A Lola’s love

24 05 2010

THE LAST time I visited my maternal grandmother Mommy, she had finally come to, something I had been praying for after frantic messages from my cousin said that she (Mommy) had regained consciousness but couldn’t seem to put names to faces.

Mommy's hospital ID bracelet. Upon her discharge from the hospital, I asked if I could keep it.

But this one time I was there, she was back to her usual self, engaging me in animated conversation.  After taking a sip from her drink, she looked at me and said, “So, it’s Noynoy.”  I didn’t take my eyes off of her and smiled, while trying to form in my head a suitable response, knowing for a fact that the choice for the next President is one thing we had respectful disagreement on – disagreement, but never an argument.

Before I could say anything, she continued, “Ok na yung si Noynoy.  Suportahan na lang natin.  Sana pagbutihan nya.”  (Noynoy’s fine.  Let’s just support him.  I hope he does well.”)

A few minutes later I asked to be excused to grab a late lunch at the hospital cafeteria.  The very moment the door behind me closed, my brother who was accompanying me looked at me and said, “Mahal ka talaga ni Mommy.  Ngayon gusto na nya si Noynoy kasi alam nya (Mommy) gusto mo sa kanya.”  (Mommy really loves you.  She now likes Noynoy because she knows you like him.”)

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

New fave sandwich

24 05 2010

The label from the packaging of my new favorite sandwich.

WITH THIS new favorite sandwich, quite obviously, I still miso like crazy.

I’ve long known that miso has great potential beyond making a cloudy broth chockful with seaweeds, onion leeks, and tofu.  I’ve known this long before any of the chefs on Bravo’s Top Chef has ever made a miso-basted chicken breast during a quickfire challenge.

But I was not prepared to see a miso-based creation staring back at me from inside a temperature-controlled sandwich display counter.  Much less at Starbucks.

But “Grilled Miso Chicken & Mushroom with Wasabi Mango on Italian Bread” leapt from a sea of options that it was a natural choice for company on yet another solo movie night.

The chicken breast fillet was surprisingly – and uncharacteristically – moist.  The red miso paste was basted just lightly, accentuated by a light dusting of black pepper.  The mushroom component turned out to be a generous portion of sliced shiitake mushrooms.  They were meaty and flavorful that I thought they could make a sandwich filling all their own.  The label said that dried shiitake mushrooms were used.  I didn’t guess that to be the case at all for I didn’t have to “fight” with them.  They were so tender.

To tie all the flavors together, the wasabi mango dressing had miso paste as well, the perfect foil to the sharpness of the wasabi, the tartness of the mayonnaise, and the sweetness of the magoes.

I would always politely ask the service crew to please tear off the label carefully. They'd give me a look and before they could even ask, I tell them, "I collect the labels."


Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Air India

24 05 2010

NO MATTER how many times I have taken air travel, I haven’t gotten over my fear of flying.  Up to this very moment, the very first thing I do when I board an airplane is pray.  Takeoffs and landings still manage to get the better of me.  And whenever I’m way up there – at about 30,000 feet up in the air – I continue to pray.  I pray as if I’m just carrying a conversation with God, asking that He keep my flight safe.

Plane ticket, luggage tags, Amex ticket sleeve.

So everytime the news carries stories about plane crashes, it does break my heart.  The news in this Sunday’s papers – I have both the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star – is especially poignant because it involves Air India and the state of Karnataka where the crashed happened.  Bangalore, the state’s capital, has been quite dear to me.

I only have fond memories of my Air India flights, things I took account of on my “Rickshaw Diaries.”  Foremost of which were the very friendly in-flight cabin crew and the superb mile-high cuisine.  As for Bangalore, I would always remember it for The Park Hotel and for the many shopping haunts that dotted its busy streets.  I have spent a whole day roaming the city, sharing the streets peacefully with cows and the friendly locals.

My prayers and my sincere thoughts go to the victims and the loved ones of the crash of the Air India Boeing 737-800.

I heart Air India.

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.