|BISUGO AND BALAGUITAN|
|DALU-DALO WITH SLICED GREEN PAPAYA|
I remember my childhood years in my town in Gubat, Sorsogon in the 50s and through the 60s. I was living with my grandmother with fond memories of the many foods that I have grown with and loved to eat. These are prepared from our bucolic kitchen in our ancestral home in Mabini Street. . . . My maternal grandmother, Lola Nila Acuna concocted her culinary skills handed down from her parents. She could have learned also from the traditional way of cooking that we Gubatnons followed for a long time. In my growing years, we simply followed a healthy living by eating a simple flair in our daily meals on our antique Narra table; it may consist mainly of fish, shellfish, chicken and the many vegetables grown in our backyard or bought from the "Maritatasan" (vegetable stalls) in the Market. Coconut was our primary delectable catalyst in preparing most of our dishes. Coconut is endemic to our place and one of the main livelihood of the Gubatnons. Expect a coconut concoction on every meal and dessert prepared on our table.
In those days pork and beef were only prepared on Saturdays and Sundays. It is a special treat of every family or on special occasions like fiestas or weddings. Everyone can reserve for a piece of meat to their meat vendor in the Market Plaza early in the morning. I usually ordered our beef for our "bistek," (a delicious beef recipe) from Tio Piping Esporlas who was a relative of my dear Lola. She used to make a delicious "Tapa," tied up to a rope at the post near the ceiling. When she liked to cook some, she just cut a piece of meat prepared for our meal. She also prepared an adobo recipe without the vinegar, packed in a bottle with lots of pork fats preserved for a long time. We also had a huge antique "tapayan" (chinese vase) that my Lola preserved her Santol jam or salted "Kuyog" (small Siganid or Danggit fish)
|COOKED STEWED MARARA FISH|
Our kitchen's design was of a simple construction traditionally seen on every kitchen of Gubatnons in the olden days. It was made from a suspended wooden pit covered with soil plus the accumulated ashes from the countless burnings of firewood from the clay stove at the center. Above the kitchen pit, was a shelf connected to a wall stocked with clay pots and casseroles of different sizes. Underneath was a supply of firewood and dried coconut shells gathered from our farm brought by my cousins or bought from the market. A "bakay" (pandan basket) with half full of pili nuts taken from leftovers of "linanta na pili" placed near the corner of the kitchen. These Pili nuts were a treat on my afternoon snacks.
Above the stove was a rattan basket tied to a wooden beam at the extended kitchen ceiling where my Lola used to keep our leftovers at lunch or at dinner. It is interesting to note that this idea could be very efficient in those days when refs were still scarce. Food will not spoil for safekeeping that neither rats nor ants troubled us at all. Beside the kitchen, to the right, was our "banggerahan" (kitchen sink) with bamboo grills and water faucet. There was a bowl that we used for cleaning the dishes that we would discard the soiled water down below to the ground. This was also the place where we stored our cutlery, drinking glasses, kitchen accessories and the "Biso" (Water Vase) where we stored our cold fresh drinking water.
|BINUT-ONG, PUTO AND BINAMBAN|
Our breakfast consisted mainly of a choice of rice, dried fish, eggs, pan de sal(popular filipino bread) with mantekelya(margarine), coffee with milk or hot chocolate made from tablea(chocolate balls). Sometimes binut-ong, suman, ibus or puto(different foods made from rice) could be prepared from our table brought by relatives or made by my grandmother. My lola would make a delicious garlic fried rice that our neighbors would often smell its delicious aroma. We always stored dried fish of tunsoy or herring that would match the fried rice and coffee. I always bought our pan de sal and mantekelya at Escoto Bakery in the center of our town at the plaza.
I liked my eggs cooked sunny side up or a 4 minute boiled egg (malasado) which my lola would prepare in a boiling pot biding her time carefully. At one time when I was in grade 2, a farmer from Ariman, at the edge of our town would deliver to us a bottle of fresh carabao's milk everyday in the morning just before going to school. It had a sweet taste but I hatedf the smell which made my Lola stopped the supply. She made tablea(chocolate balls) once a while which was my favorite breakfast drink as cacao nuts were readily available in our town. My most unforgettable favorite coffee from my memory was to buy a freshly brewed robusta blend of coffee in the morning from the "karehan" of Tia Biyay Endeno near the Encinares where they also made the famous "tayuba"(stewed fatty pork cooked in soy sauce and vinegar and garlic).
|IBUS AND SUMAN|
|LANTAHON NA PILI|
Lunch and Dinner
We are blessed with the produce of the vast resources of the Pacific Ocean to the east. We have exotic specie of fish that thrive on the northern portion of our town in Bagacay. It is called "Angul," a soft scaly brown fish that we loved to eat, fed from a rare sea plant that abound in the bay. My father-in-law, Alex Fajardo regularly brought us this delicious exotic fish. Cooked in a clay pot just before leaving our town and brought the pot as well for us to eat it as soon as he had arrived on an early JB line trip from Gubat together with the many "pasalubongs"
One of my favorite, the Salted "Kuyog" (siganid) packed in a bottle especially made by Tata Rustom Fajardo, where a mild mixture of salt and a generous "sanaw" (rice liquid) to blend with the fish that would be a favorite of my children for a dip with our "Linanta na Pili" (ripe Pili fruit soaked in a lukewarm water.) There was "Dalu-Dalo" (Conches), seashells cooked with sliced green papaya and coconut milk that we loved to suck at dinners with our mouth. The sucking noise would definitely excite everyone of us for a competition for who could be the fastest sucker of all.
|ANGUL AND LINANTA NA PILI|