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Family Christmas Feast
I am going to be with my husband’s family for the winter this year, which means I am going to have to wait another year to have my traditional holiday foods from my childhood.
I am not certain what a vegetarian does during the big feasting holidays or parties at a Filipino household that has the money to buy meat. I have never really thought about it, and when I do, it kind of makes my head hurt. I’m sure there are greens somewhere!
Featured from my family’s table and the haze of my memory:
- white rice served in the cooker!
- menudo (Filipino stew version of course) - pork, liver, potato, tomato, and other goodies
- dinuguan - a blood stew usually made with pork
- kalderetang baka - another stew - beef, olives, potato, bell peppers, and other things
- paksiw (pronounced pahk-siew) - often made with bangus/milkfish for our holiday table, stewed in vinegar with garlic and other things. Sometimes a pork version makes a showing instead.
- lumpiang shanghai - lumpia! Pork egg rolls! So good! With a loose sweet and sour sauce on the side.
- embutido - often described as a meatloaf; more like a meatloaf crossed with a sausage? This is something I didn’t eat much as a kid.
- siopao - a steamed bun. My aunt fills them with pork, chicken, and boiled egg.
- fish - pan-fried? roasted? Not sure of how it’s cooked but what it is but it is always good. Served with a vinegar+garlic mixture, “suka”. (but you have to pronounce it right or you’re saying “vomit” instead and everyone laughs at you)
- spiral ham - it’s kind of a toss-up whether this makes the table, but as a popular American item that feeds lots of people we gave it a shot for many years
- pancit - noodles, vegetables, protein, often topped with boiled sliced eggs. I depicted pancit canton (thicker noodles), but my (other) aunt prefers making pancit bihon (thin noodles)
- lechon - the roasted pig, centerpiece of the meal that actually sits off to the side on its own table so everyone can get to it easily. Usually a machete-type knife instead of the butcher’s knife, but I wanted that quick “large-knife” effect in the image. Served with a liver and vinegar sauce.
Not pictured: my aunt’s won ton soup. It’s always sitting in a little pot on the stove, and thus I didn’t even see it in my head when I pictured our holiday table.
30 Characters in 30 Days 2013 Summary!
If thumbnails aren’t your thing, you can check out the blog post archive of my entire run of 30 Characters in 30 Days 2013 here.
I am happy to have succeeded in my first year as a challenger! I used 2013 as a month of no-pressure discovery by exploring subjects that I like while experimenting with my method. Along the way I ended up developing some good time-management habits for sure! It also left me anxious to start storytelling again, which was an interesting and encouraging feeling. It’ll be fun to look back on this set next year!