Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Casa San Pablo - Breakfast

There’s something about Sunday mornings that just begs one to laze around, take it easy, stretch out each activity as if to make it last the day. It’s the last day of the weekend, after all, and the day after it’s back to the reality of tolling for your bread. So you savor each moment, loathe to hurry, wishing to draw out every second and every minute.  
Casa San Pablo is the perfect place to spend a Sunday morning. You wake up to a silent, expansive yet cosseted green space heavy with dew, hammocks below sheltering pine trees a silent invitation to lie down again and just be. Secluded corners are waiting to be claimed. Multi-level grounds encouraging slow walks.

After the unhurried pace, when the sun is high, breakfast beckons. The spread tempts of a leisurely lingering meal, enciting a rambling conversation going nowhere in particular. Perhaps start with a hot cup of native tsokolate, topped with a sprinkling of toasted pinipig There was also a thermos of brewed coffee. The thick pan de sal wanted to be torn to bits and dunked in the bright-colored mugs of hot drinks.

But I sliced the pan de sal, and they became the perfect vessels for the excellent palaman arrayed on the table – kalamay-hati (coco jam), mango jam, kalamansi jam, guava jelly – suitably thick but not overly sweet.  
When appetites are sufficiently whetted, there are platters of breakfast staples on the main dining table. 
Long thin rolls of San Pablo longganisa, garlicky, slightly sweet, and hamonado (smoked).
Butterflied fish that were faultlessly fried, and tasted almost unsalted. Crunchy and flavorful, it provided a counterpoint in texture and taste to the longganisa and the kamatis-itlog-maalat-pulang sibuyas (chopped tomatoes, salted duck eggs, red onions) salad. 
Large picture windows surrounding our assigned dining area provide a picturesque backdrop of the lush environment outside, and it felt like breakfast in the garden. Our focus was on the rambutan trees, whose laden branches must have fallen from the heavy rains the day before, and are now being divested of fruit. About time they were harvested, anyway.

They were so red their sweetness was so obvious. And they were bigger than the fruits being sold every kilometer or so along the highways leading to Quezon. Succulence in the flesh, with small pits that willingly let go of their juicy abundance.

We were very much unwilling to leave Casa San Pablo, ourselves, but friends were waiting in Lucena City, and the bounty of that area is another dimension waiting to be experienced. We were three vehicles in all, and we left with at least  8 kilos of rambutan per vehicle in an attempt to bring a part of an unforgettable weekend experience with us.

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Casa San Pablo Dinner

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