Last night, the husband and I went to 10A Alabama in Quezon City for Foodstock, a fundraising event from the good people of Good Food Community. There was musical performance from , a (mostly) vegetarian spread, lovely homemade ginger beer, and a great reason to spend P250 (around 20 USD) as all proceeds were going straight to helping out the small organic farmers cooperative in Capas, Tarlac, for their greenhouse and irrigation needs in the next few months.
I first learned about Good Food Community from my sister who gets her bayong (basket) of organic veggies from the small farmers that the group supports within their Community-shared Agriculture program. Basically, you pledge to buy local vegetables for the week (for several weeks) from the farmers, who in turn are assured of a stable demand for an entire season. (Learn more about it here.) The group also regularly visits the farms, and shareholders (like my sister) get to meet the farmers who grow these veggies and sometimes help with the harvesting.
10A Alabama, which houses Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery, became the venue for Good Food Community’s Foodstock (Getting distracted by the pendant lamp, hee)
Meet Char, one of the folks behind Good Food Community. One of the coolest persons I’ve ever met (She also makes good ginger beer!)
Last night, the farmers were there. They along with GFC volunteers cooked a wide spread of vegetarian dishes–from a vegetable and tofu curry to tortang talong, a kind of sticky rice cake (somebody was not taking notes) and caramelized onion spread with crostinis, and bowls and plates of other vegetable dishes that were as varied as the music.
When you’re traveling and you encounter a menu where you can’t understand single thing, do you a) make an attempt to communicate with the server with only four words you know of the local language , b) point at something in the menu and hope you don’t order something heinous, or c) try your luck in another restaurant with English translations in the menu? I’ve done all three: a) if I am feeling adventurous and , b) if I’m feeling extremely adventurous and c) when exhaustion dictates the need for something familiar and the the only adventure I want to have that day is figuring out the train route.
Golden roasted goodness in one of the windows of a restaurant in TST in Hong Kong
In the trip to Hong Kong, a place where good food is abundant, I found myself making all three decisions. In the mornings, when P and I are eager to start our day and before we meet with our friends, we wake up early and explore the nearby streets on our own from where we were staying.
Ever had one of those weeks when you feel like nothing goes your way? Well, I’m glad tomorrow is a Saturday. All the calm and happy vibe of the past few weeks (Happy New Year!) have been sucked out by the past few days. So let me use this post to look back and be grateful for the week before for all happy things big and small–when I saw two good friends get married, when I got to finally try this cafe and bakery near the office, and when P and I discovered something new in an old haunt.
The wedding was held on a Tuesday, which was a welcome break at the start of the work week. It was also out of town and if you are looking for a place to get married outside crowded Manila, Tagaytay is a favorite choice. One of the loveliest churches there (well, just outside of it, technically it’s already in Nasugbu, Batangas) is the Transfiguration Chapel in Caleruega. The chapel with its beautiful brick facade (supposedly reproduction of the original chapel in Caleruega, Spain) sits atop the highest point of Caleruega, a hilly and sprawling area that’s also a favorite venue of folks going on spiritual retreats and photo hobbyists. (My friend Terrie wrote about the beautiful ceremony and party here.)
Transfiguration Chapel in Caleruega. It’s really beautiful though you might not appreciate it so much when you’re wearing really high heels.
The happy couple! Their joy was contagious
Two days later, a few office mates and I made our way to Wild Flour Cafe + Bakery instead of having our usual lunch at the pantry. We’ve all heard so much about the restaurant, which is a short walk away from where our office is, we decided to finally schlep our way there. It’s within the business district of Fort Bonifacio and attracts (at least at the time we were there) a throng of smartly-dressed professionals and young ladies who lunch. But the atmosphere was casual, the service brisk, and the food, at least the ones we ordered (Croque Madame, Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup, and the Shortribs Sandwich), were really good. The flavors were rich, and the bread, oh the freshly made bread made me want to go out, buy my own oven and harass their baker for the recipe. Continue reading
No matter what kind of Japanese movie it is–whether it’s horror and there’s a foreboding water stain on the ceiling while a mother and child eat their meal (Dark Water, 2002, or I may be remembering it wrong), or it’s a bloody action film and there’s a killing rampage the following day after the young trained assassins have dinner together (Azumi, 2003)–as long as there’s a dining, cooking, or any food-related scene I suddenly get a craving for Japanese food.
A bento of sushi goodness in Maruchan
So I especially get hungry when the food is an integral part of the plot. Continue reading
Because I’ve mostly been puttering around the apartment whenever I have some free time–obsessing over what stuff we still need in the flat, stuff we don’t really need but want nonetheless, what to clean, what to cook, what to obsess over next–I really don’t get to travel much anymore. That and largely due to the shift in priorities and spending habits. Case in point: the plan to get out of the city for the recent four-day holiday was scratched because there were shelves to put up. (Finally, the boxes were emptied and discarded and we could see our floor!)
But I have been staring at that part of the shelf with my travel books neatly leaning against each other more longingly than necessary. Since I don’t have any trips planned until early next year, I had to find a way to satisfy this niggling wanderlust without going anywhere (or at least anywhere outside Metro Manila). Reading again my stash of AFAR, Travel & Leisure, Smile and other travel or in-flight magazines were not helping.
I like the view outside our window, but sometimes I imagine those beautiful clouds are over some foreign city
A few weekends after we moved, P and I walked to one of the nearby malls to buy a few kitchen items we overlooked and we stumbled upon a regional fair in one of the exhibition halls. For the readers of this blog who are not from the Philippines, the country is made up of 7,100-plus islands, which are clustered into several regions. And for someone who’s been hankering to travel or even write about traveling, a regional fair was sort of like a consolation prize: find and sample what the different regions of the country has to offer in one contained hall.