A Merry Pinoy Christmas To You!

No room, no room in the tummy! That pretty much sums up our very Pinoy Christmas table.  By our standards, a simple spread but still a spread (groan).  This  winky face -a trio of kakanin bought last week and the mom-made ube halaya kicked cake making out the door.
Actually, the oven decided to retire. So sad.
I have a small electric oven so I can bake small cakes and brownies but it wouldn't do for big batches and cookies.
When God closed the oven door (via Habagat flood) He opened a window.  There were several projects to tide me over and keep me busy all through Christmas month.  I just told God I could use some more so I can afford a new oven.
Anyways, back to the winky kakanin.  I've posted about suman and there are sumany kinds of this sticky rice or malagkit that you could eat one variant per day for a suman countdown to New Year! How about a More Fun in the Philippines calendar of kakanin photos? You'd be reminded everyday to stay a true brown pinoy, wherever you may be or whatever culture you've adapted to.

This suman is ube (purple yam) flavored, shot through with pinipig (young rice) and crowned victorious with a cheese "V" (some suman maker is innovating eh? This is different from the ube suman I posted before).  I liked the hint of coconut oil and the chewiness of the suman., almost biko like.  It is not too sweet, just sweet enough to make you want more.  We have this saying "hinahabol ang sarap" which basically translates to going after a certain flavor experience with every bite.  The cassava triangle is the cassava cake of our grandmothers - back in the day when it tastes more like cassava than a sugary melty lump which sweetness you temper with cheese or a lot of grated coconut.  This is the palengke (market) kind, with a top crust and a slightly chewy bottom.
The star of this bounty is the puto balinghoy (steamed cassava cake). I hardly see this puto and it is not the soft puto normally sold.  Hmm..how do I put it? Compare a soft bath sponge to a natural sponge with air holes! Now I didn't say to eat sponge.  Anyways, this puto has fine cassava and coconut bits in it and that's exactly what you get - tasty bits!  There's a nice toasted muscovado sugar and coconut paste on top for a subtle sweet kick.  .

At any rate, there's no room like I said, because we still have suman mom bought because it's as much a Christmas staple as hamon, queso de bola, fruit cocktail salad (that's why there's a run on fruit cocktail, condensed milk and cream), easiest, cheapest dessert to whip up and serve to guests) and macapuno  -coconut strips in gluey sweet syrup.

In this photo, the macapuno is crowded out by red beans,  garbanzos (chickpeas) and nata de coco - which I gleefully pile on regular suman (the thin roll) along with a dab of halaya for decadence. Incidentally, minus the halaya, these are also the makings of halo-halo, just add milk and shaved ice.
The huge bundle of two suman clasped together and tied with plastic string is  suman sa lihiya or budbud. You eat this with latik -a coconut milk and sugar thick syrup. We usually make our own and I held off eating suman for a few days because mom hasn't gotten around to going to market for grated coconut to make latik.
Serendipity was at work again!
We've been looking awhile for the bukoman -the guy we hire to climb our coconut trees and hack off dead palm fronds and buko (coconut) fruit.  He was busy working for everybody (odd jobs) and only got around to us the day before Christmas.
Our buko trees desperately need cleaning - a fruit fell on mom's head once and she got a nasty lump (thank God that was it).and the kitchen roof occasionally got "bombed".
 This harvest yielded way more buko than ever and I've been having fresh meat and juice all day.
Our fruit cocktail salad is overrun by buko hehe.
 
And mom made her latik and budbod..The budbod is made by boiling coconut milk till the liquid evaporates, browning and rendering oil and some milk curdling into small balls.
The latik is made with coconut milk and muscovado sugar or panutsa  boiled until thick.Mom makes it more decadent when she mixes the budbod oil with the latik in the end.  You get a deceptively light syrup that's suspiciously cholesterrific because the budbod is daintily swimming in oil (but not cloying). Most traditional latik is the deep brown, thick, sweet goo - almost coconut jam like.  Ours isn't because we didn't have panutsa this time, just muscovado sugar.
What a beaut, if I do say so myself. Almost as pretty as my now much searched green pinipig suman from Rosalie's Marilao. Ever since that posting I've been tripping on suman much! What's that I hear? Smack, smack! : )
If you don't eat, you are safe! If you don't eat, well you won't be as happy and oblivious when the endtime comes! What's up with that anyway? I just think of the Mayan Calendar as coming to the end of a literal page and you get a new one! The days still run on to years and decades. I imagine endtime to be one catastrophic bang.

Anyways, all these makes for hefty dessert eating.   I don't think I'm going to wear jeans for a while. You feel the weight of it all afterwards. It's just that, unlike cakes and cookies, there's no "sawa" factor (you don't get fed up as easy...just well fed hehehe).
We rounded up our Christmas table with grilled tuna belly with a side of achara (pickled papaya), spaghetti (IKR, incongruous match) and mom's garlic chicken (our staple).
We wanted simple, because this year has been sobering, in a bad way.  There's the Compostela Valley disaster and the Sandy Hook tragedy that made me a lot less happy. We also had our own Habagat woe.  Like I say, you don't compare tragedies and who is better off because tragedy and loss is relative.  I think it's insensitive to say "Thank God, it didn't happen to me".  Simply thank God for blessing you.
Thank you too, for visiting : )
Remember, only faith uplifts.
   

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