Thursday, December 29, 2005

Lasang Pinoy 5: Pinoy Christmas Around the World


I come from a family of non-traditionalists. There was the Christmas that my mom vetoed a full blown tree for smaller "interpretations" of Christmas trees scattered around the house, to the year my maternal grandmother declared that we would celebrate Christmas Eve on the 23rd (so everyone would be free of in-law engagements). My entry for LP 5, graciously hosted by Mike of Lafang, is our December 23 Noche Buena (Christmas Eve gathering) spread.

This year, to offset our very un-traditional schedule, we had traditional Filipino food. Great timing for a Lasang Pinoy entry, don't you think? We started everything off with appetizers of crispy ukoy (fried shrimp patties) and a trio of spreads with rounds of melba toast. The spreads consisted of the following: my aunt's yummy adobo chicken liver pate (first time I tried it and what a pleasant surprise it was!), dulong (the tineist little fish, in olive oil with a little chili), and a chunky goat's cheese spread.


For the main event (second picture) we had vegetables and prawns in gata (coconut milk), a fork-tender and very flavorful beef kalitiran (a cut of beef...beef chuck I think) with potatoes (special recipe of my uncle's mother-in-law), and pancit (of course!). The super star of the night (as always) was the lechon (roast pig, first picture). We all waited eagerly as it was carved, greedily plucking up choice pieces of crispy skin...yum! My favorite parts are the skin and the ribs...so much flavor. All of this was served with a huge bowl of white rice, everything washed down with copious amounts of wine.

On the dessert table was turon (my first ever Lasang Pinoy entry coincidentally enough, except this one was the traditional banana only variety), suman (sweet, sticky rice flavored with coconut and wrapped in banan leaves) with mango sauce, and a delicious choc-nut bundt cake (my aunt's great discovery).

After dessert we proceeded with the whole gift-opening ceremony, just as if it was really Christmas Eve (if you know my grandma, you would know that she is someone who makes her own rules about everything), with my ninong (godfather) taking charge for the gift distribution. Lot's of kisses and hugs and thank-you's ensued. More wine was imbibed.

As we were resting in the rosy after glow of gifts recieved, warm camaraderie, and lots of wine, we proceeded to pop open the Prosecco (an Italian sparkling wine), which my uncle insisted was our in-between drink. In between what you may ask? Why, in between dinner and midnight snack of course! Now this is one tradition that nobody passes up...my aunt's rich hot chocolate with ensaymada. This year she added pinipig as a topping for the chocolate.



I have only posted about one of my Christmas meals. Ironically enough, the most un-traditional side of my family is the one that came up with the most traditional Filipino meal! However, I do think the other meals are defnitely worth mentioning (especially as they represent such a cultural diversity which I think is very common in how we Filipinos cook and eat), so here is a little summary...

Around the world this Christmas:

December 23 dinner - menu above.

December 24 dinner - Turkey and roast lamb with ALL the trimmings. My uncle (father's side) is famous for his turkey and stuffing. His stuffing changes every time he makes it and never fails to be fantastic. Because of him I never found out that you could buy stuffing in a box (!!!) until much later in life.

December 25 lunch - Paella, Fabada (Spanish bean stew with bacon slab and chorizo), grilled ribs, and sausages. Foie gras demi cuit (my aunt's amazing recipe) and various Spanish tapas for starters. Sangria for drinks.

December 25 dinner - Peking Duck dinner with C's family at Jade Garden. We started with century eggs (my fave!) and hot and sour soup. Moved on to stir fried beef, steamed fish, hot prawn salad, and of course, the duck. All served with salted fish fried rice.

I'm off to the beach tomorrow morning for our New Year's celebration. Yippee! As I sit here writing this, I am covered in self-tanner (my traditional prep work for any beach trip), with a warm glow in my tummy from all that food...wondering how the bikini will react to my Christmas weight gain. Oh well, I don't regret a moment or a morsel of it! I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas!!! And all the best and brightest wishes for the New Year!!!

29 comments:

Santos said...

hi there joey! happy christmas to you and your family (and your new in-law family :D), and a fabulous new year to you all!

ces said...

hi joey..
great entry! best of the year ahead to you and your family and the new one..haha!

Stephanie said...

Wow!

Now that sounds like fun...especially if I wasn't the one who had to make all the food...

Wishing you a happy new year!

sha said...

wow.... next time pala sa inyo kami hahaha.

A WISHING YOU A FAB 2006 AND MORE COOKING

alley cat said...

OMG! WOW. That Lechon looks amazing. My girlfriend's mouth dropped when she saw this (www.ellens-ramblings.blogspot.com). We hope to come to the Philippines again next Christmas coz she is sad about missing her Pinoy xmas. Just not the same here in Australia. Can we invite ourselves over to your mums!! What a feast.

Lera said...

Wishing you a wonderful New year!

paz said...

What a wonderful feast!

Happy New Year!

Best,
Paz

Lori said...

Joey,
I'm enchanted with the idea of a choc-nut bundt cake. Please tell me where your aunt got it. :)

JMom said...

How timely indeed to have a Pinoy feast this year :-) That lechon looks absolutely delicious! Happy New your to you and your family!

tattum said...

Joey! I just wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year, that for sure it will be!!I'm still in Marbella, right now you are in the future, in the 2006, and I'm still in 2005!! How weird!! Have a great time sunbathing!! Besos

dexiejane said...

What a scrumptious feast. Happy New Year Joey!!!

Oliver said...

all the best for a wonderful new year joey, with lots more prosecco and yummy dishes!

sailu said...

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and safe 2006!

angelika said...

Hi Joey, I am impressed. What wonderful food - and what wonderful family. I adore families who know how to celebrate feasts (my own "patchwork" family is getting more and more successful in that respect over the years ;-))) I wish Your and Yours all the very best for 2006 - which as I know will be a very special one for You. Looking forward to many more mutual blogging experiences and sharing our philosophy of "enjoying the precious moment", a big New Year`s hug to you, angelika

Karen said...

Hi Joey! Fantastic feast! Your family does know how to feast. Mmmmm!!!

Happy New Year! Am excited for you, hehehe!

ChichaJo said...

HI EVERYONE! :) Thanks for taking the time to stop by and for all the warm holiday greetings! Our family is very much into feasting and fun, sometimes bordering into zany. Let's not even get into C & I getting doused with orange soda by my uncle on New Year's Eve...I had a blast over the holidays and I hope you all did too :) A big hug from me to all of you!!! :)

Lori, here's the contact details for the choc-nut bundt: Ann Puno, mobile 09175339636.

Mona said...

Happy New Year Joey. THat spread looks awesome, as does the piggy. Oink oink!!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday! Just think, it was your first as an engaged woman-whoa!! :)

Ruth said...

Joey, what a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing and have an especially wonderful 2006.

thess said...

Happy New Year, Joey!

love the lechon photo :)

Lani said...

happy new year, joey!!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mona! Thanks! I do love my piggies ;)

Hi Ruth! Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful 2006 as well :)

Hi Thess! Happy New Year! :)

Happy New Year to you too Lani! :)

Raquel's Box of Chocolate said...

Hi Joey!
I hope you are having a good New Year so far. I am sure you are very busy, so I understand if you can't participate. I just tagged you for a new meme called Common Cold Remedies. You can view the details over at my website www.raqueljournal.typepad.com. Basically, list what you do to calm the common cold! I would like to see what you do for it!
Thank you!
:)
Raquel

ChichaJo said...

Hi there Raquel! Got lots of cures for the common cold...will get to it soon but I do owe a couple of meme's already :) So will do it all one after the other :)

mike mina said...

hi joey! what a wonderful feast! thanks for joining LP5 . . . happy new year!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Mike! Hope this year is a great one for you! :)

ting-aling said...

Lechon, lechon, lechon..that's what I had too. Hey, I'm so excited about your news! Have fun!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ting! Thanks :) Hope all is well with you! Glad to hear you also enjoyed some lechon this holiday season :)

ggpaborito said...

This part of your blog is so extravagant. All dishes of your are great. It makes me feel that I miss the filipino way of CHRISTMAS DISHES there.....

GING

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ging! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :) Yes, Christmas here is great...especially the food! :)