The weather in Manila has been incredibly pleasant over the past week or two and promises to remain so for at least another 2 weeks. Temperatures dropping into the low 70â€™s F or low 20â€™s C with gentle breezes and noticeably lower levels of humidity means it is extremely comfortable during the day, and possibly a bit on the nippy side at night. Our electric bill this month is going to be substantially less than average (much less airconditioning) and I truly wish the temperatures would remain like this for the vast majority of the yearâ€¦ It has been so nice outdoors that we have moved some of our breakfasts and dinners to an outdoor al fresco dining area by the yard and it has been just wonderful. Oddly, when you live in a country that has a real winter, the arrival of 70 degree weather means you are out there in shorts; but in the tropics, it means you bring out the cotton sweaters, or if female, the pashmina shawls to stroll at Serendra or inside the mallsâ€¦
Despite all of the posts on this blog about different kinds of food, our daily fare at home can be quite straightforward, and sinigang, adobo, inihaw na baboy, bistek tagalog are frequent meals. A soup that we must have at least 2-3 times a month is what we refer to as Pesang Manok (others might call it Nilagang Manok), a simple, easy and extremely comforting and satisfying chicken soup. It’s a complete meal in one pot. Perfect for cool evenings. I have posted our recipe for Pesang Manok before, and it varies a little bit from pot to pot given the available ingredients and whatever we feel like doing to itâ€¦ we donâ€™t measure, we just do it by feel. To make it a bit more formal, we do lay out all of the chicken, sausage and veggies on a large platter and serve the broth separately. All of us eat this in a different manner. Mrs. Marketman tends to follow her family tradition of putting all the chicken on her plate with all the veggies, then adding rice and chopping it all up and softening it with broth and eat it like a soupy risotto. The Kid likes to sometimes put everything in a bowl and adds a little rice and eats it like soup, hoarding the chorizo bilbao. I like to eat mine as separate items, the veggies, meat and rice on my plate like any other meal, with intermittent spoonfuls of broth between mouthfuls of rice and chicken and veggies. On the side we almost always have patis, kalamansi and chilies if you want some spice. Yum.