Wednesday, November 23, 2005
um, we don't do turkey, we do lechon.
...the true hollywood story behind charlotte's web...
i can't believe i found an issue of giant robot at my local borders. what is the chicago south side coming to?! how multicultural! or as my friend, (d)Eva likes to put it - "Viva La Raza!"
...and the icing on my little asian magazine find? the cover story is about seonna hong, one of my favorite artists. so, dude, GO, pick it up now!
anyway, i'm flipping thru and i stop on this hilarious little tidbit about the "asian american lunchbox". readers wrote in with their favorite lunchbox memories and included is a layout/diagram of what different lunchboxes would have looked like and contained - each labeled accordingly - the chinese-american, hawaiian, japanese-american. there's some pretty quirky stuff in them there lunchboxes even for asian peeps.
man, do i have filipino-american lunchbox stories.... y'know, i think everyone in my grade school remembers my lunchbox. without going into too much detail (because it plays a huge part in the book i'm suppossed to be writing. ha.), i had a large porcelain sugar bowl (or maybe it was a small soup tureen) for a lunchbox. my mother used to put my lunch in it and put a rubber band around one handle, over the top and the around the other handle. the stuff that she used to put in? let's see, it was usually a combination of any two of the below with rice:
raisins or prunes (my mother should have been a california raisin, she would have met the height requirement)
banana chips (ok, i admit i requested these...)
bagoong (fermented tiny shrimps)
longganisa (pork sausage)
sinigang bangus ('cause what's a school day w/o getting a fish bone caught in your throat)
jello (like the time, the jello melted and ran out of the aforementioned lunchbox)
fresh mango (i could eat mangoes ALL DAY LONG)
smoked chub (and i quote,"children, do you smell fish? i smell fish. where is that smell coming from?" mrs. turnoy, walking by my desk, nose in the air, nostrils flaring, 3rd grade.)
i remember begging and pleading to accept dinner invitations from friends. i would dream about pancakes, ice cream, tacos, pizza, Hi-C and gelatinous pasta from a can. all we had was filipino food - morning, noon and night. and on the holidays, it was no different. we didn't do turkey, we did lechon. i felt SO deprived, my KINGDOM for one measley funyun!!!!
it wasn't until i moved out of my mom's house (and into bohemian art school/shared space hell) that i realized how much i took for granted and how desperately i missed filipino food - its odd odors, funky colors, alien textures, otherworldy ingredients and most importantly its familiar, steamy, stewy comfort.
nowadays, i look forward to meals with my mom and my extended filipino family. more recently, i've pulled the "pregnant lady craving card" and begged my mom to cook/buy stuff and bring it over. my moms is so great. she brought so much stuff over i had to give some away. well, ya can't really refrigerate/freeze filipino food, it doesn't really like that....
this year, i'm making a few "american" sides for my husband and brother in law (whose families are very traditional when it comes to the holidays) so that they won't feel so left out (or like guinea pigs). but i was delighted to find these filipino thanksgiving recipes on beyondadobo.com, that offer up a fabulous filipino fusion thanksgiving feast:
coconut crusted rebosado
whole wheat pandesal
sweet potato buco pie
longganisa cornbread stuffing
baby green beans w/ cashews
i may actually try these...
in a few years...
when i actually have a spare hand...
...or two - attached to my body, in some postapocalyptic experimental surgery designed to revolutionize/modernize the stay at home mom - sahm v11.0 (see, even i'll go to eleven.)