Saturday, October 17, 2009

Things uniquely Filipino and Corporal Punishment

For dinner tonight I made Spicy Red Curry Chicken that has coconut milk in the recipe. I don't know... but for some reason I don't trust coconut milk in a can. Where I came from, we extracted coconut milk the old school way. There's no exact translation in English but we call it kudkuran ng niyog (niyog being coconut). It looks like a low stool with a sharp metal object at the nose of the board. The sharp metal object is the actual coconut grater. It's not easy to describe how to use this coconut grater but I hope the photo helps. This link (courtesy of Burnt Lumpia) actually shows you an actual photo of the grater and a HOW TO video. Anyway, to extract the milk, the shreds of coconut are put in a cloth and squeezed. Pretty cool huh? Oh and it also requires strong arms & a lot of patience.

image source

The other things uniquely Filipino...

Walis Tingting. Broomstick. We are no witches but we sure love our broomstick. It is made out of the rib of dried coconut leaves that are bound together mainly used to sweep the ground. It is more like an "outside" broom. I remember when I was a kid and I was being stubborn my mother would chase me with it and if she caught me she'd whack my ass with it. I have one at home that I sometimes use to clean our patio but most of the time I use it to wack the hubby's ass if he's being stubborn. Like mother, like daughter. My mother is sure proud of the daughter she raised.

Walis Tambo. Apparently the best Walis Tambo in the Philippines comes from my hometown Baguio City! Wohoo! Shout out to my peeps! This is the "inside" broom. It is made of grass. Not sure which grass (definitely not weed). Even with the popularity of vacuum cleaners & the Roomba, the walis tambo is still very much part of any Filipino household. It is easy to use without the gazillion attachments. Yes. You guessed it right. My mother used to chase me with this too.

Bunot. Another cleaning tool made of coconut husk use to polish the floor. You step on the husk with one foot and just slide it back and forth. You have to be healthy and fit to do this. By healthy I mean no hip, leg or knee problem. It's a good way to shed those extra pounds. I used to do this which explains why my right leg and thigh is more muscular than the left. Yeah call me a freak. My mother did not chase me with this but I remember her almost throwing this at me like a frisbee. Don't get me wrong, my mother is a nice person. I love and miss her to death. But I was just a bad kid!

Tabo. In English it's a water dipper (I had to Google this shit!). It is used as a toilet paper alternative (explained in detail here) and also used to take a bath. Every bathroom is equipped with a bucket full of water accompanied with a dipper. To take a bath, you dip the dipper in the bucket to get water and pour the water over your head or your body. I just found out (while writing this blog) that there is a Tabo Travel Troupe. Their goal is to take pictures of the humble TABO in various locations around the globe and share them. (My mother never chased me with this, coz this thing was in our bathroom. She may have been firm but at least she's hygienic. Thank God!)

Bayong. In the States we have paper bags & plastic bags, in the Philippines we have a Bayong. It is simply a basket made of indigenous materials like rattan or bamboo that are woven together used to carry purchases from the market. It is better and more reliable than paper and plastic bags because it doesn't break easily. It was so much fun going to the market with a bayong in hand. I remember carrying a bayong with a bunch of vegetables in it with pig ears or a dead chicken's head sticking out from it. My mother did not hit me with this because we got along very well when it came to food, cooking & market-ing! (RIP Ma!)

Although I wanted to impress the hubby with my coconut grating skills, I decided to make the chicken curry with store bought coconut milk. It turned out really good and made Mr. Ober Da Bakod a happy hubby!

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