Category: GEOGRAPHY & HISTORY

[caption id="attachment_51661" align="alignnone" width="600"] Boadicea, photo by PH Morton[/caption]

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
– Edmund Burke (1729 – 97)


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Patupat – Ilocano Glutinous Rice Dessert

Patupat, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Patupat – Ilocano Glutinous Rice Dessert

Patupat is a specialty of the Ilocanos.  It is a sweet glutinous rice cake.

Depending on which part of the Ilocos region, patupat can be wrapped in banana leaves or with intricately woven palm or banana leaves.

The photo below shows the specialty of Pangasinan, patupat encased in woven basket of palm leaves.

 

Pork Leg Asado With Pineapple

Pork Leg Asado, Photo by Ruben Ortega

Pork Leg Asado With Pineapple

This recipe is as good tasting as the photo shows.  The secret to this is marinating the meat in order for the sauce to get into all the crevices of the meat sinews.

Ingredients

 

  • 2 lbs pork leg, chopped to the bone into manageable pieces
  • 1½ cup water
  • 1/2 tsp whole blackpeppers
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 inch cube butter
  •  1 large white onion, peeled chopped finely
  • 1 lemon or 1½ tbsp of fresh calamansi juice
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 small can of pineapple

 Method of Preparation:

 

  1. Using a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, blackpeppers and lemon juice (or calamansi juice)
  2. Stir in the sliced pork leg and leave to marinate for an hour (or overnight in the fridge).
  3. Drain the meat but keep the marinade.
  4. Heat a large lidded frying pan or a casserole pan.
  5. Add the oil and then the butter.
  6. Fry the meat and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  7. Pour in the marinade and also the water.
  8. Drop in the bay leaves.
  9. Cover the pan and leave the meat to simmer until the meat is tender.
  10. Add the can of pineapple, including the juice, and cook for another 7 minutes.
  11. Serve immediately with a freshly boiled rice or green salad.

Enjoy

 

 

A Tale of Samurai Cooking A True Love Story 2013 (Review & Recap)

A Samurai Wedding

A Tale of Samurai Cooking A True Love Story 2013 (Review & Recap)

I have just watched this 2 hours Japanese film this cold Sunday afternoon/early evening here in London.  I must admit it is a perfect movie for a lazy end of the week.

There are lots of food, some samurai fighting, intrigues in the Edo period and of course a BIT of romance.  I have to point out that it was really tiny, small, minute romance.  Even the ending when they had sorted out their misunderstanding the hug was so sedate.  It was not even a full hug.  It was just a one shoulder hug between Haru and Yasonobu.

The story is that Haru ended up reluctantly marrying Yasonobu who is 4 years younger that her on the behest (pleading of Yasonabu’s father, the master cook from the Funaki Family who serves in the Kaga Domain)

Haru, played by Aya Ueto, is an excellent cook, who was orphaned  at a very early age of 12.  She was then taken in to cook for the concubine of the House of Signoria (whatever?) 🙂  She became a great favourite of the concubine and treated her more like a daughter.

During a gastronomy festival, Funaki Sensei presented the upper class with a mystery dish.  He then asked each of the diners to guess what the dish was,  Only the concubine was able to guess it correctly and she then confessed that Haru told her.

Funaki Sensei was impressed that he beg Haru to marry his son.  Haru said that she was already married though in a process of divorce.  Her husband’s family had to send her back because she was noisy and too assertive.

Funaki Sensei beg and beg and assured Haru that he will sort out the divorce. She had to marry Yasonobu to save the Funaki family.

Yasonobu, played by Kengo Kora, is a second son.  Being not the heir initially, he was more or less free to do what he wanted and he wanted to become a samurai warrior and marry the only daughter, Sayo, of the dojo.

He fell in love at first sight with Saya and hoped of marrying her and be the master of the Samurai dojo.

Unfortunately his elder brother, the heir to the Funaki culinary dynasty died in the plague.  He, therefore, had to forget Saya and continue his father’s legacy.

Saya ended up marrying Yasonobu’s best friend.

Though Yasonobu is now the heir, he was a terrible cook and rather a spoiled brat.

He was also cold to Haru.

Haru was patient and was caring and supportive to her husband.  She taught him the basics of cooking and for all it’s worth Yasonobu was quite an able apprentice.  So much so that he got promoted from the samurai school of cookery, eh???? 🙂

It was quite fraught during that time, uprisings were everywhere.

Yosonobu would have died if Haru did not take it upon herself to sabotage his mission to join a small band of men intent on assassinating the Lord of Kaga.

Yosonobu was so frustrated when he found that his bestfriend died during the failed assassination.  He blamed Haru for preventing him from joining the dead.  He was on the act of beheading Haru when his mother came up and slapped him; telling him that he was a thoughtless idiot.  He was self-centred not thinking that he was her only remaining child.

When everything has quietened a little bit, Haru packed her clothes and went. She left a letter saying that she is releasing Yosonobu from their marriage and now free to marry the woman, who he truly loves.

Haru has opened a little beach cafe (without the coffee – being the Edo period hahaha) and was contented until her next customer happened to be Yosonobu, who said that he had been looking for her and that his father advised him not to come back without her and that his mother wanted a grand-child but only if Haru was the mother.  And that he had no feelings whatsoever for Saya and likes being married to Haru.  Ahhhhhh

Haru run to his right shoulder for half a body hug.  Ahhhhh

And they happily trod on together back to the family house.

It was a cute drama.  The costumes are so lovely.  Aya Ueto was stunning with her geisha like make-up.  Kengo would have been drop-dead gorgeous if did not have that Samurai part shaved head. 🙂

Ogon no Buta – Japanese Drama

The Golden Piggy poster, NTV Japan : L2R: Kenta Kiritani, Masaki Okada, Ryoko Shinohara, Yu Oisumi & Katsuhisa Namase

Ogon no Buta – Japanese Drama

I watched the 10-episode series last night!

It was most interesting.  In fact I would go as far as recommend this to every tax-paying person to watch.

The story has something to do with how taxes are paid and how it should be used but sometimes is mis-used.

How it is being mis-used by various government agencies is what this drama is all about.

Several departments were look at and it would make you think how your own government is really spending your hard earned money you pay in taxes.

In the hospital for instance, why is an administrator is higher than the medical doctor?  It made me recall a rather scandalous instance in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK where there are more administrators than doctors and nurses.

Pako (Fern) Salad

Pako Salad, Photo by Ruben Ortega

Pako (Fern) Salad

Back when we were little children in Marag, Philippines, pako became a staple diet.  It was in our dinner table at least once a week.  We ate a lot of it so much that we kids 🙂 should have grown into goats 🙂 or hated it after a while. But I have always a vibrant and positive memory of pako.

Gathering pako is an adventure for us youngster.  We had to roam a dense growth of greens at the mouth of a forest and try to pick the young furling sprouts of pako.  Thank goodness they grow profusely together and therefore picking them one by one was not much of a chore.

Pako can be prepared in plenty of ways, it can be blanched and made into a salad, it can be left fresh as it is as a salad as well or cook and added into various kind of inabraw, an Ilocano way of cooking.

Below is another pako salad recipe.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 large bunch pako (fern)
  • 2 salted eggs or hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • sprinkling of salt to taste

 Method of Preparation:

 

  1. prepare the pako by removing any tough stalk.
  2. Bring a large pot of boiling water. Blanch the pako by quickly dipping them into the hot water.  Leave for a minute and drain.
  3. Arranged the pako on a serving platter.
  4. Put the tomatoes and onion on top then garnish with the slices of salted eggs.
  5. Make a typical Filipino dressing by mixing the vinegar, fish sauce, black pepper, sugar and a very little salt.  Stir it in thoroughly for the granules to dissolve.
  6.  Pour the dressing all over the pako.
  7. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

Sengyou Shufu Tantei ( Japanese Drama Review)

Sengyou Shufu Tantei

This drama is also called My Shadow and Detective Housewife.

This drama actually is very memorable not only because the lead woman Fukada Kyoko is so pretty and the two male leads are gorgeous.

No, the drama actually tackles corporate espionage, marriage, love, trust, infidelity and forgiveness, amongst other things.

Serina is married to Fumi, who works in a large corporation.  Serina is a stay at home wife who is utterly devoted to her husband, that often she would confess that she is her husband’s shadow and proud of it.

Fumi’s work is competitive and stressful and often involved weekend  away from home and pretty late nights meetings.  His chief, a woman, started seducing him.  Before too long he was attracted to her and succumbed to lust. 🙁

Serina on the otherhand, purely on misconception and accident, secretly started working for a detective agency as an assistant to Jinnai, who developed feelings for her because of her innocence and purity.  Jinnai gave Serina self-worth and confidence.

Despite of  all the care and compassion from Jinnai, who confessed his feelings for her, Serina remained steadfast with her fidelity to Fumi.

Serina loved Fumi with all her heart and forgave him.

It is an enjoyable series.  Well recommended.

Yang Yang – Chinese Actor

Yang Yang

Yang Yang

Yang Yang – Chinese Actor

Yang Yang is a Chinese actor & singer.

His career went mega stratospheric that he was commemorated in an official stamp. 🙂  I can understand this as he has got a perfect profile 🙂 🙂 🙂

He was only asked to carry the Olympic torch in 2016.

Here he is singing.

Films & Tv Dramas:

  • Love 020, (he made such impression on me 🙂  )
  • Tornado Girl
  • Once Upon a Time
  • The Left Ear

Hu Yi Tian – Chinese Actor

Hu Yi Tian – Chinese Actor

Hu Yi Tian is a young Chinese actor.  He recently starred in an unbelievably sweet drama as a young proud genius who fell in love with a cute energetic girl.

The drama, A Love So Beautiful,  was so popular that Hu Yi Tian has been given an award as one of the three actors of potential of the year during the star studded Tencent 2017 award ceremony.

Hu Yi Tian has previously been cast in another successeful drama ‘Love ’til the end of Summer in a minor role.

Click here for his performances of Chasing the Light, OST for Love Til the End of Summer at the China Drama 2017 Awards and ‘I Like You So Much You’ll Know it (A Love so Beautiful OST) during the New Year’s Countdown concert in China,

Having seen him in his second/latest role as Jiang Chen, he will go far.

Hope he does another drama with Yue Shen.  They had such a good chemistry, that fans would easily suspect that there was real attraction there.  🙂 🙂 🙂

Biodata:

DOB: 26 December 1993 (24)

Ethnicity: Chinese

Dramas & Films


Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • He had his first girl friend at 18.
  • He has had 3 girl friends so far.
  • He likes DIY. (Do it yourself)  He made his own leather wallet.
  • He is good at cooking.
  • He used to hate the mole in his nose but has grown to like it.
  • He was popular in high school and had girls chasing after him.
  • To all the girls out there, Hu Yi Tian wants someone who is respectful, with good conduct and academic performance.  His ideal type is innocent, kind, cute, lively and cheerful.  (No wonder he was so good as Jiang Chen.  Xiao Xi is actually Hu Yi Tian’s ideal!!!) LOL
  • Heightwise – he wants a girl between 1.4 – 1.8m tall.

 

My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari!!)

My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari!!)

This is a Japanese film.  It is some sort of ‘beauty and the beast’ love story.

It is just the cutest, sweetest and unexpected story.  A kawaii girl fell in love with a boy who could double for Shrek.  Actually he is much handsomer than Shrek. 🙂

He is Takeo, he has thick eyebrows, massive physique and the kindest of heart.

He has a best-friend, Suna, who is a storybook gorgeous and popular with girls.

During their middle school graduation, Takeo resolved to confess his love to a girl but found her confessing to Suna.

Takeo was heartbroken but reasoned that Suna is very handsome and a good guy.

When Takeo and Suna were in college, they saw a girl being harassed by a boy.  Takeo intervened. The girl was Rinko, a cute girl.

Rinko instantly fell in love with him and he with her.  But there was a misunderstanding.  Because all the girls were always go for Suna, he thought Rinko liked Suna rather than him as well.  And Rinko got upset because Takeo pushes her towards Suna all the time.

It took Suna to finally get the two together.  It is such a lovely, kilig, cute story

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