16 Nov2005

This is a preview of things to come in my month-long run up to Christmas, parolmy absolute favorite holiday of the year. November has been like a series of whirling dervish derbies so my posts have been a tad erratic. If you are wondering why I have done several posts on non-Filipino food recently, it’s because I actually do eat these dishes and have photos stacked up on my computer but have not caught up on the write-ups… this blog was meant to chronicle where I get food/produce, what is in season, what I do with it, and how I actually cook and eat it. It’s also because I hope to give you an overload of all things “local” in the month before Christmas and shortly thereafter. In response to a Christmas post I put out several weeks ago that got the most comments in the history of this blog, I have been madly preparing for my holiday special behind the scenes… this is to be my Christmas gift to all of you faithful (and often lurking) readers of Market Manila. And it will all commence with a post on our fantastic parol or farol in response to a poignant email request from a Filipina living abroad who has always wanted to have one hanging in her American home but never knew how to make it…

Marketman gets serious and will discuss aballs1the “Battle of the Balls” – last week I purchased every different kind of Queso de Bola I could find (just out and fresh in the groceries!) to really put them to the test and taste… I also included several original Edam cheeses including some aged ones to figure out where QdB hails from, how it might have gotten its particularly salty bent and muse why it is in fact, so popular around the holidays… The physical attributes of the balls, the heft, indentations, color, texture, taste, slice-ability, shred-ability, melt-ability, aroma, etc. will all be touched upon with a bit of tongue-in-cheek. I am also working on a “Battle of the Thighs, ahem, I mean Hams” which combined with the cheese is giving me serious salt overload.

Holiday snacks, sweets and baked goods are also on the menu. flan1I have tested and re-tested at least 6 different commercial ensaimadas including those several people categorically state are ‘the best in town” and I will be ruthless in my reviews. I also spent at least 20 man-hours in the kitchen trying to perfect my own ensaimada (pain in the rear!) based on a brilliant recipe that my sister works with but which needs to be localized again (different flour, atmospheric humidity, quality of butter, etc.). It isn’t what most of you expect but I like it and it is Marketman’s ideal ensaimada… Egg yolk overload is also in the works and I have baked over 15 leche flans in the search for something really memorable for you guys to make and bring to a holiday gathering… cow, carabao, or mom’s milk (I jest, I jest), dayap, lemon, light or dark caramel – you never knew there could be so many permutations!

Not Filipino at all but a major tradition in our moscow1household is the annual gingerbread “house” – I will hopefully (if I find it) share my recipe for Gingerbread that is adjusted for tropical conditions. We have made one in our home every year since my daughter was born and it is truly a family tradition that is memorable, delicious, stunning and aromatic. Nothing like the smell of spices combined with kilos and kilos of candies to really burn a food memory into your brain… In the past, Marketman and family have made log cabins, working carousels, castles, barns, city blocks, houses, St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow – all in gingerbread! If you have young kids in your home, you may want to adopt this wonderful tradition!

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without the apoin1plants, foliage, flowers, berries, mistletoe (oops, imported) and tree so I will try to cover at least some of these. I have identified the source of the most beautiful poinsettias available in Manila, where to buy live (I have never used artificial, but understand why others do) Christmas trees (grown in Batangas or Washington State!), and how to make the most stunning floral centerpieces and arrangements. And fear not… in the works are posts on some or all of the following: bibingka, puto bumbong, suman, pastillas, lechon, etc. So gear up for the holidays and look out for the Market Manila 2005 Holiday Special!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Ichabod says:

    Wow! looks like your working overtime for this one. cant wait to see them.

    Nov 16, 2005 | 8:09 am

     
  2. Hchie says:

    Geeez MM,looks like you’re all set for the holidays. Btw, what’s with the photos? Pretty neat! I especially like the Queso de Bola’s :)

    Nov 16, 2005 | 9:55 am

     
  3. Mila says:

    Wahoo! This looks like the mother (or father) of all xmas postings. May we just set up a tent outside your kitchen to absorb all the smells that are probably making your neighbors heady? We could do our aguinaldo’s there, hot chocolate, bibingka, the works. hehehe
    Thanks MM, looking forward to the eyeball on Sunday.

    Nov 16, 2005 | 10:29 am

     
  4. Rob says:

    I just found this site thru a travel website I frequent. This site is a must read for those wanting to explore the markets and restos in PI. And the recipes are to die for. Thanks for sharing MM.

    I am based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (been here all my adult working life and that’s very very long). Accordingly, the foods are really tempting more so because pork is not available here.

    Nov 16, 2005 | 12:48 pm

     
  5. aleth says:

    MM, you’re such a dear person to have all these troubles to share with us… thanks a lot! all the best with all those preparations (if i could only help you, sigh.. with all those goodies to prepare, sigh… test & taste..wow sarap!):) ingatz!

    Nov 16, 2005 | 1:46 pm

     
  6. Chris says:

    Looking forward to your chistmas posts MM!

    I’m wondering about the photos too, like Hchie. Special effects? hehe :)

    Nov 16, 2005 | 1:55 pm

     
  7. betty says:

    Looking forward to your Christmas posts! BTW, this is off topic but I hope you can also make a feature on honey, i find it so hard to determine which is authentic or not (all of them claim theirs are authentic).Some of those I saw are sticky and some are not and some even smell like beer. I like honey but its so hard to tell, i hope you can help me with this. Thanks and can I just say I really enjoy your site :)

    Nov 16, 2005 | 2:10 pm

     
  8. ajienaissant says:

    I am crying with joy! I was just about to beg you for christmas gift ideas (I prefer to sweat over, not literally, my gifts so its extra special). YOU ARE AWESOME!!!

    Nov 16, 2005 | 2:29 pm

     
  9. joey says:

    Thank you for all your efforts Marketman! I am really looking forward to all the Christmas posts to come :)

    Nov 16, 2005 | 5:41 pm

     
  10. edee says:

    i got tired just reading all your plans for us this Christmas, thank you very much for your generosity! :)

    Nov 16, 2005 | 5:43 pm

     
  11. Marketman says:

    Hchie and Chris, on the photos, just playing with photoshop to alter images and give you at outline but not the actual photo… a teaser. Mila, the first weekend with ensaimadas started with a wooden bowl filled with 100 eggs, a sack of flour and lots of butter. There were initial disasters, looked terrible but tasted okay… gained several pounds that weekend alone! Rob, thanks for the comments and glad you have joined the marketmanila group of regular readers! Everyone else, just loosen your belts and get ready for a calorific month in December!

    Nov 16, 2005 | 6:20 pm

     
  12. GG says:

    Hohoho! Thanks for the nice teaser–can’t wait for your holiday posts. Will that be one a day in December (or two, or more :-)?

    Nov 16, 2005 | 7:06 pm

     
  13. stefoodie says:

    can’t wait, marketman! i think of you as the pinoy version of “cooking for engineers” and “america’s test kitchen” — you provide so much for your readers, and just wanted to say all your efforts are much appreciated, even by those like me who can only imagine what the Pinoy products that you feature here really taste like.

    Nov 17, 2005 | 3:35 am

     
  14. gemma says:

    looking forward to your holiday posts….thank you MM.

    Nov 17, 2005 | 7:15 am

     
  15. linda says:

    I soooooooooooo love you MM for your generosity in sharing with your readers all the joys of Christmas. Can’t wait to read and try everything you have to offer to make this Christmas a most memorable one.I’m in AWE!

    Nov 17, 2005 | 8:33 am

     
  16. dodi says:

    Thanks for the ideas MM! This Christmas, I’m going to omit the other foreign influences such as the tree, Santa Claus, etc., and really have a Filipino motif with the “Belen” and the parol as the centerpieces – just a little contribution to bring Christ back to Christmas! And oh yes, food must be Filipino!Looking forward to your Filipino Christmas Special!

    Nov 17, 2005 | 11:55 am

     
  17. Al says:

    You are heaven sent, MM! I’m just about to start my relationship with my oven, i’m glad i found you! By the way, have you tasted maja pandan? it’s sooooo good! My tita who orders it when we have get togethers doesnt want to share her contact. sayang! but would appreciate it if foo your Christmas postings, u have a whole chunk of kakanin in one section which can include the maja pandan. it looks very much like the maja blanca but the surface is white (and it’s mmde of gata but with the consistency of the maja blanca) but underneath it is green in color full of pandan flavored with whole kernel corns that makes every bite crunchy! Looking forward to your christmas special! Thank you so much for your love of food and for sharing them tirelessly and willingly to those who share the passion to food excellence!

    Nov 17, 2005 | 3:00 pm

     
  18. Christer says:

    Hi MM. I can’t wait to read your holiday posts. Since I won’t be able to go home this Christmas, this will help ease my “homesickness”. Thanks soo much.

    Nov 18, 2005 | 5:16 am

     
  19. Louie B. Torres says:

    Hello MM, I am a homemaker residing in one of the villages here in the south. and a frequent browser since my sister Hermie introduced your website. I love and enjoy cooking, gardening, as well as decorating our home all year round most especially for the Christmas season. Thank you for sharing and for making me smile/laugh while reading your articles and I love the photos as well. Thank you so much. Looking forward to your Christmas treat. More power to you and your good cause.

    Nov 19, 2005 | 11:29 am

     
  20. karen says:

    I can’t wait for your gingerbread post :)

    Nov 19, 2005 | 9:32 pm

     
  21. Chris says:

    A teaser! of course. :) Well, you succeeded in your teasing MM! Honestly I found it just a tad annoying that I can’t see the food in the photos. But point taken, I’ll eagerly wait for the full posts. Thanks.

    Nov 19, 2005 | 9:38 pm

     
 

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