After a serious downpour that lasted just 10 minutes this afternoon I noted an alarming rise in water levels on the terrace outside our living room. The ground was saturated from rains over the weekend and water on the lawn was building up rapidly. Suddenly, the entire household was on “flash flood alert” and everyone manned different garden drains to ensure that leaves and grass cuttings werenâ€™t blocking water drains out into the sewers. You know things are bad when drains on the street are bubbling water OUT inside of sucking it in. Thank heavens the rains ceased after 10 more minutes or we would have taken out the emergency rafts. I wouldn’t know what to save first, the family dog or my low-lying cookbooks and food magazines! So what do you think was bubbling away on the stove inside? Ginataan or Benignit (Cebuano) â€“ how ideal is that? I couldnâ€™t have scripted that any betterâ€¦
Cubed gabi (taro root), kamote (sweet potato), ube (purple yam), was first softened in thick fresh coconut cream brought to a simmer, then bananas, sago, and brown sugar was added and finally strips of fresh langka and cooked until just the right consistency. This is rainy season comfort food at its best. The ube gave the stew a light lavender hue and the slightly sweetened thickened coconut cream coated all of the root vegetables and fruits. Not diet food, for sure. A huge pot fed about a dozen people (including several workers installing our windows!) and I donâ€™t even want to guess how many thousand calories that was! To make a large pot coconut milk from two grated coconuts is enough. The gabi, kamote and ubi tend to thicken the sauce as well. Donâ€™t put too much sugar as it is not meant to be sickly sweet. Enjoy!