Archive for Photos
Last Saturday I spent the entire day hiking one of New York's best hiking trails, the Breakneck Ridge mountain. After a 5-hour long trek, my group went to nearby Little Stony Point where there is a hidden beach with fantastic views of the Hudson River and its surrounding mountains. I have been coming back to this trail for the past 3 years and I plan to return for as long as time and my physical condition will allow me.
This year I didn't go home unscathed. My legs have a lot of bruises and scratches. Yet despite my aches, my spirit is refreshed and I came home renewed.
My Breakneck Ridge annual hike is now my favorite metaphor for life. While scaling boulders with daunting cliffs behind me, I was reminded how gripping fear worsens an already difficult situation. Watching my friends ramble through gorges showed me how a right attitude / approach defeat all other obstacles and limitations. And as I look at a heavier friend successfully climb; I again saw how confidence can be the best tool in carrying one's entire weight in one haul. Until next time!
To those interested, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to join my u[coming 2013 Fall Hike.
One of my favorite Ilocano specialties is the binubudan or tapuy. Binubudan is a wine porridge that is a favorite northern Philippine delicacy usually eaten as a snack or breakfast item. It has a soupy rice consistency and with a sweet juice that tastes a lot like sake. The key ingredient is the 'budbud' or live yeast balls available in the Philippine north. Once I tried using the yeast balls available I found in oriental stores in New York, the finished product did not quite come close to the kind we eat back home. (Maybe in the microbiological level there are also ethnic differences) In my part of the US, the perfect timing is during summer, June to August, when the hot weather is most ideal for fermenting binubudan.
Preparing binududan is fairly easy. The hardest part is waiting 3-9 days before the delicacy can be enjoyed.
INGREDIENTS1) Sweet sticky rice (for stronger wine taste) or red rice (for sweeter binubudan) 2) Budbod, usually imported from the Philippines 3) PATIENCE! - Fermentation can take 3-9 days. WHAT TO EXPECT 3 days: it starts smelling like alcohol. 5 days: my favorite when I can taste the alcohol, but the rice remains sweet. 9 days: results to a very intoxicating binubudan and bittersweet taste. 10 days or more: Expect some kind of hard liquor. Rice will disappear. PROCEDURE 1) Steam cook the rice. (Like you always do) Let it cool.
2) In a clean (must be very sterile) container, terracotta or steel, sprinkle the powdered budbod evenly on cooked rice. For one cup of rice, I usually use half of the budbod cake. I arrived at this preference by trial and error.
3) Cover the container with a clean cotton cloth. This allows the fermentation agents to breathe and do their work well.4) Keep and place in a cool dry place away from sunlight and movement. Do not disturb until its ready.
5) Once the binubudan is ready it will smell sweet and with soup that tastes a lot like alcohol. No need to add anything. I like serving it cold though so I put it in the fridge to cool before enjoying.
Like any alcoholic beverage and food, it can be intoxicating so eat moderately.
Meeting Chef Morimoto today was serendipitous. I was just coming out of the high tech Japanese bathroom of a high-end restaurant named after him when a handsome guy from the bar called our attention and asked casually if we were visiting. Smiling my very best and fully refreshed from using the Japanese toilet (that has the option to wash the front and rear after each use), I went straight to the bar ready for a quick 'pretend- tourist' chat. But before I can even answer his follow-up question was, "Would you like to meet The Chef?" As he said the line his arm was directed to a man gloriously clad in all white from shades to sandals. He looked Japanese but I didn't recognize him yet. When he finally spoke he said, "Are you from Manila?". I said, "No, I live here, but I used to be." Kamy, the teenager with me butted in, in an obviously star-trucked manner, "Are you really The Chef?" The man humbly said yes and we all shook his hand trying so hard to conceal our excitement. We chatted more, then he offered us his new line of sake. The bartender even joked about checking our birth dates to verify if we were all over 21. Even if I really didn't want to drink, I couldn't say no to Morimoto. I took the big shot glass, slowly sipped its contents then gave the other guy the camera to take a picture of us and SNAP! Here's the picture with the Iron Chef.
The sake was bittersweet and smooth, the type that didn't ferment too long. I mentioned that I also ferment my own rice wine. He smiled and looked surprised. By then I guessed that they were probably conducting an impromptu survey to see how consumers, particularly women, will warm up to Morimoto's new line of sake that his company plans to roll out to liquor stores soon. Then one of the guys told us that Morimoto will soon get ready for the taping of the newest season of the Iron Chef. (I should have asked to be part of the studio audience. Darn!) That was our cue so we said our goodbye, wished him well and left the man and his sake sitting quietly at his very own immaculately white bar.
The Iron Chef show is filmed at the Food Network studio located at the 2nd floor of Chelsea Market in New York's Meatpacking District.
hi, handsome bird.
your eye is filled with meaning that I cannot yet understand. your feathers of blue make me want to look at the sky and the sea more than i should have been through these years.
i very much admire how you proudly stand guard by your nest that you built prodigiously and patiently. i wish i can do the same for my future home ...
i wish i can tell you how you make me smile every day i look at you ...
and i wish you know how you remind me of how beautiful that mind is of whoever created you.