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Bits of bliss: Watermelon popsicle

August 16th, 2011 (08:36 pm)

Greatest discovery of the month: A Korean grocery near our office. My aim is to try all the affordable Korean ice cream they're selling. The ates and kuyas are all so warm and friendly--they answered all my questions with a smile and even informed me what ice cream they loved best.

Melon Melona still remains a favorite, but I couldn't resist this cute watermelon slice popsicle. The seeds taste like nutty choco or the local ChocNut:



I first tasted Melona at Cartimar with Sel. I tried the mango one, but the melon one is the freshest tasting and the creamiest.

♥ ♥ ♥

At home we had this encyclopedia set meant for kids. It had Western recipes like lemonade, and s’mores, but I also saw a recipe for chocolate fudge, which I did by mixing condensed milk and Milo and placing it in the freezer. Since I was fond of the ice candy sold at the various sari-sari stores, my mom had this idea to buy ice candy plastic so we could easily make our own ice candy at home.

She made a milk one, tinged with red food coloring. It turned baby pink and I remember eating it and wondering why I couldn’t describe the taste. I expected it to taste like strawberry because of the color, but it didn’t. I made coconut juice ice candy, from the coconut trees in our backyard. I made orange-flavored ones, from the instant powdered orange juice and Milo still remains to be my favorite. The Milo-flavored ones we bought from the sari-sari stores cost a peso higher and had this thick chocolate line which I tried vainly to recreate. The taste was different too, which might have meant that it wasn’t Milo at all, but Ovaltine. They also sold a special variety: A choco-monggo one, with the same chocolate base, but with sweetened red beans. We went crazy for that. The cookbooks at home gave me a lot of ideas for cooking. But I wasn’t ready to venture into the world of meat yet, so I contented myself with easy desserts. The problem was, our oven wasn’t that reliable, which meant I had to look for no-cook dessert recipes, which I convinced myself existed since I could make no-cook pastillas and fudge, right?

The first no-cook recipe that I tried came from my lola’s Southwestern cookbook.




I remember being excited when I saw how we had all the ingredients: egg, milk, water and I could always remove the alcohol from the ingredients. It had a drawing of the measurements per each ingredient and I carefully measured each. When it was done, I couldn’t stomach drinking it. Eggnog really is an acquired taste.

When I was bored, I’d pore over the colored cookbooks at home, making myself hungry with each appetizing photo. I’d read about poached pears, duck in orange sauce, marvel over words I haven’t heard before, like confit, or baste. I’d try them all one day, I thought. My mom attempted to
instill me with a love for cooking by writing detailed recipes on a piece of paper and sticking it to the ref door on weekends. All the ingredients would be in the ref, and it would be like a mini-scavenger hunt. I’d look for all the ingredients and follow all the steps.

When my brother was born, my cousin and I had a cookout. We each cooked scrambled eggs in our stove at home, and fed the finished product to my brother, who was a toddler then. She put Mang Tomas lechon sauce in hers, and I put tomato ketchup in mine. She asked my brother which he liked more, and my brother pointed at the one I made. That filled me with pride and a sense of accomplishment, and I enjoyed the act of cooking so much that I continued doing it, despite the often lackluster results. I experimented with the herbs found at home, toasting bread and sprinkling both onion and garlic powder on top of the butter base I spread on it. I read food
essays by Doreen Fernandez and dreamt of eating the items she ate: fried adobong balut, jumping shrimps, among other exciting food items. My mom loved black gulaman, and on Sunday brunch I’d be assigned to make the drink. I’d take out the can, relishing all the steps it required: Open the can, carefully slide out the gelatinous blob, cut the cylindrical gel into circles, hold a circle in my (clean!)
palm, get a butter knife and cut the gelatin into cubes against my palm. Sometimes I’d eat some of the gelatin when its delicious grassy vanilla scent overwhelmed me. While I was doing this,
I’d be boiling the water with sugar for the syrup. Sometimes I also made sago’t gulaman, loving how I could scoop as many sago balls as I wanted into my cup, with the sago more than the liquid itself. When we had melon, I’d make melon juice, using the handheld melon grater, and savoring the way the grainy sugar scratched the side of the bowl and then dissolve as I mixed it directly with the grated melon. I liked tasting uncooked items I deemed “safe”, like the dehydrated mushrooms or the uncooked spaghetti or the bigas.

Reading about food made me more curious about it, and my mom gave me this young adult novel about this teen who loved eating, but hated that her mom became a vegetarian. I couldn’t understand her dilemma, she hated vegetables but was able to eat a hotdog raw in her desire
for junk food. I wanted to trade places with her as she described chocolate chip carob cookies and mushrooms that expanded to a size as big as her palm.

Excerpt from my 2010 Nanowrimo novel Palpitations.

Comments

Posted by: Jenn (kickthehobbit)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)

Hee. They used to sell those watermelon-slice popsicles when I was growing up in Utah. You could get them from the ice cream truck, but nowhere else.

Posted by: let's start the rainbowlution! (aphazia)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)

That's one of my dreams--to own an ice-cream truck and peddle homemade ice cream. Maybe a pastillas con leche flan one, or a tart lemon basil mint sorbet. Just thinking of the possible flavors excite me! Mmm. :)

Posted by: Jenn (kickthehobbit)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)

that would be kind of awesome. :3

Posted by: Geena (sunsetsinthewes)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)

Oh, man, that looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by: let's start the rainbowlution! (aphazia)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)

Thanks for dropping by! :)

Posted by: la, zeitgeist! (zeitgeistic)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)

That is so pretty I wouldn't want to eat it.

Posted by: let's start the rainbowlution! (aphazia)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)

It smelled nice too! <3

Posted by: blue_mangos (blue_mangos)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)

That looks so good, I want ice cream now!

Posted by: let's start the rainbowlution! (aphazia)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)

<3 Thanks for dropping by!

Posted by: Wiji (wiji)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 02:00 am (UTC)

i have to try that watermelon popsicle!! i used to make ice candy when I was a kid, too! Ovaltine was my favorite. But I also made Grape from KoolAid! :D hihi fond memories

Posted by: let's start the rainbowlution! (aphazia)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)

KoolAid! I miss Koolaid! Tell me more about your foodie memories!!

Posted by: Sierra (kinjuru)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)

That watermelon popsicle looks amazing!!

Posted by: let's start the rainbowlution! (aphazia)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC)

Thanks for looking :)

Posted by: almi (ambebi)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 02:47 am (UTC)

ito ba yung sa may valero? pinag-uusapan lang namin ito nina elvin at jaycee sa twitter kahapon, hehe.

Posted by: let's start the rainbowlution! (aphazia)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)

Yun ba yung sa me Country Style or the one near Salcedo? Eto yung Rada Mart e, sa Rada street :)

Posted by: eye never sleep (twilightthief)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 05:42 am (UTC)
Coffee love

the Popsicle looks awesome!

I want one! ;)

Posted by: let's start the rainbowlution! (aphazia)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)

I wish I could send you one! haha :) Thanks for dropping by!

Posted by: Marie (kimoto)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 10:18 am (UTC)

the popsicle looks both amazing and delicious! Great find :D

Posted by: let's start the rainbowlution! (aphazia)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)

Thank you! :) Up next--rice juice!

Posted by: Sam (vivaciousmuse)
Posted at: August 18th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)

Oh that Popsicle looks amazing.

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