Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Got Rice?

So, as you probably know, my wonderful husband is Asian. Filipino to be precise.

He took me to the Philippines in December just gone for two weeks. We had a fab time. One thing I kinda missed out on though, was the food. I was 12 weeks pregnant when we arrived, 14 when we came back, so was in the thickest part of Morning Sickness throughout the whole holiday. I survived on oatmeal made with water, boiled eggs and mango. It was pretty good actually.

But now that I am here in Germany spending time with Pete's very Filipino family, there is abundance of opportunity to enjoy fabulous Filipino food. And I have learnt something.

The whole rice every day thing? Totally not a myth. Pure truth. Never known anything truer. In fact, it's more than true

So we eat rice, with Ulam (something that goes with rice, that isn't rice, eg. some kind of curry or sauce or meat).

So, fellow Brit's among the blog would probably assume that Ulam would be something like Chilli Con Carne or Chicken Korma, a Dinner Time Food, right? Wrong.

In my time in the Philippines I started to understand rice, but it was blurred by a haze of Morning Sickness and the fact that my nose would send messages to my brain, which would shout to my mouth "NOOOOO!" and send some weird heaving reflex to my stomach (Food aversion, one of the beauties of early pregnancy).

But now, here in Germany surrounded by fabulous Filipino',s I am really, really starting to GET rice.

Brits, attention! It is not just a dinner time food! Rice can be eaten for dinner, lunch, breakfast, a light snack, or even dessert (in other forms than Rice Pudding, which is in fact a British invention!)

Where us Brits would load our plates with grease-fried-protein and absolutely nothing else to "enjoy" a hot breakfast, the Pinoy's wack up some fabulous garlic rice (rice leftover from the night before, chilled in the fridge, and lightly shallowed fried with garlic and soy sauce and a few other amazing herbs) with either, hotdogs, Tocino, or fish, tomatoes and cooked-to-perfection eggs, which (I dare-say) is far tastier than grease-lined-whatever-meat-in-freezer plate topped with beans.

{Typical Filipino Breakfast}
Lunch and dinner are pretty much normal, rice with Ulam (meat, sauce or curry of some wonderful form). Some examples might include Adobo, Menudo, Caldereta, Kare-Kare, google any of them. They all look good, and taste fabulous.

Moving to snacks. The most common snack I've encountered in my time in the Philippines and even now in Germany (specially ordered from the Philippines for family Barbecue) - Suman.

{Pinoy Snack}
Suman is simply rice, wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked somehow. Apparently it's best eaten fresh and warm. Personally, I'm just not too keen on Suman, but I can see the appeal - warm and filling with a hint of banana. Just not my cup of juice.

So on to the most intriguing - Dessert.

{Popular Filipino Dessert}
The above is a very popular Filipino Dessert, named Sapin Sapin. It's made with coconut, condensed milk and a few other things, but mainly RICE. It's pretty good. It has like a chewy gummy texture, like nothing else I have ever felt in my mouth, but tastes quite good. Nothing like Rice Pudding. You eat it cold, and it's pretty hard to slice as it sticks to the knife like gum in your hair. I don't know how the person sliced the above so dang perfectly, they must have some bad-boy knife.

So that's pretty much a quick round up of Filipino food. Fruit, rice, meat, rice, egg, rice, coconut, rice, and a little more rice.

While surfing the net I found this amazing article, about how Filipino Food is "the next big thing". I'm pretty excited for it to reach Britain so everybody can enjoy the wonder that is Pinoy Cuisine!

I'm really enjoying my Mother-in-Law's incredible cooking, she has a superb talent for it, and obviously loves conjuring up fabulous Filipino food that is often TO DIE FOR. And feeding time in a Filipino house is definitely Family Time, and I'm definitely loving it.

I must admit though, you can only have so much rice. After the helpings I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy on this break away, I'm not sure I'll be asking one question for at least a few days when dinnertime approaches back home: "Got Rice?" Er...I'm alright for a while thanks.

***Disclaimer - these are none of my own photos. I wish I could have taken photos of all the delicious food I have eaten here, but I didn't. Sorry!***
***Posted with Sony Vaio Ultrabook - it's awesome***

Friday, 17 August 2012

Munich so far.

Things have been a little hectic here in Munich, as Peter and I try to settle into "Holiday Mode". Recently things have been "GO GO GO" as so many things change around us, plus the grief of losing our precious little boy that constantly intermingles with the business of life -- it's difficult remembering that we can now actually just chill out, and we don't really have to worry about anything for the next two and a half weeks. I keep trying to remind Pete of this, and that we don't really have to worry about anything at all until we land in England again, but somewhere at the back of my mind I am totally freaking out too.

I asked Peter for a Priesthood Blessing last night, as it was all getting a little too much. It gave me some comfort. But hearing the words is one thing, doing what you're told to is another. Eugh.

But Munich is helping me to breathe. It is a stunning place, and I am so grateful to be here.

Having grown up in England, and having only left Europe just the once in my whole life to visit the Philippines (Christmas just gone), I have been amazed so far at this city. It is so clean. Even the building sites! They are covered up with huge stretches of material that are made to look how the building behind will when it's finished. Call me simple, but I think that is genius.
Buses, trains and trams arrive on time, there are flowers everywhere, and people actually put their rubbish in the bin. And if there's no room in the bin, they artistically balance it on top!

So far we have...

Eaten Filipino food at home;

Ridden the longest esclator I have ever seen;

Walked through the beautiful City Centre;

Ate yummy italian ice cream;

{Whilst looking super tubby on the left!}

Posed in front of Residenz Munich;

{Learn more here}

Ate incredible, traditional Bavarian food;

And tried on a stunning traditional Bavarian dress;

{Dirndl - Learn more here}
So far, it has been pretty wonderful. Munich is clean and beautiful. The architecture is amazing, the weather is warm, the whole place just incredible.

And how grateful I am to be able to spend time with these fabulous people, and how lucky to be related to them;

{Tatay, Erik, Nanay, Me, Pete - Family}

 Right now, I am feeling good.

***Just to say - Congrats! To Laura, Ross, Ryan and Alexander, to their brand new addition Baby Nicholas. What a squishy sweetie in pictures!***

***And Happy Due Date to one of my best friends and big sister Gabby, hope that Baby B makes his appearance for you and James soon!***

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Here at last!

After a very short flight, during which I slept the whole way, we arrived in Munich, Germany, and I feel like here, I can just breathe.

I have been waiting to visit Germany since the day I met Pete, and after 9 months of courtship, 11 months of marriage, I am finally here, and I am elated to be here. In fresh new air; air that I've never breathed before, roads I haven't walked, things I have never seen, and I just want to breathe in the whole thing in one big breath. Something about this place just makes me feel good, happy.

{Walking in Ostpark, Munich}
And I am so glad and grateful that I am here for the next three weeks.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Almost a year.

You know, Seth's middle name was going to be "Windemere", because that's where he was conceived. Ha!

{Look at that for a skyline!}

I cannot believe it has almost been a year since Peter and I got married.

We were so happy.

And we still are.