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But Not Every Day

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I was born and raised in an Irish Catholic section of Boston called Dorchester; the other major section for the Irish is called Southie (South Boston) where many of my cousins lived. An old joke about us Irish; “Do you know what a seven-course dinner in Ireland is, Six pints of beer and a potato.”

My wife has asked me why I don’t like rice. There is no good answer to that because I really don’t, I find it filling yet very bland, but this is just my opinion, if you like it, the more to you.

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Rice is something you should eat if you want thousands of just one thing. I love potatoes, but not at every meal every day. Even if served in the vast arrays there is in cooking potatoes. (No I will not list them all) Sometimes I like French cut green beans, corn, and other items with my meal but again not every day. Variety if you can afford it. (That will set someone off on a tangent LOL)

My house has an unusual machine called a Rice Cooker, sitting on the counter always full of rice 24-7.

Note: Something I learned in 1995 somewhere in your house there should be a spare “Rice Cooker” if you ever want hero status from your family. It was not a buy one take one deal. But we have a spare. (Again if you can afford it) (LOL)

I have a Fry Daddy (No spare I couldn’t afford it) on that same counter that I can cook French Fried Potatoes in, but it will also fry other stuff like chicken or fish in there too. My first time seeing a rice cooker I thought it was a Crock Pot. Add to it the little light which I call the “Eternal Flame”.  My Fry Daddy also has a light, but it is only on a few hours per month.

My wife and family want rice with every meal and this American of Irish descent will do nothing to change that. What right would I have to even try? Would anyone try to stop our Australian friends from eating Vegemite? I think not. And don’t mess with my peanut butter.

With Filipino food, there is much I like, and some I don’t like. But I will always try it before having an opinion but once more, not wanting it every day. I would believe there is much American food that a Pinoy wouldn’t enjoy. Dill Pickles and mustard come to mind) But I also don’t want Hot Dogs or Hamburgers every day.

Some of the harm I’ve done in the past 25 years, with the children in my family. My granddaughter eats rice, but if given the chance to have Mashed Potatoes and gravy that will win out every time. She even likes it with breakfast, and I know every restaurant in Zambales and Bataan that serves it.(She says it is good with Kenny Rogers Chicken too) And never put hot dogs in her pasta. (Give her Italian Sausage please)  Her mother will just give me “The Eye” and then smile. I started the young lady on Bacon cooked crispy and explained it was finger food. Once more I get that “EYE” from my daughter.

Mayang is old school about her rice and will pass on meals without rice; her twin sister is of the same ilk. But our two-year-old niece likes Daddy Tito Paul’s food and snacks. (Not so much Chili. Not happy with beans.)

What I do like in the Philippines are the pastries and baked goods, the lady at the Sari-Sari bakes banana bread and knows to tell me when it will be ready. It is so good, and Sky Flake crackers will beat NABISCO day in and day out, give me a Fita cracker and keep soggy Ritz out of my sight I like a lot of local candy too. Pop Cola not so much thank you, its coke Na Lang.

Now today, for lunch I’ll have cold cuts on a French roll with Potato Chips and A&W Cream Soda (A New England favorite.) Don’t hate me because where I live has so much imported food. While my wife and sister will eat a Filipino taste sensation of their choosing. I spent most of my life single, so I know how to cook whatever I like, and still do. This is not me telling you how to eat, as I would never presume to do that, this is just how I do it.

My number one favorite restaurant is still the Sit-N’ Bull, in the Barrio. Ron (The owner) worked as a cook on longline fishing boats in Alaska, and if the Captain and crew aren’t happy, it is the midnight shift at Denny’s where you’ll end up and lose one hell of a big paycheck.

He knew that if he wanted the foreign traffic, and also knew we’d never get them if the ladies didn’t like the Filipino food he served, so now my friends and I get to eat there all the time. Plus local businessmen and politicians also like the chow and it is now well known among all walks of life in the Olongapo City area.

The area has many good restaurants owned by expats and local so whatever food you are looking for is mostly here. There even was a French restaurant, it closed within six months. A Greek restaurant would be nice, but when if I have to go to Manila, I know where they are.

So I wish you all a Good Appetite;

Tagalog:        Masiyahan kayo sa inyong pagkain

French:           Bon Appetites

Javanese:       Monggo dinikmati suguhane

Indonesian     Selamat makan

Malay             Nikmati hidangan anda

Latin               Cenam vestram fruimini

Italian             Buon Appetito

Greek            Καλή όρεξη( Kalí órexi)

Ireland          Taitneamh a bhaint as do chuid béile

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Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two 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 Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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john.j.
john.j.
2 years ago

You are lucky where you are Paul, western food is hard to come bye in Tagum City. Beef you just nail that on the sole of your shoes lol.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  john.j.

John;
We have butcher shops that import really good corn fed Australian beef. If you’ve ever had a steak in Australia you’d know how good it is. Angles City has the same type of food too. My wife just happened to live here, and she didn’t want to move far from her family. Neither did I. (LOL)

Mike
Mike
2 years ago

Reading this makes me miss the biscuits and gravy at Denny’s Restaurant in Yakima, WA where we lived before moving to the Philippines. Friday morning bible study with my men’s group, followed by breakfast. It was a great way to start a Friday.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike;
Sit-N”-Bull in the Barrio has Biscuits and gravy, But I liked the Grand Slam at Denny’s. Some foods do stir memories.

PapaDuck
PapaDuck
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike,
There are Denny’s in Metro Manila, along with IHOP.

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

Randy, there’s an IHOP in Rehoboth about 10 miles down the Coastal Highway from where we live on Fenwick Island, Delaware. They serve the best tilapia fish fillets a la Florentine on a bed of spinach, a favorite of mine. It comes with mashed potatoes with gravy and garlic bread. Love it. Thanks for the tip. I hope the IHOP you speak of in Metro Manila serve tilapia in the same style as they do here in the States, because I will be there to eat. While my wife will have her usual customized menu of harvest pancakes, scramble eggs,… Read more »

Bob New York
Bob New York
2 years ago

I have often thought about what our ( USA ) equivalent would be to having rice with every meal and I think it would be potatoes. Home fries with breakfast, French Fries with lunch and baked potato with dinner. I don’t think many of us would do that with every meal every day though. When I do have rice I like to put butter on it. My grandmother used to put sugar on her rice. My favorite rice item is Rice Pudding but I don’t think it is very common in Philippines ? I have found many Filipino foods and… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob New York

Bob (NY)
There are some wonderful meals here, and each region does it their own way. Like Clam Chowder in New York and Clam Chowder in New England.But I find the best Filipino food is never at restaurants but at a party, at a neighbors house. And I know Jollibee’s is always your favorite over McDonalds.

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

You mean, Manhattan clam chowder in New York, Paul. 🙂

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John
The red stuff that they eat in New York.it was developed in Manhattan and they seemed to like it in New York.But without potatoes and cream, is it really clam chowder?

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Paul – I like both Manhattan and New England clam chowders, with Manhattan having the edge if eaten with banana bread. The sweetness of the banana bread is an awesome contrast to the tangy flavor of the Manhattan. It’s a meal in itself.

The New England clam chowder, meanwhile, has the edge over the Manhattan, if I add clam juice and a can of tuna in a hefty bowl of the soup along with crushed saltine crackers. But, you wouldn’t have none of that, as I recall you admonishing me about it. LOL

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John;
In New England we find that Manhattan Clam and Tomato soup lacks the consistency to make it a chowder. On the sea shore around New York the clam shacks by the beach, see which of the two they sel. The chowder or the soup.l

Gary L
Gary L
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob New York

We Westerners can have bread with every meal. Bread, one way or another, is our rice equivalent.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary L

Gary;
What you say is true, but I seldom eat bread without butter on it. I guess I could pit butter on rice.

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Try soy sauce on rice, Paul, you might like it better than butter on rice. On the soy sauce, make sure it’s the low-sodium kind like Kikkoman low sodium soy sauce. The Kikkoman works well, too, when you fry Tocino Spam with it.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John;
I honestly do not like Soy Sauce.

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob New York

Bob New York – Pancit? Adobo? Lumpia? Lechon?
These are usually the kind of Filipino dishes you will encounter at most Pinoy parties.

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

Three rice cookers here – the “standard” counter-top edition, the “emergency” just in case edition, and the “super-sized” party edition. Also have two spare power cords for each rice cooker. Seems as though some “operators” have the Midas Touch when it comes to anything with a power cord.

White rice is the largest contributor to the diabetes epidemic in the Philippines, too. I shy away and gnaw a potato, when available. ????

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Paul;
And with that many rice cookers the tranquility was hang over the roof of your house up north.Under the sink we have a battered old aluminium rice pan for absolute earth shattering emergencies.

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul

I don’t want to jinx it, Paul, but I do eat rice with ulam frequently at dinner, and I don’t have diabetes. How are things out there in Pasuquin, Paul?

Jack
2 years ago

Couldn’t agree more Paul regarding the mashed potatoes, salt, butter and milk, yum yum, love it, I too have it for breakfast sometimes. I guess potatoes are something all Irish will cherish forever. My wife also likes it but not as much as rice. I will eat rice but sometimes only. Here in Mis Occ imported foods are hard to come by, not much that way in Ozamis, we mostly shop in Dipolog but very basic (not much at all) when it comes to anything imported. Must agree with John. J. regarding the beef, here also beef is like an… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Jack

Jack;
I’ve found local beef here but it is not corn fed, and corn adds the flavor. in the 1950’s South America sent grain fed beef to the United States and when they switch to corn (A different type of grain) it sold like wild fire.
I’ll wager I eat more chicken and pork then I do beef, but when I want beef I only want the Australian imported beef.
In 1995 I did see my wife boil a steak, but I explained you only boil Corned Beef.

Ed
Ed
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Not sure how others cook Calderata (or any soup or stew), but I start by browning then slow-cook my beef (and that’s local beef, not politician-priced-imported-beef) with my desired spices, onion, and garlic. Sadly no celery even resembling wilted compost around here. After a few hours, add potatoes and carrots to the slow boil. My induction cooker at the lowest setting boils for one second, shuts off for maybe 10, repeat repeat, that’s just how it works and saves a big bunch of electricity. If cooking outside on wood or uling, the boil is obviously more vigorous. All of which… Read more »

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

A long ways off from St. Patrick’s Day, and already I am salivating at the thought of boiled corned beef, turnips and cabbage for dinner. Seems like I have a lot of favorites. This is another one of them, Paul.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John;
Corn Beef and cabbage is a mainstay around Saint Paddy’s day, but as a kid in Boston we had it all the time, especially when visiting our Grandmothers. Each cooked it a little different, and no one ever figured out if one was better than the other as they both were wonderful. Brisket the only beef you should boil.
In New York I believe they add tomatoes to it! (LOL)

Rob Ashley
Rob Ashley
2 years ago

Paul: Last night for dinner I had a great sandwich, pastrami, cheddar cheese, pickles, good mustard and a dash of hot sauce on a Hogie roll from Rustans, washed down with an A&W Root Beer. Turn off the rice cooker. I’d take this meal anytime. And to a fellow Irishman, just before my dad died, he called me long distance from California and went right into a joke in an Irish brogue. He didn’t even say, “Hey I have a joke for you.” He just went right into it. “So Pat and Mike were talkin’ one day, and Pat says,… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob Ashley

My dad was born one week after the ship moored in Boston, but all my grandparents were born in Ireland. The greatest natural sense of humor comes from them. Tip of my hat to your Dad! Great joke BTW!
The sandwich sounds great (Hogie is one I’ve not heard in a while) Mustard is something my family won’t touch, I just don’t know why? (LOL)
Taitneamh a bhaint as do chuid béile

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago

Hi Paul – You’re right about rice being bland, that’s why rice is rarely eaten by itself. Rice is almost always eaten with some kind of dish what we, Filipinos, call “ulam” or “putahe” (from the Spanish “potaje”). Ulam or putahe, it means the same thing: viand. By the same token, ulam is rarely eaten without rice. But, I’ve also seen people eat rice without ulam. Poorer folks from barrio Salaza make do when there is no money for ulam; they eat rice with “bagoong” (fermented fish sauce), or “tagapulot” (hardened sugar made of sugar cane juice). There aren’t many… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John;
I’ve only eaten French Fries or chips without something else, so we both have something in common. I’ll assume that you must be the only Filipino man who doesn’t cook? Every male in my wife’s family can cook, and do. My two son-in-laws both taught my dughters to cook, (lol0 and you don’t.
But if you must wait to eat what you love, think about how good it is when you have it. Food is important to each of us.
Masiyahan kayo sa inyong pagkain

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Oh, I cook alright. I know how to cook sauteed corned beef from a can, for example. We have a rice cooker, but not the eternal flame kind like you have, because the only person in the household who uses the rice cooker is me. There’s only me and my wife in the household. She fixes mostly Lebanese or Arabic food, which are not that different from each other, and I fix my food, mostly from the can; that is, if we’re not at Outback Restaurant dining on my all time favorite King cut prime rib cooked Pittsburgh style and… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John;
During my many trips to the Persian-Arabian Gulf I tried Middle Eastern Food, I’d rather go to the Outback with you and have a Blooming Onion. I don’t do a lot of can food, but I have. I like spam, the national dish of Guam.

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Funny that you mentioned blooming onions, Paul. It’s my wife’s favorite. It’s a must have appetizer when we go to Outback to eat. Guamenians know what they’re talking about. I like Spam as well. On a recent trip to visit my youngest son in Ashburn, I picked up a can of Tocino Spam from Lotte, an Asian grocery store there in northern Virginia. The made in the Philippines Tocino Spam is the tastiest Spam I have ever eaten. I ate it with guess what. LOL

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John;
There is a Outback in Manali at the North East Mall (I think that’s it) If the VA makes me go again I’ll go for the Blooming Onion.

Ulysses
2 years ago

Hi Paul i liked reading your post

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Ulysses

Ulysses;
Thank you, I like reading your comments.

Ed
Ed
2 years ago

Have you (or anyone) considered opening a business to source and ship precious items like French bread (or any European-style bread), cheese, and cold-cuts (real cold cuts, not the pink processed stuff that’s the only thing local groceries stock)? I’d sacrifice bigtime for one decent sandwich a month. Good chance I’m not the only deprived foreigner in the boonies.

Bob Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Swiss Deli in Davao (not far from you) has everything you are asking about. As does S&R.

Ed
Ed
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob Martin

Bob, I appreciate your suggestion and am aware of what’s way over there in Davao, but I don’t consider Davao “not far”. To me, downtown is “not far”, Digos is already way too far, and Davao must reasonably be an overnight trip, otherwise work all night, go to catch the sardine-can-van at dawn, and get home in time to work all night again has these last few years caused me to contract something very nasty that takes a month or more and advanced antibiotics to shake at my age. Seems I grew a LOT older just a few years ago,… Read more »

Bob Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Ed, the thing is that you constantly complain about this and that not being available. I mean constantly. If you live out in the boondocks, that is the way it is. If you don’t like it, make a change!

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob Martin

Bob;
Thank you for jumping in and assisting a fellow sandwich lover. We had a Subway Sandwich Shop her in Olongapo for about six months years ago. I pulled up, got out of the car and it was the 1000th internet cafe on Magsaysay Street.Months later I ran into the owner, and he said the Kano’s were not enough to support the business, he needed Pinoy customers too.
In Puerto Rico my bars had Gringos and tourist, but without the locals I’d never would have survived.. .

PapaDuck
PapaDuck
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Paul,
There are quite a few Subway’s now in Metro Manila.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

PapaDuck;
Yes there are but I like nothing so much that I’d go to Manila for, unless I absolutely have to. (LOL)

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Ed;
I feel your pain, a well made coldcut sandwich is a beauty to behold. But it seems our Web Master Bob has found the answer for you.. (Enjoy your Sub.)

Gary Dadds
Gary Dadds
2 years ago

Here in the UK the wife only has rice 2-3 times a week, I guess this will change once we relocate full-time. Although I don think it will go back to the 3 times a day. I do enjoy rice for. breakfast as long as it’s champorado and for lunch with a curry.

John Reyes
John Reyes
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Dadds

Champorado! Talk about food stirring memories as Paul said above. Champorado always brings fond memories of the rainy season in Salaza (and vice versa), when Mom used to serve it for breakfast with fresh, boiled carabao milk. Fried tuyo is a perfect accompaniment to champorado.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Dadds

Gary Dadd;
A very good point,you made, rice is good with curry, I ‘d forgot about that, and as curry is becoming common in Olongapo,

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