Sunday Lunch

Before we left for the big C, I was eyeing a cookbook on the shelves of National Bookstore. I had read food writer Margaux Salcedo’s article about it on the Sunday Inquirer Magazine. The book was Kulinarya. It was a little more than a thousand pesos so I didn’t think of getting a copy. I was only in my first real job and I couldn’t afford it. But, I looked at it every time I was in the bookstore and read the blurbs of all six Filipino chefs who collaborated to produce the guidebook.  I don’t know but by a stroke of good luck, the book was given to our family as a going-away present!

After a long cooking hiatus, I had the chance to open the cook book again last Sunday when two huge pieces of liempo were thawing out on our sink. That was mom’s way of saying,  “left for church. please cook.” And cook I did. I opened the book to the lechon kawali recipe. 


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Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Contest 2012

Back when I was a college freshman, it had become a habit of mine to peruse books from my aunt’s kitchen shelves on weekends. After being fed delicious dishes whipped up by Ate Uma and Ate Daisy, my aunt’s housekeepers, I would sit in the dining room scanning various cookbooks and food books. I’d take out a book or two to browse leisurely as I nibbled whatever was left on the dining table after a meal. It was one of those lazy weekends when I discovered Doreen Fernandez‘s essays on Philippine Food.

Unfortunately, this amazing woman is no longer with us having died of pneumonia in 2002. It was a great loss not only for Philippine’s culinary world but the literary world as well. However, her legacy lives on. Which is why I want to share this with you. I hadn’t known that there was a Food Writing Award organized in her honor until I decided to read about her again just yesterday.

For the foodies and writers out there, how about joining the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Contest 2012? More than winning prizes, it’s a great opportunity to contribute to the growing literature on Philippine culinaria and to refresh your cultural, gastronomic and personal memories. Below are the details about the contest which I reposted from DGF Awards Facebook Account (see link):

 In her essay “Inside Information: A Tribute to Mothers” (Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture, Anvil Publishing, 1994), Doreen G. Fernandez detailed a recipe each from four cookbooks she considered “delicious records of our familial culture, and documents of mother-love and woman-power”—all of them sweet: Enriqueta David Perez’s Pinipig Ice Cream, Sofia R. de Veyra and Maria Paz Z. de Mascunana’s Honey Mousse, Pura Villanueva Kalaw’s Jalea de Calabaza and Purita Kalaw Ledesma’s Corn Alupi (native corn pudding).

For this year’s Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award, sweets, himagas orminatamis is the subject matter. From this will come the concluding chapter for the book that will gather the winning DGF Food Writing Award essays (including honorable mentions) through ten years of the award. And because this year’s winning entries are to be included in the publication slated for release later this year, the deadline has been moved up to April 10, 2012.
The rules are the same as in years past: entries must be in English, in essay form, 800 words or 5,000 characters. Up to two essays may be submitted by each entrant, but each submission must have a different pen name. A separate file should contain the author’s information: pen name, real name, address, contact numbers (home/work/mobile). Indicate if you are a student (although this has no bearing on the judging). Submit by email to Remember the deadline—April 10, 2012.
For inquiries, write to the same email address or call Girlie Canlas at 632-895-2021.
Prizes include cash, books and magazines, and inclusion in the DGF Food Writing Award book to be launched later in the year.

Book Love: The Agency

the agencyt
It’s been ages since I wrote a book report. I can’t even remember the last one I did but I do remember that I love doing it more than my other homework. My youngest sister who’s in high school brought The Agency home one night and before long, every one in the house was hooked (that includes mom.haha). We only got to read the first two books. I am so excited for the third. It’s currently on order at the public library and I am waiting like a geeky, giddy kid.

The Agency series is about the adventures of Mary Quinn, a secret agent for a women-run spy agency. What makes it interesting is that it’s set in Victorian London. I love it for the suspense and the fuzzy feeling I get reading about Mary’s moments with her leading man. I mean, who does not love leading men of the Victorian era? The book was written for young adults. I may be several years past my teens but aside from having a mental age of fifteen, I don’t choose books based on age group. Haha! In fact I love children’s/young adults’ books. This one would make a great movie series too!


Dream One

I just thought I would share this video that Josh Halpurn of outsidejosh made of his WWOOFING experience. It made me super excited to go home to the Philippines. I have been thinking of going WWOOFing for the longest time! WWOOF is an acronym for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Check the Philippine’s site here and their international site here. Basically, through the WWOOF network, you volunteer in a host farm of your choice and in exchange for your services, they give you free board and lodging. It’s the perfect way to travel, learn and meet people without breaking the bank. Some hosts also allow volunteers to extend their stay without working if they pay for their board and lodging. Of course, this is just one idea and it totally depends on your travel objectives whether this idea will suit you. Anyhow, this is definitely on my must-do list!

Speaking of a must-do list, I don’t exactly know when I started daydreaming of having my own business someday. I remember a talk with C where she shared her own thoughts about having a beautiful cafe that we would all want to go to. I’ve never been a farm girl but I get excited about the idea of raising goats and having my own bee farm. Being green and environmentally conscious is a process and it is quite difficult for most of us city dwellers. Even I cringe at the price of organic food here in Vancouver. It’s a long way off but of course I want my goat and bee farm to be organic. Not impossible, seeing that video of ENCA farms right there.
So I hope this little entry inspires you to dream your dream and live it someday. Hopefully, live it as soon as possible! Cheers!