Monday, April 11, 2011

The Family Files

Only Emil knows his real age. But yesterday we marked his third year with us, as Rio's loyal friend and as a happy member of the Kamuning Republic.

We had a picnic at UP, where Rio and Emil shared polvoron, which is one of Emil's great treats. (He also eats Weetabix, cookies, bread, cake and other pastries.)

We played football, and the kids played chess - Luna versus Kuya Miggy - and then Bambu Kamatis, with Maegan, Sophie and Icia, brought by the parents of Kala, who is currently in Surigao.

We brought our binoculars and sandwiches and mats and the usual bit of imagination.

Rio romped away with Emil, who is still as spry as when he first arrived in Capers.

Later that night, Luna proceeded to Tandang Sora for a sleepover with her cousins.

It became boys night, and I prepared a great feast of Oxtail Ungas - named after the kids' Tito Looney Tunes, also known as the crazy chef Jose Enrique Soriano, who gave me the recipe.

Oxtail was immersed in beer and cooked over a low fire for five hours, but I doubled the anise and the peppers and put in some cayenne.

We began around 6:00 pm, right after the picnic.

After browning things, Rio poured in the bottles of beer, and then we waited, and close to midnight, the liquid greatly reduced and the meat incredibly tender and fragrant, things were ready.

I prepared rice the way I've always liked it - malata - and after the first spoonful, my son exclaimed it was all worth the wait.

Indeed. The stew had the right heat, the right texture, and it worked fabulously with the soft rice and the meat was virtually falling off the bones, and interestingly the carrots were still whole, though really soft. The onions had melted and merged with the meat.

We finished the whole pot, including the rice, and immense slabs of leftover fat and huge bones, along with the sauce and the softened carrots and the tasty bits at the bottom of the Dutch oven - it was all for Emil, who actually couldn't finish everything.

What a day. We'll surely do this again, and we'll try goat next time, and short ribs.

Thanks for dropping by. #

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