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Tiramisu

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The first time I tried it, I assumed tiramisu was Japanese.  I mean come on; honestly, if you’ve never heard of tiramisu before, tell me in which of these set meals does the dessert sound more appropriate:

Miso soup, okazu, sushi, tonkatsu, kare raisu, teriyaki, and tiramisu

Or

Insalata caprese, minestrone soup, fettuccini with puttanesca sauce, pizza margherita, osso buco, and tiramisu (seems out of place here, isn’t it?).

I just learned today that the origin of the dessert has an interesting story behind it (just one of many, actually). An Italian soldier was about to go off to battle. His wife prepared a dessert scrounged from left over mascarpone cheese, sponge cake biscuit, egg, sugar, and espresso coffee from that morning’s breakfast (and wine from the previous night’s going away party). The wife named it tiramisu, which is Italian for “take me along.”

tiramisu 166

In the Philippines, the story is a bit different. As soon as soldier boy gets to the battlefield, he texted his wife “Honey, ang sarap nung dessert na gawa mo. Anong ingredients noon?”

Wifey texted back “Tira. Mis u.

{joke

If you take antipasti before the pasta, do the calories cancel out?

/joke}

Happy New Year!

Got Milk?

Lots, actually.

A 28-year-old North Texas mom has just been awarded the Guinness World Record for “Cow of the Year” “Most Breast Milk Donated.” The looker was also certified by Guinness as a MILK (Mothers I’d Like to Know).

Alicia Richman managed to pump over 86 gallons of milk from June 2011 to March 2012, shortly after her son was born, besting the previous record by an astounding 23 gallons. “I pumped at work, on vacations, in the car. And I never had to buy formula” said the first-time mother. The milk, stored initially in two freezers, was donated to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, a nonprofit that collects donations for critically ill and premature infants in need.

It seems she doesn’t know when to stop, does she?

So, how would you know that it’s probably time to wean your son? (credits to Wikipedia):

10. Child can now open your blouse and expertly unhook your bra by himself.

9. The kid starts burping up silicone.

8. Child has developed a bad habit of flicking his tongue.

7. The little one keeps slipping dollar bills in your belt.

6. Child demands that you express for his cafe latte.

5. Your birth control pills interfere with his acne medicine.

4. After each session, you both have a smoke.

3. Child invites his friends over for dinner.

2. Your child’s voice is lower than yours.

1. Beard abrasions on boobs.

In related news, Malacanang Palace vehemently denies rumors (fanned by his wearing a right wrist brace) that President Aquino has been going for the Guinness record by donating regularly to the Bachelor’s Sperm Bank of North Manila.

Fried Green Tomatoes Redux. Recipe revealed!

In the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, an abusive husband was killed by his wife’s friend. The body was then chopped up and barbecued using another friend’s special recipe. It was even served to the police, who remarked how tender and tasty it was.

A scene reminiscent of the 1991 movie (with touches of Hannibal) played out in California this week. David Viens, chef and owner of Thyme Contemporary Café in Lomita, near Los Angeles, was convicted with manslaughter for the death of his wife. Viens tried to commit suicide by jumping off an 80-foot cliff, when he learned that police suspected him of foul play. He survived and told police that he didn’t intend to kill his wife. He apparently tied her up and taped her mouth shut after a fight, in order to stop her histrionics. He then went to sleep, and relates later that “I woke up. I panicked. She was hard.” Viens claims he decided to dispose of the body since he thought nobody would believe what happened.

The taped interview was gruesome, with details of the crime so horrific but given in a straightforward manner. To make it more palatable for you dear readers, here is the series of events as related by Viens himself, written in recipe version:

Stewed Wife ala Thyme Contemporary Café

Ingredients:

Wife, 105 lbs. Piece of cloth. Duct tape.

Procedure:

Tie hands and feet with duct tape. Stuff cloth in mouth then shut mouth closed with more duct tape.

Go to sleep. After a few hours, check if rigor mortis has set in.

Boil body for four days in 55-gallon drum. Let cool then strain out. Dispose of liquid in grease trap and put the rest in plastic bags.

Whatever happened to the legal adage “No body, no crime?”

Filipinos are second best tippers in Asia-Pacific

In another move to achieve a truly cashless society, a credit card company asked residents of 14 Asia-Pacific countries about their tipping habits in restaurants. MasterCard Worldwide conducted a survey among 7,000 respondents aged 18 to 64 and came up with a list of the region’s best (and worst) tippers. Thailand came up on top with 89% of those surveyed tipping in restaurants, while only 3% of Japanese diners do so. A word of caution though for waiters planning to head to Bangkok for a job. Japanese waiters still make about 10 times as much as a Thai waiter.

Restaurant Cartoon

Results of the survey showed that 75% of Pinoys consistently leave a gratuity. It wasn’t clear, however, how much the respondents actually leave as tips.

In another survey, 75% of Philippine restaurants were found to be charging a minimum of 10% as standard service charge (whether or not service was crappy).

The high rate of tipping in restaurants may be because Filipinos have a long tradition of giving “tips” in government offices.

Mongolian Milk Tea anyone?

Despite the current craze, I’m not really a fan of milk tea. I think my palate was spoiled by the pearl shakes (specially Quickly) and expects the same ice-cold, sweet goodness.

So I was amused when during lunch at a traditional Mongolian restaurant, we were offered “milk tea.”

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I immediately took a sip – and almost hurled. Instead of the cold, sweet beverage I was reflexively expecting, Mongolian milk tea was warm, and get this, salty. I asked one of our hosts what it was made of and was told that it’s a mixture of goat milk and bland tea, and obviously salt, no sugar. I pride myself in being able to eat and drink almost anything, so I tried the milk tea again, but this time forcing my brain to see it as sopas. How different can it be from typical, savory Pinoy hot soup with evaporated milk? Very different, apparently, and I almost hurled again. While I managed to have only two sips, my Mongolian seatmate had two bowls. So I’m sure it’s tasty if you’re used to it. No need to tell you that the drink didn’t have any sweet sago in it. I can imagine Chinggis Khan’s teenage daughter hanging out in the neighborhood milk tea shop with friends, sipping this while exchanging gossip.

This reminds me of our Thai neighbor from years back who very nicely gave us some sticky cakes. Like our kakanin, but more decorative and beautiful. Great, except that they were salty and had no hint of sugar, so it can be quite an experience when you’re expecting dessert.

Chalk this one up to an acquired taste.

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