The Travelling Cake Addict

24 February 2010

Back to the Homeland*

Location - Philippines
Angeles / Subic

Photos by - Me

I love the Philippines. Its my home away from home. It's that certain place that I am always happy. Many of the important people I cherish live out there. And having experienced staying there for a few months really meant alot to me.

Apart from seeing family and friends, the 16 hour journey is always worth it because I look forward to the great home cooking. I have a large family and food is ALWAYS involved when we get together. The love for each other and the love for food always goes hand in hand. The most memorable moments I've had was over food. Its always fun cooking for family out there, using fresh ingredients and different methods of cooking. I actually miss grilling and barbequing food out in the back garden and using odd makeshift utensils, like a can opener made of a small sharpened piece of metal that I could never use properly and odd looking wok pans that ALWAYS sticked to everything you cooked. The tastes and smells are completely out of this world. These are Smells and flavours that you can only get in the Philippines and is probably what keeps us coming back home so often.

If you've been to the Philippines I'm sure that you've encountered one of the most popular dishes called LECHON BABOY! Its a large suckling pig traditionally roasted whole over a hot charcoal spit and normally made for big family events and gatherings. It was my uncles 60th birthday during my stay and my mom sent money to order a whole lechon for her brothers special party. A whole pig ranges from 5000 pesos to 6000 pesos (£60 roughly) depending on size. The suckling pig was the centre piece of the table and was surrounded by other special dishes like fresh veg pancake rolls (lumpiang sariwa) served with a peanut sauce, sticky yellow rice, Fresh dory fish breaded in panko crumbs, Italian tagiatelle in a tomato basil and parmesan sauce and a selection of fresh desserts made with coconut and sticky rice. NOM! Anyways, back to the lechon. Before tucking in, my cousin carved the pig, revealing the moist and tender meat. I admit the best part of the lechon is the crackling, which everyone normally goes for first. This, served with Mang Tomas sauce (spicy brown gravy sauce) on top of fresh fluffy boiled rice is absolute heaven. The food was perfect and I couldn't stop picking at the food on the table even though I was full. And of course the night wouldn't be complete without karaoke and bottles of San Miguel and Red horse beer!

During my stay we also went on a family outing to the Beach in Subic Bay. I thought of maybe eating at the resorts restaurant, but my family insisted on bringing food. So usually you would think a picnic of sandwiches and cold meats and fresh veggie sticks would suffice?..We however, went ALL OUT bringing meat and fresh tilapia fish to grill, tomato salads, egg salad, pickled papaya and lots and lots of boiled rice. Fortunately there was a grilling station on the beach where you can BBQ away from the sun bathers. There was so much food to eat that it distracted us from swimming.

I've had the best meals with my family. I've also learned many kitchen and recipe secrets from them. Home cooking is always the best and its usually its concocted with love...that's wherever home is for you.


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