Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Our quest for a waterfall lead us to the beach

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My siblings and I awoke at first light and hurried out into the crisp morning air, athirst for a day of adventure, an interruption in the routines of everyday life. We set out on the road in pursuit of that obscure waterfall, but on arrival we were greeted by a complete tangle of undergrowth fronted by an imposing NO TRESPASSING sign, and not the curtain of cascading waters that we anticipated . Undaunted, we then made our way to look for a resort close by, but we ended up on a lovely beach in another province.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Subtle, Imaginary Sounds of the Written Word

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This writing that you do, that so thrills you, that so rocks and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else. The reader’s ear must adjust down from loud life to the subtle, imaginary sounds of the written word. An ordinary reader picking up a book can’t yet hear a thing; it will take half an hour to pick up the writing’s modulations, its ups and downs and louds and softs.

~ Annie Dillard, The Writing Life, 1989

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

6.7 Kilometers in 2 Hours

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What used to be a 30-minute commute from the office to my house--roughly 6.7 km--has now become two hours. With light to moderate traffic, that distance is merely a 13-minute drive. The road repairs that have started in April of this year continue to exacerbate traffic congestion in the city. Commuters like me are left with two choices: sight tight and wait for the jeep to move along inch by painful inch, or go down and walk.  Every day I’m tempted to go for the latter.

6.7 km in two hours is equivalent to around 2 miles per hour (mph). And 2 mph is like walking at a slow pace. It means that if I start walking leisurely from work, I would arrive home at the same time as when I ride a jeep. By walking at that speed for two hours, I would also burn 200 calories. That sounds so much better than observing my zombielike fellow passengers whose faces mirror the lifeless resignation that must be on my face.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ever since I started reducing my intake of meat products, I’m always looking for recipes that feature alternative sources of protein. I was lucky to have come across a Moroccan salad recipe, which I modified a bit.  The original recipe included mint and dried pluots, plums or dates. But those ingredients were not available in the grocery store so I used cilantro instead of mint and raisins instead of dried pluots or dates. I also substituted calamansi for lemons, which at that time were sold at an exorbitant price.

The recipe may have been altered, but the salad tastes delicious nonetheless.

Here’s my recipe:

Moroccan Chickpea Salad


Dressing
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh calamansi juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 big carrot, sliced whisper thin
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup raisins
½ cup fresh cilantro, torn


Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Combine the chickpeas, carrots, cilantro, and raisins in another bowl. Add the dressing then toss gently to blend all ingredients thoroughly.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
 
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