20 October 2004

Dinner fun

My wife was not feeling well yesterday. It's not really that serious, but I didn't want to aggravate it, so I volunteered to do the groceries after work. So off I went to Landmark at 7PM. Wow, it's been quite a while since I did the groceries. I've forgotten certain sections. I remember vividly, however, where the chips and dips, ice cream and sandwich spreads can be found. Ah, my favorite spots! I had trouble locating, however, the canola oil, laundry soap, and the other things I was really supposed to buy. But since I was there already, I might as well add in my favorite spanish sardines and canned tuna :-).

I also bought cooked food for our dinner. It was already closing time when I checked out, so McDonalds and KFC were selling the remaining food on the counter. I wasn't going for that, so instead I settled for Binalot!

Binalot simply means "wrapped" in English. This meal is wrapped in a traditional, no-garbage, back-to-nature, organic packaging. Banana leaves! My wife was delighted when she saw our dinner. She said when she was in grade school in Quezon, they would wrap their baon with banana leaves. This was the practice too for folks in the provinces, especially those working the fields. Their wives would arrive during lunchtime, a woven basket in tow. Then the meal inside would be separately wrapped in banana leaves. They'd simply sit under the shade of trees eat with their hands. There's actually a restaurant here in Manila where utensils are not a necessity to have your meal. It's aptly named Kamayan, which means 'by hand.'

Unwrap the packaging and the fragrant waft of the heated banana leaves mingling with the food will greet your nostrils. Inside you get an abundant serving of rice, viand, a tomato, and half a red egg. The pickled garlic (it's colored red, used in Japanese shops) came from our ref :-). One meal costs an average of 65 pesos. Not bad for a full meal!

The one in the photo came with pork chop. The other two sets I bought was with adobo (pork cooked in soy sauce) and skinless longganisa (a form of sausage). Yum Yum!

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