When I tell people I'm half Filipino I usually get one of three reactions: 1) Seriously, are you sure you're not Mexican?
2) I totally knew you were Filipno, you totally look like one! (LIARS, if you thought I was Filipino you would've guessed that, not Mexican)
and the most popular
3) Oh, I looooooooove Lumpia!!!!
This is all in good spirit and all but it's kind of a duh. Of course you love Lumpia. What's not to love about Lumpia? The problem begins when they want you to be bringing Lumpia over to their house and whatnot. While Lumpia is not hard to make it does require deep frying and I'm just too lazy for that. I mean if I'm going to go to all the trouble of deep-frying I'm not going to share that goodness with others. I'm going to shovel that straight into my Wilipina stomach.
All of this is to say I felt like the best way to deflect the Lumpia requests might be to learn how to make some easy yet delicious Filipino dish. Enter my Auntie Eleanor's Bibingka.
Bibingka is a coconut/rice based desert and Auntie Eleanor's is the bomb. Actually she's an awesome cook so everything she makes is the bomb. Her house is like a shrine to delicious food. I feel like fainting when I walk through the door the smell is so intoxicating. Best of all she is your typical Filipina Auntie. There's no "hello" at her house, she greets you with "eat, eat, eat!" and then throws you at the buffet. She is the good-kind of Filipina lady that will actually bring lumpia to your potluck and because she's a better person/cook than me she'll bring some Bibingka too. Here's her recipe. I beg you to find other people to share this with you will be sick if you eat it all.
Now you are ready my friends. Go forth and make Bibingka. Then invite me over!!!!!
Note: The first time I tried to make this it was an epic fail. EPIC. So I warn you. Do not cook this in a toaster oven. It won't work and digging rock-hard rice and caramelized coconut out of your pan will not be fun.
I'm both hospitable and competitive so when Andres and Martiza said they were coming to California I felt this irrational drive that they must leave my homestate singing it's praises. So I busted out some of the best that California has to offer: Maghanoy's and wine. Oh yeahhhhhhhh We arrived to the fairyland that is my parent's house after a 14 hour drive. My GAD had cooked pitch-perfect adobo and my Mom had fired up the spa. (They have a spa now! Excellent.) I was so tired after the drive I almost cried. Andres took one taste of my parents meal and declared it the best food he'd had since his Mom moved to Argentina two years ago. And if you know how Colombian men are about their mommies you'd know that was HUGE compliment. When I gushed to my GAD about how good it was he said "I know." Classic Maghanoy.
Anyways the next day we took it too another level. That would be my brother Nathan and wine tasting. Yup, we got our own personal wine-tasting and tour, complete with a stop to the VIP wine tasting room. Oh, yeah, and then after resting up from our exhausting morning of wine tasting he took us to swim at La Jolla. Hard Day, but we made it.
1) I made mayonnaise from scratch this weekend. I've wanted to do that ever since I read Julie and Julia. I can't believe how delicious it was. Plus one point for me. 2) I watched High school musical. Thankfully I still think it's kind of lame. Two point for me!
A few weeks ago my friend Renee came over to hardwire the lamp shown above into the ceiling of our bedroom. Since Casa Perez seems to eat all our money with broken HVAC units and replaced sewer lines, any other work has to be done by friends who have been bribed. So she comes over and starts working and voila, magically is done in like 10 minutes... and then all the power went out in 1/2 the house. Naturally, because this is my house. You didn't really think anything would be that easy, right?
As Scoobie would say...Rur-oh.
Needless to say Renee was freaking out. No one really wants to be repsonsible for inadvertantly destroying their friends electrical system.
I however was not worried because I have something in my pocket that no one else has... wonder-GAD. My Dad can seriously fix anything, even over the phone. So, I threw some bacon at Renee to calm her nerves and called my dear GAD up. He was in an even better mood than usual, happily chatting about the movie he was watching that day. After reminding him to be nice to Renee I handed the phone over. Ten minutes later the problem was fixed. That's right y'all. Maghanoy power!
I committed an Asian sin the other day. I was merrily getting ready to marinade my skirt steak when I went to the fridge and found out that we had NO SOY SAUCE. Alarmed by the audacity of my oversight I closed the door quickly and scanned the room to make sure that the Asian Police didn't come and take away my Wilipino card. I mean seriously! A Wilipina without soy sauce? That's like a gringo without sour cream. I sort of remedied my faux pas by getting some sauce stat, but I got the wussy kind. Instead of a respectable brand like Kikkoman, I got low sodium kind from TJ's. I know that GAD's around the world are shaking their heads in disgust.
Remember how I said that my GAD likes to brag about his perfect feet, perfect cooking etc.? Well, now we can add another layer to the list. As you might know, I am very into talking about COLONOSCOPIES, it is my new thing because of my new job. I'm not done with nutrition, I am just adding cancer screening. Anyways, so because of this I am having a totally normal conversation with my Mom about flex sigmoidoscopies. Thassa right, I use big words like flex sigmoidoscopies. And I said... everything came out clean right? And she said...
Obviously I will be hearing about this perfectly symmetrical, number 1 in the world colon for the rest of my life.
Last week one of my friends had a pretty serious problem. Her father who lives somewhere in rural Chihuahua, Mexico was in a coma. I got into the mix because my friend doesn' t speak spanish and most people in rural Chiuahua, Mexico don't speak English. So Arnold and I are calling back and forth trying to extract information from the hospital staff. Normally this isn't so difficult, except that the line was very scratchy, oh and the staffer I was talking to was... how can I say this (nicely), uhm, I can't. She was one of those chismosa/judgy types. Sample convo
Me: "Hi can you give me some info about (patients name here) condition? I am a friend of Renee's.
Judgy Nurse: I can't tell you whether he'll live or die today or next year. Tell her she has to come, he is all alone! (this part is somewhat accusing, and not true, he lives with his mother).
Me: I know, I understand your concern, but I really need to give her some information about what is really going on.
Judgy Nurse: He's very sick, she should come. (mounting emphasis on Nurses's part)
Me: I understand that, but can you explain his prognosis to me.
Judgy Nurse: No I CAN'T! Besides he's already at home.
Me: Then I guess he's not in a coma anymore.
And so it when on.... for another 10 minutes until I hung up, I wasn't getting anywhere and she was pissing me off.
When I related my experience to Arnold he just laughed. "Yeah, Latinos, we're like that"
Which of course, I know, but I never, ever learn.
After that I didn't really hear what happened until Renée called me today and said... "So, I think I am going to start a new website, it's going to be called Mexicansarecrazy.com. Apparently the reason that my Dad is in a coma is that he ate 4 times as much beef jerky as is allowed for his health condition. That is the equivalent of finding a diabetic unconscious in the bathroom after eating 5 pies or something. My Dad is going to eat himself to death! Can you imagine the eulogy? "My father was a good man, he loved beef jerky. He loved it more than life itself! No, literally!"
Well, okay then, I know comas aren't funny, but it was hard to contain myself during this whole conversation, because even though comas aren't funny, beef jerky is always funny!
I guess next time my GAD tells me he has to get off the phone to attend to his very busy "peanut eating" schedule, instead of rolling my eyes I'll just be thankful that I don't have to worry about beef jerky induced comas. Actually my GAD says that he is losing weight and working out for his grandchildren. No word on where those "grandchildren" are going to come from.
That's right, I know you all want more GAD stories, so here you go. My Dad is not into talking on the phone, or really talking in general but he is into me and sometimes he calls me up, mostly because my Mom makes him, but still, I know he wouldn't make the effort for just anyone.... anyways, here is a typical conversation with my GAD...
Me - Hello? Dad - Who is this? Me - Dad, YOU called me, what do you mean who is this? Dad - Oh, ha ha ha ha <---- this joke kills him every time. Dad - How's it going? Me - Good, how are you. Dad - Good... okay, well that's all I got. Here's your Mom...
One thing to know about my GAD is that he yells a lot, he doesn't mean too and I don't mean that the yelling is negative, rather the opposite it is quite amusing. And really maybe more than yelling he merely asks simple questions in sort of an accusatory way. Sample conversation. GAD: What kind of ducting do you have in your house, flexible or rigid? Me: I don't know. GAD: Why don't you know!!! Me: Uh.... I don't know anything about ducts in general, I studied Spanish. GAD: (not willing to give up, becomes more agitated) Well is it square or round? (Insert impatient tone here) Me: Uh, let me look at the picture.... uh it's round GAD: Oooh, okay round. (Insert pleased placated/wise, all knowing and slightly mysterious tone here)
So I don't know if it's clear from my sample dialogue but it really is very funny. Especially if you know that it's not personal, and if you know any GAD you would understand it's not personal. I find the Chhimi is quite similar to my father in this respect. Sample conversation.
Chhimi: Where do you want to go for lunch? (Although this is only the beginning of the conversation Chhimi is already expressing a slight air of irritation) Me: Uh, I don't know. Chhimi: Fine! Evil eyes(that's me) can't make a decision! (Chhimi also favors third person as a communicative device) Me: Chhimi, it's 9:30 in the morning Chhimi: Whatever, Chhimi's going to be hungry at lunch. Me: Uh, okay, How about Paesanos? Chhimi: I hate pasta, but fine, whatever you want. Me: Well we can go somewhere else... Chhimi: No evil eyes must have her way, see you at 12:00
What can I say? It's a GAD, GAD world!!!! And I wouldn't have it any other way!