Friday, December 18, 2009

How have I not heard about this before?

I am not a girl that has had her wedding planned since she was kid. I am still not the type of girl that is thinking and planning her wedding just to have the idea "ready" and yet, I do enjoy reading about wedding and the different traditions that people incorporate into their celebrations.

My favourite part? Why the FOOD of course! I love learning about what people serve at their weddings and how they juggle that tricky situation of wedding cake and/or dessert. I'm not kidding. There used to be a show on Food Network Canada called "I Do, Let's Eat!" Yes, it was all about the food at the wedding. I loved it.

Today, an article in the New York times informed of another awesome food tradition; I learned about this Pittsburgh phenomena known as cookie tables. From the article, it seems that it might be an Italian tradition but it sounds awesome. When the cookies come out seem to be debatable, but could you imagine a fusionesque wedding reception? Midnight snack of cookies AND poutine? Sounds deelish!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The glorious pursuit of naptime.

One of the most indulgent and most enjoyable things of being on vacation is the ability to take naps. Being able to curl up and shut off in the middle of the day is a luxury that most modern societies just don't afford.

Napping is simple right? Just go lie down and close your eyes. While this is true, I do think that there are ideal conditions for napping and although these may vary from person to person, I'm going to list my fave conditions for you:
  1. The nap just happens naturally. There is no planning involved. Ideally, you're lounging around, reading a book and your eyelids just get ever so heavy and then....
  2. You're already in a comfortable, horizontal position. You don't have to move from an upright chair to something else. This is from the idea of a natural progression to napping.
  3. The temperature is just so perfect to induce sleep, not too hot or too cold. Either of the two extremes and you have fitful sleep. In hot climates, air conditioned rooms are always a preferable option to escape the midday heat. That said, I do enjoy falling asleep in a cool room with a great breeze blowing through open windows.
Needless to say, I have been doing a lot of napping in the last couple of weeks. Sometimes I think I should find something to do in the afternoon to prevent the inevitable and then I come to my senses. Napping, or the siesta is a time honoured hispanic tradition that I have inherited from my ancestors so really, who am I to disregard history?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mmmmm piggie!!!

If you have to name the one dish that typifies a Filipino celebration it is has to be the Lechon. From a young age, all of us Pinoys are conditioned to venerate the great lechon. How can you not? Look at the picture! The full sized pig sitting on a table, glistening golden brown from snout to tail. Just the anticipation of the crispy, and deliciously fatty, skin makes your mouth water. It's quite the treat.

You can have lechon any time of the year but the most obvious time of year for indulging in crispy pig skin is Christmas; you always hope that the party you're going to will have one. Even better? You wish and hope that a lechon will be magically gifted to you.

Guess what? My family was super lucky to receive such a roasted pig this Christmas. Our very own lechon was delivered to our door today courtesy of one of my Dad's clients. Yes, we were all super excited. We were actually supposed to receive the lechon on Thursday but for some reason it didn't arrive. So we waited. By end of Thursday we were all wondering. Where is the piggy? The piggy didn't arrive on Friday either. We were beginning to get worried. What if it got lost along the way? I guess I should mention at this point that the pig was coming from Cebu, a city south of Manila known for a different style of lechon.  So here comes Saturday and we're still wondering where the piggie is and if it's coming at all. Finally, when my Dad picks me and Mum up from shopping he let us know that the piggie had arrived.

A word on this pig. This particular lechon comes from Cebu. A city known for the fabulous Shangri-La Mactan resort, lovely handicrafts and it's own style of lechon. The standard (but delicious) lechon is a full sized roasted pig and is served with a peppery sauce. The Cebu-style lechon is somewhat smaller, don't know why, and is saltier and doesn't have a sauce. Apparently, this is because the entire piggie is marinated in a sauce giving it its distinctive salty-goodness. I do believe that when Anthony Bourdain came to the Philippines to film "No Reservations" he had a Cebu lechon. Mmmmm good.

Enjoy the pics and no, we do not add an apple to the pig's mouth. I've never seen it done here. Ever.


Sooo sorry, I totally haven't been posting and completely missed out on writing about my India trip. So instead of trying to catch up, I'm just going to start writing from today onwards. Hope you're not too upset.

India pics are on FB (need to add the Agra pics) so have a look.

Monday, November 23, 2009


After an uneventful flight from Montreal to Delhi, and a thwarted post via wifi in Amsterdam, I'm finally writing my first tavel post.

It's a bit hard to believe that I have only been in Delhi for two full days. So much has happened that it feels like it's been longer. The wedding events have been going in full swing everynight and the today is the big event itself. I've had my hands mendhi'd (henna) and it looks amazing. The dye started off a weird orange colour but has deepened to lovely brown. I learned that there are two ways of doing Mendhi. The traditional Indian way covers the entire palm while the more "trendy" , more Arabic, way is to have the design going down your palm and onto your foreward in a long pattern. I have the more terndy of the two and it looks great. Apparently it is going to stick with me for a good two weeks or so.

Delhi is all the crazyness that you've heard about. The traffic, the people, the smells and the pollution. It's quite overwhelming and the circular roads keep you guessing as to where you're going. The drivers are a breed unto themselves. The extensive use of honking seems to be a form of communication rather than warnings much in the way ducks quack with one another. I can' say that the use of signal lights is widespread.

As for the rest of my trip? I feel like a bit of a disaster zone. Things are going wrong and I'm reacting too quickly and not always getting the best result. What happened? It would seem that all trains around Rajasthan have been booked up far in advance so that excusion was nixed. Instead of staying a full three weeks, it looks like my trip will now be more of a week and a half due to a badly made decision regarding my departure flight. Oh well, live and learn and I'll just have to enjoy everything that I can see in my (now) limited time frame. Upside? I'll have more money to spend on some travels around South East Asia in 2010.

Life learnings:
  1. When travelling to India, book your trains waaay in advance if possible, especially when travelling during the Peak Nov-March period.
  2. When travelling, don't overract too quickly. This is probably due to my rookie backpacking skills. As well travelled as I am, I haven't done much (if any) by way of backpacking. Crazy thought, no? 
Big wedding tonight and then it's off to Jaipur tomorrow. Forts, hoards of people, madness all around and more eating. The food has been great so far and so far, no bad consequences....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First. Blog. Post. Ever.

Here we go. The first blog post and for some unknown reason I feel an incredible amount of pressure to write a witty, informative and insightful first blog post. I feel like this post should establish what this blog is going to be about, what the theme is and what I choose to soapbox about.

So shall we begin? Yes, let's. So what is this blog about? Me, obviously. What is the theme? I'm not sure yet, but for now, I'll say the theme is fun, random insights and observations. What am I going to soapbox about? I definitely don't know the answer to that one.

And now I have finally written my first blog post. I promise they will get more interesting and I sure hope my writing will improve as well.

Leave me messages! I love messages.