One morning while we were having breakfast, Josef and I discussed about what we used to prepare on the table and I told him, let’s prepare something for mom that she would surely like. My mom is turning 86 in a few days and she’s talking of going home to the province before the month ends. I told her to wait for her birthday here. There is no reasoning with our old folks once they decide on something. She just told me yesterday to call my brother so he could fetch her. One thing I like about her is that she is always appreciative of what I cook. When she is not familiar with it, she watches me prepare the ingredients and asks questions. We’ve been on mostly fish and vegetables since the season of Lent started and Fridays are totally “no-meat days”. Sourcing what is available in our pantry, here it is, a yummy chicken shepherd’s pie. It always tastes good with panini bread, just plain grilled slices.
Mom loves the melted cheese and mashed potato on top. Baked it just to melt the cheese.
Never been good at taking pictures of food. One more try, that is…
P. S. And here’s the recipe,as promised Ren. You would need the following:
1 whole deboned chicken breast, boiled and cut into bite-size pieces
2 boiled potatoes
1/2 stick butter
dash of pepper
white onion, diced but it is better to cut it into small cubes
1 large carrot
1 cup of green peas
1 small can of Campbell Cream of Mushroom
Mash the potato with 1/2 stick butter, set aside. Saute onion, carrots, green peas and chicken then add in the can of mushroom last. Don’t put salt because the saltiness of the cream is good enough. Put in a baking dish, top with the mashed potato then grated cheese. A friend suggested that you can add bread crumbs to the cheese to make it crunchy to the bite (it’s up to you). Bake for 30 minutes covered in aluminum foil or until the cheese melts. Serve hot with your favorite bread. I used the regular American loaf bread pressed on a Panini maker.
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I think Mom just gets bored playing solitaire so I opened the television early for her to watch but then she insists that I should switch it on at 5pm because that is when she starts watching her favorite programs. I am not really into it but I take a glimpse of each program she watches every day until she falls asleep.
Earlier on I was cooking dinner and she was watching. Not for lack on what to do, I imitated a television ad by doing a few odd steps while watching the girls dance. She could not hide her mirth and I knew she was smiling while covering her face with her two hands. I smiled at her and embraced her on my way to check the pork afritada I was cooking for dinner. She said in our native dialect, “Oh, I seldom see you dance”. We looked into each other’s eyes and smiled.
What a nice feeling, going back to just being a daughter sometimes. She’s happy, I am too :)
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