Squash: Parts are Parts

These squash parts consisting of the fruit, the leaves and flowers were fresh from the vendor who traveled all the way from Nueva Ecija, about an hour’s drive to our place. I ordered it the day before and they come and bring it to my doorstep the very next day. There is nothing more convenient in the world I can think of.

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Chicken and Bottle Gourd Soup



I looked around for the English translation of this commonly used vegetable in the Philippines which we call “upo” and  almost identified it as winter melon.  Apparently, the winter melon is  “kundol” back home.  This vegetable pictured above is a bottle gourd.  It’s a light and delicately flavored vegetable we often use sauted with pork and shrimps or dried fish. 

A Chinese friend of mine said that a winter melon is a good vegetable to “…keep you cool when you’re heaty” and I found that description to be so accurate.  Just like the winter melon, which is actually a gourd and not a melon, “upo” makes a great soup in the summer or the tropics and perhaps does lower your body temperature, though I have no proof of that.

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Cantaloupe or Melon?



This is what we call a melon in the Philippines. We know other people call it a cantaloupe, but we still call it a melon.

This particular one is from somewhere in California, like most fruits we get in Colorado grocery stores.  It was VERY sweet.  Cantaloupes and any kind of melon needs warm, dry weather because sugars in the fruit are concentrated in this kind of weather.  It’s certainly been dry and hot on the West Coast.  I think the little town of Rocky Ford in Colorado grows the sweetest I’ve ever tasted in my life – bar none….not even this one. Continue reading “Cantaloupe or Melon?”




At last, Daing na Bangus in Colorado!  But of course it has to be Daing na Bangus, the milkfish did come from the Philippines after all….it’s that special a milkfish!

The milkfish is known as the Philippine national fish.  I’ve tasted milkfish from Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan and none of those compare to the Philippine milkfish from Bonoan town in Pangasinan province.  My mother specially ordered bangus from Bonoan when my sisters and I were there for a short visit in April this year. Continue reading “Bangus”

Summer and Strawberries

It’s summer again soon and the strawberries are getting sweeter.  I’ve been buying a pint every week to go with the breakfast cereal, yoghurt and even oatmeal.

This morning, I was preparing to slice some up when I noticed how oddly shaped some of them are.  Here’s a plateful of some pretty, but odd-shaped ones.  I put in a couple of  regular-lookers for contrast.  Can you tell which ones they are?


Cherry, Mon Cheri?



Cherry time again! I was planning to bring home a big bag of cherries back with me to the Philippines last April but it wasn’t available then. There’s just nothing like fresh cherries…not maraschino, not canned or frozen cherries…