Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Fine Day To Take It Izzy

The alarm clock buzzed continuously as I struggled to get up. To wake up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday is never easy. But it is easier today than most other times; this is because my daughter Izzy is taking the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) today. As I entered her still unlit room, she was curled up in bed, sleeping so contently. I didn’t have the heart to wake her up. The past few weeks she’s been working hard and sleeping late, juggling school work, volunteering and standard tests preps, as well as writing college applications. But I have to. It reminded me years ago, how I would wake up my kids singing nursery rhymes, and I was tempted to do that. But knowing how tired she has been the past few weeks, I lay down next to her and hugged her tightly. She asked me sarcastically why I was hugging her and I mentioned to her I was her lucky charm. She replied that if that’s the case she would tie me around her neck and take me with her when she takes the test… and I said, “You don’t have to…. I am in your heart”… she remarked again with sarcasm: “Says who?”

Izzy is my second daughter and has been labeled by almost everyone I know as my “mini-me”. People who knew me from way back say that she looks exactly like me. My mom disagrees though. According to my mother, Izzy is the better version, as she got some good features from my mother-in-law too. Well, they say that you marry someone who will improve your gene pool, and in my case I believe I did. But an exact copy of me she’s not. I always tell her that I didn’t study (in my entire student life) as hard as she does, and she’s only a senior in high school. Izzy is one very focused, very diligent student. So soft spoken, a little on the shy side (which obviously is not one of my traits at all), but definitely driven, creative and reliable, traits that are present in me.

In a few days, she’ll be turning 18. Debut parties were a big thing in the Philippines when I was growing up. A coming of age party is planned by the family with the debutante’s closest friends and is usually held in a plush hotel or restaurant. Although I only had a modest party on my 18th birthday, I still vividly remember what I wore: a white three-layered skirt that dropped down to my ankles, a white tunic blouse with shoulder pads (purchased from Virra Mall in Greenhills), white stockings, red pumps and a matching huge red belt (bought from Celine’s also in Greenhills). If Project Runway’s Christian Soriano would have seen me back then, one word would come to his mind … “Fierce”, hahaha. Izzy will never wear anything like what I described, and looking back at how horrendous the fashion style was in the 80’s, I am glad she wouldn’t. So I asked her what she wants to do for her 18th birthday and she said “I would like to apply to more colleges than I initially planned, I want to choose wisely”. It amazes me how different she will remember her 18th birthday compared to my memories. She hopefully will remember how hard she worked to get into a good college and realize that was the initial step in achieving her career goals.

As she goes out the door, I couldn’t help but think of preparing something homemade for her when she comes back. “Can you make this more often mom” is her way of giving the dish I just prepared her seal of approval, something equivalent to my “oh-so-delish!” remark. She has said this about my Baked Ziti, one of her favorite “comfort food”, but it would be too predictable if I make this for her. Something light and something to snack on when she comes back.… SPAM MUSUBI came to mind.

Spam Musubi is a popular “sushi” snack in Hawaii. It’s made of spam marinated with soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar, then wrapped with nori wrapper. However, I will add a twist by making an Impromptu Diva experiment in fusing one of Izzy’s favorite fruit--- pineapple, with spam musubi. As I was planning this aloud, my son was skeptical about the idea. He even hid the last can of pineapple that I had in my pantry. But I proceded with my new concoction, as I tie the strings of my trusty white apron. So here’s the result: Aloha Spam Musubi.

“Mom can you make this more often “, Izzy said as she was getting her next serving. Ergo, it is another super-liscious recipe for me to share with you.

Aloha Spam Musubi


1 can of Spam Lite, sliced thinly
Nori wrapper
1 can of crushed pineapple (try to use pineapple rings instead, I just used the crushed one since I ran out of he pineapple rings in my pantry, the rings would be easier to caramelize).
2 tbsp sugar (you could add more if you want it sweeter)
2 tbsp cooking oil
Cooked jasmine rice

Place the pineapple in a pan. Add sugar and cook it until dehydrated. Just when it’s about to turn brown, set aside.
Heat oil in pan. Cook the sliced spam until the edges turn brown. Let it rest on a paper towel.
Cut the nori wrapper according to desired size. I divided mine into 3 and used a corrugated knife to cut it. Place the nori wrapper on a flat surface. Spread the crushed pineapple and then the Spam and the molded rice. Wrap the nori wrapper around it. Enjoy!

Impromptu Diva tip: Use the empty can of spam to mold the rice. This will give it a more polished look. Be sure to wash the empty can thouroughly. Also, keep your hands wet, it will make molding and wrapping a lot easier as the rice wont stick to your hands.

Have fun and enjoy!


  1. sarap!!! send me some please tita? love love!

    hi isabel! :)

  2. thanks k! expect your package of spam musubi anytime soon LOL! this recipe is so easy to make. THey have spam in SIngapore too right? try making 'em! enjoy!


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