The title is in reference to that BBC cooking show, “Two Fat Ladies”, which my mother and I used to watch together before I was married. I have my own Two Fat Ladies here in the Philippines too. I don’t think any woman would be flattered to be called fat so I didn’t tell them about this blog. But hey, thrown me in and we’ll be Three Fat Ladies.
We are so lucky to have these ladies bringing us fresh produce 6 days a week at our place. They come all the way from another province about an hour’s drive from where we live. They have a bicycle cart with a large colorful umbrella strapped onto it and peddle vegetables, meats, fish and seafood – actually anything you want that can be found at a wet market. But they don’t just peddle, they have their regulars and unless you’re a regular, they won’t bother to ring your bell or even pass your street.
My mother has been a regular and very loyal customer for years now so they obliged her and started dropping by at our place. Well, not at first. For all my food needs until a couple of months ago, I would still have to go to the SM Mall about a 10-minute snail’s pace drive from our house. But when they did stop by and I started ordering pork, beef, native sausages and even batik dresses for the summer from them, they came by more often – almost everyday in fact.
They are sisters-in-law and live in the same family compound in Nueva Ecija. They invited Spouse and I to come visit them at fiesta time at the end of May. They have a compound outside the main town they said, with a little brook at the back of the property with plenty of mango trees. I think there’s no turning that invitation down, especially since I’ve never been to that province before. Spouse and I are really looking forward to do that.
They have been serving our neighborhood for about 6-7 years now and have gotten to know a lot of the neighbors. They are also a great source of news – nothing nasty of course, they are always nice. But you do get the skinny on what house in the neighborhood is for sale and all that. In the Philippines, very few people seem to be willing to put out a sign on their yard when a house is for sale.
Apart from the convenience of having goods delivered to your doorstep the day after you order it, they also offer produce which you may have never tried before. There was this one shiny, silvery oddly-shaped fish called “sapatero” which I couldn’t remember ever having (mom said we’ve had it before though) and so I tried it and will order another batch for grilling. I’ll write about it another time and hopefully not forget to take photos.
One of my favorite things to order, aside from the garlic sausages are the cooked Rellenong Bangus (stuffed milkfish) they order from another lady in Nueva Ecija. It is just delicious and Spouse absolutely loves it. In fact, there was one time when I was away and the ladies came calling and Spouse took 2 large Rellenos – which I never would have taken! Between the two of us, we can finish up a whole medium-sized relleno in one sitting. So the two large stuffed fish was just too much for the two of us. I took it to my mom’s and she confirmed it tasted great. It also keeps very well in the freezer. As a matter of fact, I have one medium-sized relleno waiting to be eaten as I type this.
Ooops, gotta go…my doorbell’s ringing. That must be my ladies calling!