We moved

I just want to thank everyone who visited and followed this blog for the past 3 years… now that we moved to our new home… I’d like to invite you to visit us there, follow and witness our trying hard moments towards a minimalist lifestyle. 🙂

TRYINGHARDMINIMALIST.COM

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I will migrate and update most of my posts here and put it on our new family blog so we’ll not miss our favorite stories and we’ll try to write new posts to document our precious Memories and Everyday Life.

Thank you once again and Merry Christmas! 🙂

Mel

Reliving Mom’s Cooking – Binawangan

I am sharing this recipe to pay tribute to my mother on her birthday (it’s supposed to be her 66th this year). This is very tedious to prepare, with all the peeling and cutting, but it is all worth it. I don’t know where my mom learned this recipe but I only get the chance to sample it at home. After she passed away, now is the only time I get the chance to prepare this for my family and I would like to share it to all of you. Feel free to try it at home, and please try to remember the kind and loving woman who used to prepare this recipe. 😉
Binawangan
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Ingredients:
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1 tbsp cooking oil
1 medium onion diced
250 grams spring garlic, buds peeled and cut into 1 inch length
150 grams lima beans or patani, peeled
100 grams diced pork meat or tofu or shrimp
2 teaspoon fish sauce (to taste)
100 grams Good Life Premium First Class Vermicelli, soaked in water and cut into 2 inches length
Procedure:
1.       Stir fry the pork (or tofu or shrimp) in heated oil.
2.       When the pork is cooked, sauté the onions until transparent.
3.       Add the lima beans until half cooked.
4.       Add the spring garlic and fish sauce, cover the pan to cook the vegetables and extract the juice from the vegetables.
5.       Add Good Life Premium First Class Vermicelli to absorb all the juice.
6.       Stir occasionally until the vermicelli is cooked, add water when needed.
7.       Enjoy. 😉

12-12-12

This is the closest to a Father’s Day to me right now. This is something very personal and I’m sharing it to all of you not for any religious cause or whatever, I just wanted to share a very special memory.


December 12, 2012


Naliyo ako dun (I felt dizzy)… were my father’s last words to me. Upon hearing that from my father, I immediately turned to him, intending to ask how is he… but I didn’t get the chance to finish my question. I was taken aback upon meeting a gaze of a stranger.

I haven’t met that pair of eyes before, but it is eminent to me. His look is telling so many things that are beyond my understanding, but it’s comforting. The stare is making me feel like I’m being robbed, but I am giving way.Those eyes are not my father’s… they are God’s.

That split second meeting was followed by my repeated outcry of nothing but DADDY! I know he’s leaving but I just wanted to call him, not to call him back… but to call him DADDY for the last time.

 

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Last Monday (Novemebr 18) was my mom’s birthday, supposed to be her sixty fifth. Since she’s already in heaven we do not celebrate it the usual way anymore, no fancy food and drinks nor grand gifts, we just offer mass for her and for all other souls/small-lettered-s saints in heaven. Although, circumstances has its way of making this day more special for all of us or maybe it’s our mom reminding us of her infinite presence and guidance.

The first female driver in the family – My niece Argie (first grandchild of my parents) passed her driving test last Nov. 18. This is her first driving test and despite the fact that it’s snowing and the road is very slippery she managed to pass. I’m so proud of her and I’m sure my parents / her grandparents are very happy of this attainment.

You might be thinking why is this such a big deal for me or for our family in general… let me give you some background. My father was a driver/mechanic and was a very good one. He’s a natural when it comes to cars, car repairs and even as a driving instructor. He even managed to teach several people how to drive including my mom’s aunt in rustic roads next to rice fields, beat that? However her three daughters are all helpless drivers, how ironic isn’t it? I’m sure there’s a bit of frustration in my father’s heart in that aspect, but what can we do? We missed his genes bearing the talent for driving. That’s why we’re extremely happy and proud that our niece made it to her driving test and can actually drive now and conquer the road.

My sister investor – Our eldest sister finally signed-up for a COL Financial account last Monday and is now waiting for her account to be activated and start investing. Hooray! I’m not sure if she planned to submit her application in time for our mom’s birthday but nonetheless I’m so happy and I’m sure my parents are the happiest.

Again, what’s the big deal? My toddler invests in stock market, so there’s nothing new when another member of the family becomes one… right? Wrong! My sister is totally different from me, especially when it comes to money matters. It’s not my story to tell so let’s just leave it at that, but since I want to you to understand where my happiness is coming from, let me share to you a simple conversation with me and my father several years ago.

Dad: Ayan, magkakasama na kayo ni Ate mo sa trabaho.

Me: Oo nga po eh. (Excited na nakangiti.)

Dad: Turuan mo si Ate mong mag-ipon.

Me: (Silence)

How would you expect me to answer that? All the more, how would you expect me to do that? I’m sure you will all agree with me that money matters are the hardest issue to talk about as well as to lecture about. Trying to be a good daughter, I accepted his request, kept it in mind and in my heart but did nothing about it, sorry dad; I just wanted to be Ate’s little sister and not her financial adviser.

So, imagine my happiness when my sister actually told me that she would like to open an account at COL Financial and ask me to teach her how to invest in the stock market. Did I just win the lotto?! I never felt so fulfilled in my entire life as a daughter than at this instant wherein I’m actually given the liberty to fulfill my father’s personal request, one thing which will surely make our parents the happiest souls in heaven.

Mommy, Happy Birthday and thank you for your eternal guidance and love. We love you and we miss you.

Lanzones: Our Family Fruit Icon

My sister gave me a kilo and a half of lanzones last night (Thanks Ate!).

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Lansium domesticum

As I started munching on the delicious fruit, I started to miss my entire family. Not because I’m eating it and no-one else (I’m actually happy about having the entire bag for myself, hehe) but because this fruit reminds me of my entire family, specially my parents. I have a vivid recollection of each one of them and this very special fruit.

My Dad – Being a very thoughtful father that he was, he would bring us a kilo or two or sometimes three every night for as long as its lanzones season and we will start eating until there’s no more left in the bag. When it comes to this fruit, there is really no tomorrow. Hehe! Also, my dad would usually give me the prettiest bunch, which I will save for my very last bite. How sweet (of my dad).

My Mom – As she enjoys the fruit with us, she would always tell us (I think most specially me and my dad) that the loose ones are sweeter and if we will buy lanzones we should buy the loose ones because we will get more compared to the ones still attached to the stem. Now you know where I get my “dapat-laging-sulit” attitude?

My Father-in-Law – Aside from actually harvesting some for us, he also brought us a sack straight from the Mindoro. That was before he left for Canada and Martie was just a few months old. How I wish that would happen again… when-oh-when?

My Mother-in-Law – She’s the one who gave me a bag of lanzones that they reaped from their backyard and not my husband (I’m not complaining honey). And that was even before I became her formal-and-official daughter-in-law. How thoughtful of her.

I wish they have lanzones in Canada and in Heaven. 😉

Reliving Mom’s Cooking – Almirol

This is not a recipe of a certain dish but a recipe a fabric treatment. 😉

I used to see my lola and my mom doing this treatment to our pillow cases, blankets and even their dusters. Something I don’t like because I find it itchy, but now I’m doing the same treatment for my husband’s office barong.

Ingredients:

2 cups boiling water

¼ cup cornstarch (Liwayway brand)

½ cup water

Procedure:

  1. Combine cornstarch and water to make slurry.
  2. Add in to boiling water.
  3. Mix using a wire whisk until translucent.

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4. Let it cool.

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Your almirol is ready to use.

To apply to newly washed clothes:

  1. Add water to almirol to make a thinner mixture. It depends on how crisp you want your clothes to be. For me and hubby’s stand-alone-polo, I add 2 cups of tap water.
  2. Mix using the same wire whisk. Make sure that the mixture has no visible lumps.
  3. Dip your newly washed but squeezed/spin-dried clothes. Make sure that the clothes has less water because it will dilute your almirol further.
  4. Give the clothes some massage to assure that all parts have been coated with the mixture.
  5. Hand squeeze and hang dry. Make sure that there’s adequate sunlight to dry the clothes.

NOTE:

When ironing clothes, spray water or use flat iron with steam.

This recipe is usually enough for five pieces of linen polo, but sometime you can also manage to add 2 pillow cases. 😉

Reliving Mom’s Cooking – Pinangat na Hiwas

Instead of frying, we opted to cook galungong this way, but my personal favorite fish is hiwas (flat-darkmeat-silver-fish). My mom called this dish pinangat but I think it’s more appropriately called adobo because of similarity in ingredients. Anyway, you can call it any name you like… for me this is yummy! 🙂

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Ingredients:

1/2 kilo Galungong or Hiwas

1/4 cup cane vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 tsp. salt

1/4 spr ground pepper

3 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced

vegatble oil or olive oil for drizzling

Procedure:

1. Clean and wash fish.

2. Arrange in a pot.

3. Put the garlic, salt, ground pepper, vinegar and water.

4. Simmer unti fish is cooked and almost dry.

5. Drizzle with oil and turn off heat.

6. Enjoy! 🙂

Note: This is best eaten with rice. Either hot steamed rice or freshly fried garlic rice.