Another Fruit Dish

 

“The two basic items necessary to sustain life are sunshine and coconut milk.” – Dustin Hoffman

There is a native Filipino delicacy not very well known, savory and spicy, cooked mainly with coconut milk and santol (Sandoricum koetjape also known as cottonfruit) called Sinantolan or Guinataang Santol.

Normal Grater

It is fairly easy to cook and very cheap, too. In the provinces where coconuts, santol and chili are grown in backyards, this dish can be had for free.

The part of the santol that will be used for cooking is the rind which one usually just throws away after eating the fruit. So enjoy the fruit and cook the rind, a great way to get your money’s worth.

The rind needs to be grated. There are two ways to do it.

 

  1. You can cut the fruit horizontally and use a native coconut grater to get fine santol meat. Or,
  2. You can peel the santol and grate the rind using a normal grater and get coarser meat.

Native Grater

Tip for cooking: once grated, the santol rind needs to be soaked in water with salt and wringed or squeezed dry by hand to remove the sap and excess sourness.

Ingredients:

 

Santol, one (1) kilo

Milk of two (2) coconuts, more if you prefer

A lot of red chili, cut very finely

Garlic and Onion

Fish sauce

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Procedure:

In a saucepan, boil coconut milk with garlic and onion while continuously stirring. Once it reaches the boiling point, add the santol, fish sauce to taste and the chili. Switch to low heat and stir only when necessary. Cook until dish is dry, oily and slightly toasted.

Enjoy with steamed rice and vegetables, and fried or grilled fish.

Happy eating!

*I aspire to be justice and mercy combined.

Email us at MsEmilyIsMe@gmail.com .

 

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Cooking with Guava

Cooking with Guava

“Only the pure of heart can make good soup.” – Beethoven

Most of the world has been exposed to a Filipino dish called Sinigang (Tamarind Soup).  Lesser known is a similar dish made with guava instead of  tamarind called Sinigang sa Bayabas (Guava Soup).

Ripe Guava

Chili Leaves

Talakitok or Trevally

The name is actually a misnomer since it is more of a main dish than a soup. It is best eaten with steamed rice and a dipping sauce of soy sauce, lemon and chilies.

Some tips to cooking a really good guava soup:

  1. The best fish to use is Talakitok, also known as Big Eyed Jack or Trevally.
  2. The fish has to be lightly fried first to get maximum flavor.
  3. The most hassle free way to process the ripe guavas is to use a juicer.
  4. The best vegetables to use are eggplants, okra and talbos ng sili (chili leaves).

Ingedients:

Trevally, lightly fried

Juice of six (6) fresh medium sized ripe guava

Some okra, eggplant and chili leaves

Salt, sugar and ground black pepper to taste

 

Procedure:

Boil the guava juice in some water, be careful not to put a lot or you will lose the guava taste. Put eggplant and fish in once it starts boiling, followed by okra and chili leaves.  Add salt, sugar and ground black pepper to taste.

It is that easy. If you are a good cook, you will know how the taste is okay once the sugar, salt and guava combine together.

Best served with steamed rice and soy sauce dip on a rainy or cold day.

Happy eating!

*I aspire to be justice and mercy combined.

 

Email us at MsEmilyIsMe@gmail.com .

 

 

Donations are welcome to keep us going. 

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The Power of the Written Word

“A diary means yes indeed.” – Gertrude Stein

 

When I was a young girl, I kept a diary.

The diary was an ordinary silly pink thing that I bought from the only stationery shop in town. I would stay up late in my big, dank room in the basement, alone with my thoughts save for the stark electric light, my dresser, garden table and chair, and queen bed, careful to keep the bathroom door closed so as not to spook myself.

WRITE01

On this bed and way into the wee hours of the morning, I would alternately bury my head in a book or scribble some thoughts in the diary when the mood caught me.

I wrote the life goals that seemed important at the time — what I wanted to do with my life, my wishes, my heart’s desires.

Fast forward 10 years. Time passed, the diary forgotten until rediscovered one day.

It was an important day, a day when I learned an important life lesson that stayed with me forever. It took time, but yes, everything I wrote in that diary came to pass.

WRITE02

EVERYTHING I wrote in that notebook HAPPENED. It totally blew me, I was amazed, a classic Eureka! moment, it hit me like a slap in the face. That’s when I realized that words have power, and I, we, have the power to make things happen.

*I aspire to be justice and mercy combined.

 

Email us at MsEmilyIsMe@gmail.com .

 

 

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The Caulbearer

 

“Virtue has a veil.” Victor Hugo

My daughter was born with a caul, or a hood, or a veil over her face.  She is what is correctly termed a   Caulbearer, or the one “born behind the veil.”

It is estimated that only one out of 80,000 babies are born with a caul – delivered at birth with some amnion membrane covering the face.2017-04-18_10-38-23

In many cultures, a Caulbearer is believed to be blessed, destined for greatness or to have a special destiny, to possess psychic abilities and be a bringer of good luck. They are said to be able to predict changes in weather patterns, find underground water supplies and are natural healers.

The caul itself is purported to be a talisman against drowning, a personal protection against the evil-eye and an object that brings good luck in business.

For the longest time, I didn’t know about the existence of Caulbearers, stumbling upon this topic only recently, but perhaps not accidentally.

It is fascinating to know that there are such beings among us.

CB01

*I aspire to be justice and mercy combined.

 

Email us at MsEmilyIsMe@gmail.com .

 

 

Donations are welcome to keep us going. 

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True Dreams

 

 

“No, there was nothing unusual in any of these dreams as dreams. They were merely displaced in Time.”

― J.W. Dunne, An Experiment with Time

 

I have vague memories as a young girl. I only started remembering life, clearly as it happens, when I turned 12. It was also when I started having true dreams.

 

The one that I remember most vividly is a vision of myself in an airport check-in counter, looking my usual Type A self, with two children in tow – one was a boy and the other was a curly –haired girl. I knew it was a boy because he was playing with a car, and the curly-haired girl was towing in turn a rag doll.

 

So was the truth revealed to me when I was still in my teens. I, who never wanted to have children, will have two. The first one will be a boy and the next one, a girl with curls. And that eventually, I will be working and living abroad.

 

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was beautifully radiant – even I was amazed at how good I looked. Everybody was complimenting me on my looks, my OB-GYNE wanted me to join a pregnant ladies beauty contest which for me was a truly, truly amusing idea. Everybody was saying that my child will be a girl because I was so pretty.

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 11.33.03 pm

When the time came for the ultrasound, everyone was equally astounded that it was a boy. But of course, I was not. When it was my daughter’s turn, she did not disappoint – she had curls like Shirley Temple.

 

Dream done and dusted.

 

From experience, the truest dreams and premonitions come in the wee hours of the morning, that time before dawn, just before waking.

 

Dream and remember.

 

 

*I aspire to be justice and mercy combined.

 

Email us at MsEmilyIsMe@gmail.com .

 

 

Donations are welcome to keep us going.

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Government vs Private Employment

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”  – John Ruskin

 

Dear Ms. Emily,

I am an expatriate based in the United Arab Emirates.  I have worked for an Abu Dhabi government office for almost 10 years.  My title is Clerk but in truth my work load is PA multi-tasking into almost all aspect of office work. I have received an offer from the private sector in Dubai with a good title to boot.  I am sorely tempted to accept this offer but I hesitate to take the plunge.

  • Hesitant Expat2017-01-19_12-01-36

Dear Hesitant Expat,

Why do you hesitate?  Let us weigh in the options.

You have employment with the Abu Dhabi government which, though the salary is not very high, the benefits are superb.  If I am not mistaken, you have relocation allowance, housing allowance, educational allowance and other perks like health insurance and working with locals. You also have good work timings (7am to 3pm) and two days off, not to mention long public holidays.

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Working for the private sector entails the same if not more work demands on your time and health and less benefits. Most offices in the private sector have only one day off and hours are longer (8am to 6pm), but not all. However, in the private sector, you may be given a better work title and more flexibility in the work place.

If you are ready for a change,  know for sure what you are getting into, and think that you will have fulfillment and happiness in a new role, then by all means take the plunge.

Moving forward is good for the soul.

Hope this helped.

 

 

 

*I aspire to be justice and mercy combined.

 

Email us at MsEmilyIsMe@gmail.com .

 

 

Donations are welcome to keep us going. 

Ads can be placed as well for reasonable prices.

Bad Employers

“Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It’s the best part of the day. “ — George Allen, Sr.

 

Dear Ms. Emily,

I am a computer teacher in a small private primary school in the Philippines.  I belong to the marginal sector of Philippine society, providing for a family of four comprised of myself, my wife and two small girls with a minimum wage budget.  I have a very stressful job – not because it is a difficult job but because of difficult employers –a husband and wife team.  The husband is a shrewd businessman who sees employees mainly as business tools while the wife is a micro-manager who keeps employees on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  At this point, life seems bleak with no good prospects.

  • Hopeless Employee

burnout.png

Dear Hopeless Employee,

Be of good cheer, there is always hope.

We do not always like our employers but we sure need the job.

We cultivate the patience of Job (of the Bible fame) when it comes to all the sh*t we can take for the sake of providing for our family.

If there are perks in your current work that makes it worthwhile to stay, then take that into consideration.  If it comes to the point when you cannot take anymore, my advice is to look quietly for new employment and leave.  Try to see where you can qualify.

Sometimes, fate gives us a kick out so we can accept and embrace better prospects.  Things may look bleak now because you are stuck in a bad place, but once you get out of the rut, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that God has a better plan in store for you.

We can live in misery for a time, but not all the time.  Find your happiness.

Hope this helped.

 

 

*I aspire to be justice and mercy combined.

 

Email us at MsEmilyIsMe@gmail.com .

 

 

Donations are welcome to keep us going. 

Ads can be placed as well for reasonable prices.