I’m not talking about the local gastronomy; I’m talking about a taste of home. I was at a birthday party with some Kano friends, and I arrived at 1130, the young man was turning 12 and his folks had invited his entire class from school and quite a few Madams’ (Teachers). The hosts had put out a feast, and everyone was digging in rather quickly, as we found out after the party all the students had to return to class. My three Kano buddies, Mike, Bill and Don were delivered food by their lovely wives, and they too were chowing down.
Me not so much, as I’d had a big breakfast that morning as I always do and was just not hungry. My wife Mayang leaves me alone; as she knows I eat when hungry, and won’t be forced to eat when I’m not. I eat local food when I have to, but to tell the truth I’m really not that fond of it. There is a lot to like, but I’ll pick what I want a give a pass to the rest. None of us guys wanted beer or cocktails due to the early hour, plus the preponderance of young and impressionable children who were at the party.
What do I like, Breakfast for one, but American style, I don’t want fish or rice, or leftovers from last night. Albeit when I was single, cold pizza in the morning was really good. Mostly I like eggs with bacon, sausage, ham or even fried Bologna. Add in hash browns and toast and jelly and a cup of real coffee and I’m good to go. On some mornings I’ll have Aunt Jemima’s frozen waffles or fresh pancakes. For bacon I like Honey cured local made by “Pure Foods” and sausage I prefer Jimmy Dean or Johnston. But what really gets me going in the morning is the Jimmy Dean, dropped biscuit with sausage egg and cheese which is of course is microwaveable and it’s good to go in one minute.
Then my friend and neighbor Mr. Don Bullock informed me a couple of weeks ago that a new store on Subic Free Port Carried “THOMAS folk split frozen English Muffins” It had been ten years since I’d seen or tasted those. I thought like the Gyro Sandwich I would pass off this mortal core never having tasted them again. So I dashed to the Gourmet Garage (Yup that’s the name) and purchased all they had, now it’s been three weeks and they have not restocked them. Oh I received all the platitudes; “Oh Sir, next week”, for three weeks I’ve been told that. The one that I really like is leave your cell number and we’ll text you. Do I really think that that is the first thing on the employee’s mind when the store open every day? Neigh I think not. Okay so I wait ten more years, MacDo’s has English Muffins with their Big Breakfast” so I’ll make do with that.
Then in the Royal store after a five year hiatus like magic appears my favorite soft drink, Squirt, a no caffeine citrus soda. I emptied the shelf, but I know it’s gone for 5 more years. I’ll just ration it, until it’s I’m out.. If the kids don’t drink it all first, and of course I’d never tell them they can’t have it.
This week I’ll cook a three pound Butter Ball Turkey Breast in my Turbo Oven and then bagged it up with gravy and portion controlled it for hot turkey sandwiches with mash potatoes and gravy when I’m in the mood. I do the same with meat loaf. Also I’ve found Ball Park hot dogs and National Hebrew Beef Hot Dogs on base, and they’re kosher and both lack Red Dye #5.
In my freezer I have TGIF frozen Chicken wings, frozen Pizza and everything I need to make a pizza from scratch, plus other food stuffs that remind me of growing up back home in Boston, including Corn Beef Brisket for Boiled New England Dinner, like my Sainted Grandmother Molly Dugan Thompson fixed on Sunday afternoons.
But mistakes do happen, and if I’m involved they are quite often. On this planet there are a group of people whom refer to themselves as Vegetarians or Vegans. I think they delude themselves, otherwise why would they buy products that imitate meat? Soy Hamburger Patties, Tofu Turkey, and the one they tricked me was “Morning Star Farms Original Sausage Patties” and on the cover is a juicy meaty looking fried patty or link (I bought both), Mmmm looking so good. I toss two packs into my shopping cart. The next day my wife cooked me a couple, first they looked nothing like the picture on the package, they looked like two mini Hockey pucks. I grabbed the package and there printed on the bottom in print not designed for a man in his sixties to read it said; “Savory, sizzling veggie patties” Explain to me that if a vegan is firm about not consuming meat, why do they try to replace it with veggies and pretend it’s meat? That tells me that in fact they want meat, and just won’t admit it. Fine, eat that crap if you want to but don’t try to fool the rest of us carnivores. Humans were born with carnivore teeth we do not have herbivore teeth, what more proof do they want. Next they’ll try to tell me that those rich celebrities that support PETA are wearing plastic shoes and not leather (PETA – People Eating Tasty Animals now you can’t put that in the comment section, you know who you are!) LOL
Okay I’m waiting, I know I’ll catch it from some readers who’ll say that I should eat local food to show respect for the people and where I am. But what I say to that particular belief is; “I’ve never met a Pinoy in any other country on earth that eats the local chow every day, oh, like me they eat it once in awhile, but for the most part they are eating their own food and loving it.” If it’s good enough for the Pinoy’s to eat his own food instead of others, don’t jump on me.
On every ship I’ve ever sailed (And that is quite a few) there were always two types of food served every meal, the type what was on the menu for that meal, and the side pot for the Filipino crew members Like renting or buying a house I’ll say once again, whatever works for you cannot be wrong, unless you don’t agree with it?
But for me tonight I’ll eat Fish and Chips with British Malt Vinegar and love it, and don’t be surprised if my wife and daughter aren’t eating and loving it also. Bon apatite!
Paul Thompson; Resides in the Philippines, close to Subic Bay. He is married to the wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang). Our to daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen (AKA Ling-ling). Our youngest is living in Singapore, enjoying her life's adventure. I'm a retired Senior Chief from the U.S. Navy after 21 years. Post Navy he lived 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. After Hurricane Hugo told him to find a new line of work, he was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. Then after 30 years at sea he buried his anchor in the Philippines residing now in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt Bataan where he build his home. And last but not least, anything he writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek" if anybody is offended, He'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!