Yes, I ate this

And I went back for seconds. I have it every time we eat at this particular restaurant. We take new people here because it’s all Filipino food and it’s a buffet, so you have a chance to try out all kinds of different dishes in small bites to find out what you like and what you don’t like, and later, perhaps what doesn’t like you.

I’m told it’s deep fried pig intestine. I’m not sure that’s what it is- I also have eaten BBQ pig intestines on a stick and they were much, much smaller, but maybe they were from piglets and this is from a grown pig? It’s served with a bit of a vinegar and soysauce dressing for dipping, which helps cut the grease. I think it’s very tasty, and not surprisingly, mildly reminiscent of bacon. A little does go a long way.

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View on my street

One of the things I want to post more about, but am having trouble loading pics and video and explaining coherently, is the recent work we’ve had going on to update our ditches and culverts on our street. You can see a small bit of that here. But what you mainly see is the carabao- the water buffalo. I was chatting with a neighborhood boy, 8 years old, and he speaks very good English (it’s his favourite subject in school). As we were chatting this massive horned beast came ambling down the road behind the child, with his keeper behind him. I grabbed my phone to take a picture. the child just shrugged. It’s such a common sight.

I’m working at the school every day now, manning the high school library and study hall in the afternoons. On our walk to school we pass a large open field which often has various livestock- goats, carabao, ducks and other poultry.

There are also a couple of signs in the filed right by the sidewalk, about the size of a small bulletin board, advertising a local business, or announcing roadwork. The sun is blazing hot when we walk- I use an umbrella for portable shade. Sometimes a local craftsman who sells wove floor mats and hand fans sits in the shade of one of the signs to market his wares to passers by. One day last week he had moved to a shadier area across the street. As we walked along on the sidewalk, just about the time we reached one of those signs, the shade on the other side shifted, and stood up and we found ourselves about six inches from the dark gray water buffalo that had been resting in the shadow of the sign. It was rather startling, to say the least. They seem to be mild mannered, easy going animals, but still, to suddenly find a shadow shifting and becoming corporeal and very, very large and solid is mildly shocking to my system.

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Chicken Liver Afritada

This dish tastes much better than it looks here, provided you don’t mind chicken liver, and I don’t mind liver, period. It’s super easy on the budget as well. We have it about once a week now. I should also mention that a Filipina friend brought this to a shared supper a few weeks ago, and it was so popular that I didn’t think to stop eating and take a picture until the dish had been largely devoured, so this picture is also the bottom of the bowl. It’s not a pretty dish, but it is a hearty, filling, nourishing, and very frugal dish.

There are several variations on this but this is my friend’s recipe:

2 pounds chicken livers
4 medium or large potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
1 can pork and beans (this is optional, and I have had it without the pork and beans,. Most westerners would prefer with)
1 onion, sliced into strips
3 minced cloves of garlic
3 cups of chicken broth
1 T cornstarch diluted in 1/4 cup water (also optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking oil for sauteing

Optional: One boiled egg per person, or boil a few eggs, peel, and press them through a sieve or twice through an egg slicer and just spoon a tablespoon or so of minced boiled egg over each bowl.

Cooked rice (optional in the US, but not in the Philippines)

Step 1: Optional, but westerners who are on the fence about chicken liver will prefer this. If you hate chicken liver, you don’t want this recipe. It could only be fixed if you made it with ground pork or leftover pork roast or pork chops, diced and sauteed, or basically, any other meat you *do* like.
Pre-cook the chicken liver by blanching in a pot of hot water with a tablespoon of vinegar (I’d get the water/vinegar well heated and put the livers in a metal strainer you could dip in the water for a minute and then lift and drain)

2. Saute garlic and onion in oil until golden brown. Add potatoes and broth. Let potatoes cook a bit before adding liver, bell pepper, pork and beans, salt and pepper. You don’t want the potatoes to be mushy, but you do want them still firm but not totally crunchy.

3. Let simmer for a few minutes, add cornstarch/water mixture, stir until thickened.

Serve over rice.

Other variations: Ketchup for kids who are willing to try liver but need help (also for adults)
Diced carrots or sweet potato or hubbard or other winter squash, diced.

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Juan Bobo and the Pot, an ERIC publication

ERIC ED159874: Juan Bobo and the Pot ERIC

Publication date 1975

This story and coloring book is one in a series of Puerto Rican folktale books and is designed for use in a bilingual/bicultural education setting. This volume is geared to those students just beginning to learn English. The illustrated story is followed by a teacher’s guide, consisting of information on the series, background on Puerto Rican folktales, teaching ideas, a vocabulary list, and testing procedures. (AM)

ERIC: The Education Resources Information Center is an online digital library of education research and information. ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences of the United States Department of Education. The mission of ERIC is to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-use, searchable, Internet-based bibliographic and full-text database of education research and information for educators, researchers, and the general public.

Presenting a few of the pages without comment:

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View from my patio

I have a bunch of cool pics but they all get added sideways and i cannot edit them in the blog.  I have to do it tediously one by  one.  Here’s one where I didn’t bother.

The colouring in the distance does not nearly do justice to the real scene. The top of that tree above the culvert pipes is a clear, flaming red/orange.  It’s called a flame tree. They are incredibly, majestically tall, and seem to bloom all year long. The blooms are as big as my hand and gorgeous.

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