Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Fourth of July, 2009

I spent the "Fourth of July" at Silang. In the Philippines, " Philippine American Friendship Day" or the 4Th of July is spent quietly among those whose memories of the American period, or those with strong Filipino -American ties. My friend Betty and I had that bond. Our fathers were both World War II veterans, and they were both friends during our high school days. I couldn't think of a better way to spend this American holiday than to cook a traditional Southern Fried Chicken. Betty and I motored down the south superhighway towards my farm and we passed by one of the little "food courts" along the way to pick up some coffee rolls, a slice of pizza and some french baguettes at Deli France for our anticipated lunch later on.

The day finally arrived where my sweet organic corn could be harvested. The variety of corn I planted took 70 days, and is very sweet and tender, an ideal food for weaned babies and old people with difficulty digesting.

Gloria went over to cut the ripened cobs and bring them in the kitchen for washing and boiling.

We also harvested our organically grown broilers a week early since the chickens have reached 1 kilo weight each.

The corn was still oozing out its sweetness and I couldn't wait to cook it right away while it was still fresh.

Plump, and tender chicken, was marinaded in milk, garlic and herbs cut from the garden, then fried in the traditional American way. A second version was cooked by Gloria in the old Filipino way-- marinated in toyo or soy sauce, kalamanci, then fried directly in corn oil. Well it was "FILIPINO-AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP DAY" so we just had to have two styles of home cooking for lunch.

A few lovely White Ginger flowers adorned our table. The Camia flowers will bloom during the rainy season. These plants love the constant downpour, and will flower when skies turn gray and heavy with rain clouds. Common in the tropics, they give off a delicate aroma.

The rosal is another flower that enjoys the dampness of the monsoon season. I usually place these petite rosal blooms in the house to act as an air freshener. I do have to be wary of an occasional large spider, or tiny brown tree frog that hides under the leaves and almost always surprises me when these garden creatures leap out suddenly!

The fourth of July came and went, but I did remember my Father who was part of the brave men who came from across the oceans to liberate the Philippines. Side by side with their Filipino allies, they spilled blood to restore democracy to the islands we are privileged to call free nation once again. Betty's father fought in Bataan, and walked that terrible "Death March". He was incarcerated at the Tarlac P.O.W. camps waiting for liberation that came when General Douglas MacArthur kept his promise to return to the Philippines. After several battles, the Americans surged forward and defeated the Japanese.


Till next time, no worries...and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!