Saturday, June 28, 2008

Yet Another Food Blog (YAFB)

Why? Why another food blog?

Why not?

I find myself in a position that seems a bit foreign. Well, more than a bit. I'm living in a foreign country.

Many of the ingredients here are different. Food availability here is completely different. Back in the States, if I wanted some saffron at 3:25am, I just hopped in the car and bought some at my local 24-hour megamart. Now, if I want saffron, I have to call a friend in another city (Cebu or Manila) and have them ship it to me.

Used to be, when I wanted lotus leaves to make Nor Mai Gai, I'd just drive about ten miles to my local Ranch 99 Market and buy them, cheap! Of course, I didn't mind this because I'd also buy very, very freshly made char siu pork. When I want lotus leaves now, I had them mailed from the States. The leaves cost US$15 (US$3 per package of ten), the postage was US$60. Still worth it! next time, though, we'll ship them the slow way via balikbayan box.

Dairy products? We have a few cheeses and cheese products in small supply: Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella, cream cheese, and bad, flavorless imitations of American cheese. We also get milk and cream. However! Said milk and cream is pasteurized using the UHT method. What does that mean? It has little flavor and doesn't behave like my beloved milk from home.

Yogurt? Sometimes. Cottage cheese? No. Sour cream? No chance.

Let me repeat that: no sour cream.

So, I've done what any sane person would do ... try to recreate many of these things myself.


celia kusinera said...

You are a brave man, James. Good luck on your enterprise of cooking and baking in Tacloban. :)

Delighted to come across a food blogger American based in Phils. Usually it's the other way around.

Is it alright to link your blog to mine?

James said...



I've subscribed to your blog. If you post something that I cook, I'll gladly give you the credit and link back.