Monday, March 21, 2011

Nilagang Baboy and the Joy of Eating Home Alone

In the nineteen years we have been together, A. and I try to share as many meals as we can.  Food, after all, is one passion we have in common (and yes, snarky readers, obvious naman, 'di ba?).

For me, eating alone in a public place is one of the saddest experiences. I'm not saying this because I have a partner. I like to eat with other people.  I bring food during meetings, I like to discover new eating places with friends and most of all I enjoy eating at other people's homes.

But eating alone at home is a guilty pleasure I indulge in from time to time. As I write this I am having lunch, listening to the birds chirp and the clacking of my keyboard. It is a fascinating moment, finding time for myself. 

One of the things  I enjoy eating alone are the soupy recipes I learned from my mom and A.s' family. Here's one recipe from A.'s eldest sister. She used to make this when we stayed at his family home in Malabon.

1/2 kg. Pork Liempo cut into 2 inch slices
8 cups water
1/2 cabbage head, quartered
1/4 head squash (kalabasa), cut into 1 inch squares
4 pieces local plantain (saging na saba)
300 g. Baguio beans, stripped and cut in half
1 pc. onion, quartered
1 tsp. whole pepper corn (pamintang buo)
1 pork cube
salt or patis to taste

In a pan, place the pork liempo, at least 6 cups of water, onion, whole pepper corn and pork cube. Let it boil and then lower the heat. If you're not using the pork cube flavoring, let the broth boil  for a few minutes more or use a pork cut with more bones like spare ribs. Add the kalabasa. When the squash is tender enough, add the Baguio beans and some water if you want to have more broth. Add salt or patis to taste. Add the cabbage last. When the cabbage gets tender, the soup is ready to serve. Serve with patis and calamansi.

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