My year had its up and downs, but I'd rather tell you about the ups!
Or Kate, whom Carolyn Robb actually baked for, along with the rest of the Royal Family. I'm in good company then : )
Plus, anyplace that has the 4Cs - chandeliers, high backed chairs, cake and coffee calls to me.
Of course that was dessert!
Maris and I had lunch at Tamarind first: pad thai noodles, catfish and mango salad and chicken satay washed down with Thai iced tea. Tamarind and The Royal Touch are at SM Aura btw.
I also had Korean birthday soup- seaweed soup actually (similar to miso soup),which I've only heard mentioned or seen in Koreanovelas on TV. We were minding our tiangge tables - Szhy and Che and the condo neighbors - selling and buying each other's stuff (white elephant doodads and pre-loved things), and Szhy mentioned my birthday. Che made egg rolls and cucumber kimchi to go with the soup and longanisa hamonado and dessert was store bought brownies arranged on a plate with votive candles hehe. What a feast! I had pictures but they're too grainy.
In between I was busy with a project series that culminated in the launch of a monograph on the national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. There were a few hiccups but the event turned out great! I had a chef friend do the menu based on the doc's Pinoy favorites, served at a merienda cena. Tuyo (dried fish) turned upscale as creamy tuyo pasta on a slab of fried tofu with a wedge of lemon to cut through the cream and saltiness of tuyo. There was shrimp and veggie okoy (battered, fried and dipped in vinegar) and veggie spring rolls. The crowd favorite (and mine) is the Crispy Bagnet sa Pinakbet Pansit - three Pinoy favorites in one delectable dish. Bagnet is the Ilocano crispy pork belly. Pinakbet is an Ilocano veggie stew of string beans, bittergourd (ampalaya), eggplant, okra and squash with salty bagoong (shrimp paste). Noodles is an all time, long-life favorite! I'm smacking my lips at the memory of that specially concocted pansit. The doc's heirs and national artist guests are very impressed with the modest to-do and I am waay proud (gloat, gloat - modesty aside hehe). The new Old Bonifacio Grill bar and resto helped me pull everything off and you can check out their Facebook page and ask if they could serve you the pinakbet pansit. I nixed the bad pictures so just imagine how delish everything was, including "cocktail" bibingka and fried turon (roll) of ripe mango and kesong puti (white cheese made from carabao's milk) dipped in caramel sauce for dessert : ).
More eats in December of course, us Filipinos still intent on maintaining our longest Christmas celebration record despite money being tight for most and companies donating party money to Yolanda victims. At home, there was traditional (ours, each house has its own set) beef stew, garlic chicken and pork belly. Our New Year's table included ham, fruits, cake, chocolates and cookies - decidedly much simpler fare since the cook (me) was sick most of the holidays and everything is auspiciously "round". Me, too! Hehehe.
Mom made money, I didn't.
It was a hectic two months for the most part with quiet time amounting to breakfasts at Pancake House before work or eggnog frappe at Seattle's Best Coffee some mornings.
My ups mostly had to do with food, innit? Figures!
Simple joys, people. Simple joys. The year that was made clear what counts and what (or who) you can count on.