The sun had barely shone, warming the cold winds of February into oblivion, when tables sporting glass bottles started sprouting like spores on a wet day, fronting houses in every corner, luring passers-by to stop and partake of the bejeweled contents.
It's the Filipino way of embracing the heat. Shine, sun, shine! Welcome, summer! I receive you with open arms, and an ice-cold, milky glass of your bounty!
I am not one to be left out, especially since it's the last week of school for the kids. Soon they will be home all day, with plenty of time to empty the contents of the refrigerator and the fruit stand in the dining hall (note I said fruit stand, not bowl). I am awed by the amount of food
we they consume, and how small they still all are. What more five years from now?
But such is one of my life's satisfactions - that I can make, cook, a large batch of anything, and it is sure to disappear by sundown, as if I just imagined it all.
A half kilo of violet kamote, another half kilo of the yellow variety, a bunch of ripe seba (bananas for boiling or saba), a couple of ears of sweet corn, a packet each of red gelatin and tiny sago, half a dozen eggs, lemon zest and milk for leche flan, a scoop of ripe langka slivers, and a bottle of Good Shepherd ube jam from Baguio. Ice, of course! Crushed ice, with the help of my trusted blender, and an extra jug of milk. It sounds a lot, but everything needs only to be boiled and diced, and we were all set for our own halo-halo stand. In front of our house.
Except of course nobody else got to stop and partake, because as much as we had a lot of ingredients, children's stomachs can prove to be bottomless. And adults, too. In summer.
(Kamote at Php15/kg, bananas Php15 at 3 pcs for Php5, corn Php10, gelatin Php11, sago 1/4 kg Php15, half a dozen free-range organic eggs Php49.5 at Php8.25 a piece, lemon Php12, langka slivers Php10/tumpok, ube jam Php140/ small bottle, milk Php105/liter, sugar Php40/kg, ice Php50/5kgs, or roughly Php470 total, good for 20-30 servings)
To prepare, boil kamote, bananas, corn and sago separately. Drain the sago. Peel and dice the kamote and bananas. Remove corn kernels from the cob by running a knife downward on all sides. Prepare gelatin according to packet instructions, let cool, then cut into cubes when set. Beat eggs, then mix in half a cup of sugar, half a liter of milk, and 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest or lemon juice, then pour into aluminum pans with caramelized sugar in the bottom, and steam covered. Put each ingredient in a previously sterilized, covered bottle, the milk in a small milk jug.To serve, ladle a spoonful each of the ingredients into a wide-mouthed, tall glass. Pack the top with crushed ice, then pour a dollop of milk.
To eat, use a long-stemmed spoon to break into the ice topping and mix everything together. Add sugar according to preference. Sit down on a rocking chair under a tree, and savor the multi-textured, cold treat. Best enjoyed in the afternoons.
Halo-Halong Kapampangan at Kabitenyo
Rainy Day Halo-Halo
Bahay Pastulan Goodies