Family Birthdays | Preparing Filipino Foods

It has been a custom in the Philippines to prepare dinner for the whole clan, when someone is celebrating a birthday. Relatives would be joining the celebrant in his place, other brings something, but most of the time they just bring their appetite.

If it's family members, usually you give them "take outs", so you don't have to place all the food on the table, you can serve it like these:

Then, if it is already going empty you can just refill it, to avoid having spoiled food. There are staple dishes on dinners like these; we have the Pancit Malabon (because we live in Malabon,either from Nanay's or Ida's and the other one--- Pancit Malabon Restos), and the Kakanins, like the Sapinsapin, Ube Halaya, Garbansos (it's either from Dolor's or the next kakanin store, but they are relatives so I guess the secret ingredients are just the same), the Kare-kare, Lengua Pastel, Seafood dishes like steamed Hipon (Shrimp), steamed fish, Adobong Pusit, (two were not available that night), Lumpiang Shanghai or sariwa (Lumpiang Sariwa was present; popular among the oldies) and then there is the famous fried chicken among the kids--- and kids at heart.

This is Pancit Malabon *as we all know Pancit (Hokkien term pian i sit, which means something conviniently cooked fast) dish came originally from the Chinese, but have been adopted to local cuisine, infusing available local ingredients and sealing with the local taste, having been colonially occupied several times I'm sure the Pancit Malabon, have many influences.

And then here is the Lumpiang Sariwa, or Fresh Spring Rolls, it is called fresh because it is not fried, and served fresh, it is a light dish, with mixture of fresh lettuce, ubod, chicken strips, and some crushed peanuts--- again it's originally from Chinese. The dish is popular among Southeast Asians, because of the wave of Chinese from Fujian, it is called lun pia 潤餅(run bing) in Hokkien language.

Here comes the fried chicken, *did you know that more that half of all chicken entrees ordered in restaurants are for fried chicken? And yet again, China (China, China!!!) has the biggest population (not of people, only) of chicken with 3.6 billion, but they're not the chicken capital of the world--- it's Gainesville, Georgia, where there is a law that states, that they can use fork to eat chicken (yeah, atleast it is not prohibited to eat chicken).

Shrimp, that are steamed are the best, because after, if you have leftovers like these--- you can toss them in a pan with garlic and butter, already cooked up and then you have the buttered garlic shrimp. Yummy!

Okay this is Lengua Pastel, I don't eat this, it's yuck, it's pig's tongue. SO I don't have any info about this. It looks like it's yummy but it is not, the tongue is slimmy.

This is the popular Kare-kare (pardon my picture, I forgot to take the photo before getting for my plate, but the veggies are usually overflowing, and the sauce is thick) known in English as Ox Tail Stew, it is best paired with steamed rice and Bagoong or shrimp paste. The best Kare-kare is tasty, not too sweet and not too salty, perfect blended peanut butter (the peanut butter consistency of the spread is different from that of the one mixed in Kare-kare, but the spread will do), and grounded rice, creamy. Tasty but not complete without the bagoong.

This is the product of all cuisines mixed into local masterpieces--- it's a party! All party or dinners of families here are topped with kareoke--- Happy Birthday Uncle Noel Ariel "Bebot"!

That's me, my aunt, my shobe and cousin.