Old Heidelberg Restaurant and Deli – Colorado Springs

Spouse took me to see “Brokeback Mountain” this afternoon  Before we headed downtown, we decided to try the Quizno’s $2.99 roast beef sub they’ve been advertising on tv.  We’ve never tried Quizno’s before and thought this new item would be interesting with the au jus.

Well, that was the plan anyway. We made the wrong turn and I saw the sign for the Old Heidelberg Bakery and Cafe.  Spouse was all upset but hey, if you’ve got broken eggs, make an omelette, right?   And so we parked right in front of the bakery and decided to have lunch there instead. The bakery/cafe and deli looked very modern and clean.  I was sorry I didn’t bring my camera along so I could take shots of their delicious looking cakes and pastries. A short line was starting to form at the cashier but the staff was very efficient and we put in our order not long after we came in. Continue reading “Old Heidelberg Restaurant and Deli – Colorado Springs”

Guisado!

I’ve been reading a lot of food blogs the last few months.  My favorites are those authored by Filipinos living abroad. It’s just so interesting to read about other Filipinos’ adventures cooking familiar foods in a foreign land or learning to cook new recipes. There is something I find amiss though. Cooking pancit or anything guisado used to mean using shrimp juice to add more flavor to your dish and I do not recall reading about that in any of the blogs I chanced on. Perhaps, it’s because this one ingredient is not something you can pick up in any store, unless you make do with bouillons and instant mixes. Continue reading “Guisado!”

Organic

AmpalayaSmall

This is a photograph of an ampalaya (bitter melon or bitter gourd) vine grown organically by my newly found cousin, Pito Garcia. We’re second cousins actually and we connected through a website on geneology my maternal relatives have just discovered.  It’s the coolest thing to find relatives online and meet them for the first time in person.  If not for the internet, our paths may not have crossed for a long time.

His farm is located in a beautiful spot surrounded by gentle hills in the Zambales town of San Antonio.  It was a stormy day when Spouse and I went to visit.  You can probably tell by the dark clouds over the hills that more rains were on the way.  The rain and winds came in bursts, strong and surrprising…an amazing display of nature’s power and beauty.  I’m getting all poetic because it was a truly awesome experience.

Pito is currently  experimenting with organic farming. He’s been growing vegetables commercially for about three years now. Going organic is the next logical step. When you’ve lived the life of a farmer, enjoying the clean air, healthy lifestyle, and beautiful, beautiful surroundings that no man can build, going organic is the only way to go.

Watch out in the coming months, the unofficial cook might just turn into the unofficial farmer!

Kam-met

Does it sound like a bad word? It’s not. It’s Ilocano for eating with your hands. There are certain dishes that just beg to be eaten with your bare hands. Inihaw na isda, pritong isda, dinengdeng, pinakbet, adobo, sinigang na hipon, kilawin, fresh seaweed salads, fern salads, roasted eggplant salads, anything guinataan or anything you can get your hands on….

And please, it’s not a savage practice of uncivilized people. It’s an art you have to learn.  Besides, it’s fun! I mean… it really is. No Pinoy picnic would be the same if they handed you a silver spoon, fork and knife. Besides, you tend to lose all sense of inhibition when you’re sitting fully-clothed on a creekbed with graceful bamboo leaves swaying  over you and the bamboo table you’re eating from virtually floating over the gentle, streaming water.  Not to worry, the guys would have tied it down to something. The food is staying on the table….but not for long.

Not only is it fun, but eating with your hands takes a lot of skill. You don’t just moosh things in your palms and shove them into your mouth. Actually, you only use your fingers when eating with your hands. Oh gee, that sounds sooo NOT right…but it’s true!  You pick up your food using your fingertips and scoop it up, not in your palms, but on the very tips of your fingers.

The ultimate in skill is eating a whole fried or grilled fish (yes, with the head on) with rice and other dishes one-handed….with no problem separating the flesh from the bones mind you.   If that isn’t what you call skill, I don’t know what is..

See….you have to keep one hand clean so you can use the serving spoons for the other dishes on the table….or do something else like pick up the abaniko (Filipino leaf fans) and drive away the flies hovering around attempting to share your food….or some other things youneed to do at picnics in the Philippines.