Saturday, June 24, 2017

Meeting of the Bellies

Last Friday, June 16, my bestie Rommel Hachero had his birthday. Tomorrow, Sunday, June 25, together with another bestie Paulcy, we will have Rommel’s late birthday celebration meet-up. I’ve decided to bring the following “pulutan” or appetizers taken with alcohol.

Champiñones al Ajillo (Garlic mushrooms) from www.angsarap.net

Garlic mushrooms

Ingredients

approximately 50g butter (I used Buttercup brand)

1 can 200g button mushrooms (I used Jolly brand)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. Lemon juice (I substituted 1 tbsp. kalamansi [lime] juice)

freshly ground black pepper

salt

Procedure

  1. Melt butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook until golden brown.
  3. Put the heat on high, add the mushrooms and stir fry for around 2 minutes (it took me longer, probably near 5 minutes).
  4. Add the lemon juice (kalamansi [lime] juice in my case) then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Fishballs with Special Manong’s Sauce from www.angsarap.net

Fishballs

Ingredients

Fishballs (I bought 1 kilo)

Oil

Ingredients for Manong’s Sauce

Manong's sauce

4 cups water

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp. corn starch

2 tbsp. flour

¾ cup brown sugar

1 shallot, finely chopped or minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

salt

Procedure

  1. In a sauce pan combine all Manong’s sauce ingredients, mix well until free of lumps.
  2. Place on a stove top then cook by gently simmering in medium low heat until sauce thickens.
  3. Deep fry fishballs according to your liking, if using the Philippine fishballs (this is what I used, they’re somewhat flat in shape) fry them until they are really crispy.

Along with these pulutans, I would really love to have a Corona beer tomorrow. I got curious about it when it was promoted in some scenes from Fast and Furious, a beer which Dom is keen to. But that beer is expensive and is not available in groceries here in the Philippines. Heineken might be great but its quite expensive also. Paulcy and I, in our conversation a few minutes ago, settled with San Miguel beers for our pulutans.

Now “pulutan” can also be called finger food since some versions of it are usually eaten using the hands and the English Oxford Living Dictionaries stated its origin is from the 1960s pulutan, from pulot to pick up + -an, suffix forming nouns.

I’m also hoping to buy a large bag of peanuts tomorrow, a good addition to our small set of “pulutan”.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our meet up did not materialize. Well, back to the drawingboard. (".)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Where Tooth Problems May Lead To

MetroDental promo card

Last week, my sister Debie gave me some vouchers from MetroDental. They have a first visit promo of dental consultation + dental cleaning for only ₱600 per person. This reminded me of an experience from a long time ago.

When I was a kid, we had a neighbor who had teenage sons that had sparkling pearly whites. He would brag to my father about how he takes care of his children’s teeth and that having a great set of teeth is a treasure on its own.

These words could not have been any truer than when the time I had an infection in college. My skin became sensitive to touch and I had to go to the doctors of Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center just to find out what was wrong. At first, the doctors cannot figure out what was causing the infection. Fortunately, one doctor had the idea of asking me if I had any tooth problems, in which I replied that my left fang tooth (canine tooth) hurts every time I use it for biting. I was then told to check with a dentist and resolve the tooth problem first and see if any improvements might happen.

It turns out that I had a longstanding abscess in my fang tooth. The dentist asked me if I wanted a tooth extraction to which I said yes. She then asked if I wanted to take antibiotics before pulling the tooth out. I wanted it extracted immediately. She suggested that I take antibiotics first because the canine is a large tooth that connects a lot of nerves. If she pulls the tooth in a wrong way, I might have nerve problems. But the pain I felt was stronger than any worries of nerve problems, so I told her to go for it. As soon as she pulled out the canine tooth, I felt a surge of relief that is unfathomably memorable even to this day. After the tooth extraction, my infection disappeared completely.

Do You Have an Abscessed Tooth? Symptoms and Treatment Info Here

An abscess is an infection in or around the root of the tooth which may or may not be painful Learn more about abscessed teeth

A Tooth Could Mean a Life

That experience I had in college could have been avoided if I had observed proper oral hygiene. Oral prophylaxis could also have helped in preventing such an infection.

Oral Prophylaxis [pro″fĭ-lak´sis]
dental prophylaxis oral prophylaxis.
oral prophylaxis cleaning of the teeth by a dentist or dental hygienist, including removal of plaque, materia alba, calculus, and extrinsic stains; done as a preventive measure for control of gingivitis. Called also dental prophylaxis.
‒ Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

If not for that one doctor who asked me if I had any tooth problems, the other doctors may have had a hard time finding the culprit. I might have gone to countless tests. Scouring the internet shows I was not the only one who had been in that predicament.

Just recently, a 26-year old Californian dad died because of tooth infection. Sadly, this father left two daughters behind. Although the report said that the man did had his tooth cleaned and had antibiotics, he was having the toothache some weeks back, and the antibiotics did not help.

Tooth infection leads to 26-year-old California dad's death

A California long-haul trucker died early Monday after a tooth infection spread to his lungs, Fox 40 reported. Vadim Kondratyuk Anatoliyevich, 26, was the father of two small children. He started to complain of a toothache a few weeks ago, before a drive to New York.

Another recent incident is about a mom who nearly died from tooth abscess complications. This mom needed nearly 12 hours of open heart surgery when the pus in her gum led to blood poisoning and endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart valves.

Mum who nearly died from tooth abscess was on dentist waiting list for TWO YEARS

SURVIVED BY SKIN OF HER TEETH Helen Bolton needed nearly 12 house of open-heart surgery after an abscess on her gum led to blood poisoning A MUM who has waited two years to register with an NHS dentist nearly died when an untreated minor tooth problem triggered a potentially fatal heart infection.

Sicknesses That May Be Caused by Tooth Problems

A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) show that tooth problems may cause cardiovascular disease, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, and low birth weight. Another online article shows a list of published case reports of disease states related to oral infections.

THE DANGERS OF FOCAL TEETH INFECTIONS

Oral Infections and Root Canal Treatment

  • Mediastinitis;
  • Maxillary sinusitis;
  • Cavernous Sinus thrombosis;
  • Pharyngeal Cellulitis;
  • Cardiac Problems;
  • Necrotising Fascititis;
  • Necrotising Mediastinitis;
  • Superior Orbital Fissure Syndrome;
  • Proptosis;
  • Opthalmoplegia;
  • Light Reflex Interference;
  • Blindness;
  • Endopthalmitis;
  • Lung Abscess;
  • Aspiration Pneumonia;
  • Brain Abscess;
  • Meningitis;
  • Acute Hemiplagia;
  • Psychotic episodes;
  • Metastatic Paraspinal Abscess;
  • Gasarion Ganglion;
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia;
  • Endocarditis;
  • Septicemia;
  • Myocardial Infection;
  • Deuodenal Ulcers;
  • Splenic Abscess;
  • Leg abscess;
  • Blood disorders;
  • Immune reactions;
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease;
  • Low birth weight;
  • Infertility;
  • Deaths;
  • Toxic Shock;
  • Arthritis;
  • Rheumatic changes;
  • Infection of artificial joint prosthesis;
  • Kidney Damage;
  • Brain Tumors;
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia;
  • Atypical Facial Pain.

This is an extensive list, and honestly I do not have the slightest idea what most of these diseases are. What is important is for us to prevent any of these disease states from happening. It is therefore tantamount that if we notice any problem in our mouth, we must have it checked immediately.

Begin A Habit of Dental Hygiene

When was the last time you brushed your teeth? The American Dental Association recommends brushing our teeth twice a day. When was the last time you had a dental cleaning? If the answer is never, better start now. We must not take for granted the health of our teeth and gums. If we exercise for our health, well so should we put emphasis in brushing our teeth regularly and have dental cleaning every six months.

We sometimes assume dental cleaning is not necessary. For most of us, we would think that going to the dentist is a waste of time and money. But would you wait for something to go wrong before you go to the dentist? If we do not know the dangers of undetected tooth problems, all the more reason for us take better care of our teeth and gums. Prevention is always better than cure. We may never know the troubles a simple tooth problem may cause.

Now, if you are anywhere in Makati or near Makati (Philippines), may I suggest MetroDental in Paseo Center since they are offering a first visit promo of dental consultation + dental cleaning for only ₱600. This is a good offer since the price of oral prophylaxis in most dental clinics range from ₱900 to ₱2,000 and that does not include dental consultation yet. You may visit MetroDental at Paseo Center Makati, Level 3. Contact number 0917 565 0412. This MetroDental promo will last till July 15, 2017.

MetroDental promo card

Give your teeth and gums a favor by having dental cleaning today. Your treasured pearly whites will surely thank you for it.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Margarita and Deborah's Version of Pork Adobo

Today is the Philippines 119th Independence Day. A celebration of freedom from the clutches of Spanish rule. And today, I have decided to cook Pork Adobo. That is, my mother and slightly my sister’s version of Pork Adobo.

I asked my mother what ingredients I should buy. She gave me the following lists. My sister Debie also told me to marinade the pork with Sprite soft drinks. But my mother was against it. I just sort of followed my sister’s advice.

Ingredients I bought

½ kilo pork

3 large potatoes (cubed)

1 onion (chopped)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

soy sauce

vinegar

1 Sprite soft drinks. 300 ml (mismo size)

pamintang buo (peppercorns)

2 pcs. dahon ng laurel (bay leaves)

cooking oil

oyster sauce (optional)

Sprite marinated pork

I marinated the pork using Sprite, but I think that’s supposed to be for barbecuing.

Potato, onion, and garlic ingredients

Potatoes, onions, and garlic.

Prepared potatoes, onions, and garlic

Cubed potatoes, chopped onions, minced garlic.

Procedure

  1. The first thing I did was marinate the pork with Sprite, leaving it for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Using a pan, heating oil on low, I sautéed the garlic first then the onions next.
  3. I added the pork after draining the Sprite soft drinks.
  4. My mother then added an estimated amount of soy sauce. Mentioning that, after stirring and the pork doesn’t have enough brown color then the soy sauce wasn’t enough.
  5. We then added the potatoes.
  6. Added the pamintang buo and dahon ng laurel.
  7. Added 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  8. Added the optional oyster sauce to taste.
  9. Added enough water to submerge the pork and bring to a boil or until the pork becomes soft.
Pork adobo finale

Cooking pork adobo.

The output wasn’t perfect. One error that I made was buying the wrong part of the pig. I bought the “pigi” or leg/hind leg part which is quite hard and needs a longer boiling time. Some of the online recipes suggest using pork belly while my mother said that I should have bought pork kasim or shoulder pork cut. We needed to transfer the Pork Adobo from the pan to the casserole because our pan didn’t have a cover. We needed to cover the boiling Pork Adobo in order for the meat to tenderize faster. We also added some more water and soy sauce for taste.

I had to remove the potatoes since they were already soft but the pork was still hard. I decided to give the meat another 15 minute boil. After that, I re-added the potatoes and it was ready to be served.

My verdict? My Pork Adobo lacked taste. I never knew cooking Pork Adobo would be so difficult. But let this be the start of my cooking journey.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Eggs with Sardines

Eggs with sardines

Tonight, I’ve practiced simple cooking. As simple as cooking eggs with sardines. And no, not the type that have those white onions, bell peppers, spring onion, chili, and tomato that you see here. It’s as simple as having the following ingredients.

1 Young’s Town 155 grams sardines

2 eggs

salt

pepper

cooking oil

Eggs with sardines ingredients

Eggs with sardines ingredients.

That’s it. For the procedure…

  1. Beat the eggs in a bowl, add a few salt (since I think the sardines already have some sort of salty taste on its own).
  2. Place the contents of the sardines in another bowl.
  3. Add the sardine fishes in the bowl of the beaten eggs, leaving the sardine sauce.
  4. Mash the sardine fishes in the bowl of eggs then set aside.
  5. Heat the cooking oil on low. When hot enough, add the mashed eggs and sardines.
  6. Add some pepper to taste.
  7. Remove from heat and enjoy.
Eggs with sardines

Eggs with sardines.

That’s one simple eggs with sardines recipe. Tomorrow I will try to cook adobo. This came in as an inspiration from a special friend.

I’m not really hoping you’ll like the look of that last photo. I’d bet Gordon Ramsay can blurt out a lot of insults to that.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Where We Used to Be

This is where we ate the last time we delivered those pouches from your online store, and I remember how we talked about the traffic that we will be facing for driving home at 8pm. Everything is still the same. This store is still here. The traffic is still here.

Dunkin Donuts, Dela Rosa Car Park 1, Dela Rosa Street

Dunkin Donut shop at Dela Rosa Car Park 1, Dela Rosa Street. We were here more than 6 months ago.

The only thing that has changed is you. Your seat is empty now. And I eat alone still not knowing why you’ve changed.

Your empty seat.

This is where we used to be. Now there’s only me.

I can’t change your mind. I already tried so many times. And the more I try the more I see that there’s really no way to bring things back.

You’ve changed. And I can’t change that. I wish I could easily do the same.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Synthetic Leather Versus Genuine Leather

A few months ago, my sisters were kind enough to buy me a waist belt since they’ve noticed that I was having trouble with my pants. I am really lucky to have such kind sisters.

Unfortunately, I needed to buy me a new one today because the waste belt that they bought me had already deteriorated to the point that it broke into two, and mind you I don’t have a big belly.

Synthetic leather belt

My synthetic leather belt that lasted only a few months.

I decided to buy a waist belt at The Landmark Makati, under the men’s accessories section. While I was selecting a belt design, a salesman approached me and asked if I needed help. I then asked him if they have sturdy belts because the last belt I had didn’t last for even half a year. I then showed him the broken belt. He said that my belt was synthetic leather and synthetic leathers are not as tough as real leathers.

He then lead me to the Pierre Cardin belt brand which he says are made of genuine leather. Sadly, as much as the brand name is hard to pronounce, the price is hard in the pocket. It costs ₱560. For median living citizens of the Philippines, ₱560 is almost equivalent to a week of food allowance. The belt that my sisters bought me was only ₱200+.

I had second doubts on buying the Pierre Cardin brand but since the salesman was so reassuring about the quality of genuine leather, I decided to give in.

Genuine leather belt

My new genuine leather belt that the salesman said would last for years.

As I write this blog, I am also researching about synthetic leather versus genuine leather. It seems that synthetic leather is cheaper because it’s made of plastic while genuine leather is made of animal skin which are expensive. Advocates of animal rights also prefer synthetic leathers as shown in this video.

It’s quite bothering to think that I’ve bought me a cowhide for a belt. I just wish that the cow or whatever animal this belt came from is in animal heaven. The animal’s sacrifice though was not wasted because, if what the salesman said is true, I will have a belt that will last me years.

An article I’ve read entitled “All About Your Belt: Is the leather (and price) worth it?” discusses leather types and price. It’s a worthwhile read, suggesting that one should buy a belt based on “personal preferences and lifestyle”. It even gives a link to a tutorial website on “How to Make a $90 Belt for Only $23”.

Does your conscience knock at you when you buy things that are made of animal skin? Or would you prefer sturdy materials even if an animal was killed for it? Do you prefer cheap or expensive?

In my holistic opinion, and based on experience, I would rather buy me an expensive animal hide that would last for years than a cheap polymer that would only last a few months. I’d just thank the animal who gave the ultimate sacrifice to serve the desires of humanity. Do you feel the same way?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Facebook Can Really Track Our Searches

My American-German boss is currently in Spain coming from Portugal and he was posting some photos of his trip. I, as a guy interested in Spain, I traced his route and search the web for some information that I could perhaps give to help him on his journey. As I did, the very website that I've visited which is https://www.followthecamino.com/camino_tours/camino-portugues suddenly appeared on my Facebook newsfeed.

My FB Screenshot

A screenshot of a Facebook suggested post for the same website that I visited.

So yeah, Facebook’s algorithm uses our searches to identify what to put in our newsfeeds. Makes sense.