By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas
This time, it was a Sunday. The week was over. Copies of this paper were successfully sent to the provinces by the boys two hours earlier which they just texted to me. Time to relax but had to feed myself first. So, scrounge for breakfast. Just heard the click of the rice cooker…… that it was over.
Other members of my household were still snoring. It was a rest day.
The water for my power drink was already hot. Put the turmeric powder in a cup, followed by chia seeds, honey and then about four spoons of yogurt. Poured the hot water
But what to eat with the rice? Ah, deep fried tofu skin. In no time pieces of it were sizzling on the frying pan. Just like that? Dipped with Kikkoman soy sauce? Nope.
What will go with it are sliced raw tomatoes.
With nice music on the background (the radio stations play the greatest music 40 or so years ago every Sunday), I was ready for the sumptuous meal. No spoon or fork. Joyfully ate with my bare hands, “kinnam met” ….. hmmm, joyfully licking my fingers after putting some of the food into my mouth, with one of my knees bended up to my chest and the foot of that leg resting on the edge of the chair I was sitting on, periodically sipping my power drink. You bet. It was a relaxed rest day. No rush.
My wife said that whenever I ate like that I should eat first. Otherwise, her dieting program would be abandoned.
A friend to whom I was relating this told me of another similar version on a summer day, under a mango tree. This time the food was fried rice with garlic that was going down with ‘tuyo’ or dried fish, along with raw sliced tomatoes. He said he was with friends and they were sitting on a bench, a number of them in shorts and some of them also had one of their legs bended up to their chests with the feet of those legs resting on the bench they were sitting on. They were also eating with their bare hands, sipping plain cold water. Nice, for it was summer and in a few moments they would begin what they intended to do the whole day. Drinking alcoholic beverages.
He added, the viand could have just been bagoong (rotten fish to some) with sliced raw tomatoes or green mangoes and it would have been great with all the bantering among friends.
If you are one of our readers abroad, this can be worth reminiscing. Re-living it would even be better. Sorry if you don’t have ‘tuyo’ or ‘bagoong’ there. Well, substitutes can be found, am sure. Simple food you will eat with gusto, in a simple but wholesome environment, with the right friends or relatives, at a time when you can just relax. You know, great satisfaction need not be expensive.
I also mentioned this to another lawyer friend and he got animated about the mango tree. He said that when he retires he will find a small farm with a mango tree, under which he will have a hammock where he would be lying down puffing a cigarette or reading a nice paperback. He would have a nap or a siesta and then late in the afternoon he would shepherd a few goats into their barn.
As I wrote months ago, a small farm where one can live independently from the rest of the world, with enough food, satellite TV and internet service is the ideal place to be during a lockdown.
Well, as another friend texted, a mango tree can provide you your private SM. Not SM Mall. Sirok ti manga.**