I'm in Orlando right now, and yes I'm having too much fun time! I know you would be thinking Disneyworld or Islands of Adventure or the other water parks Orlando is famous for, but no, the highlight of my stay is the overwhelming joy of being with family and friends.
The Disney song "Making Memories" is in my head as we write our own. Our magical adventure began when the garage door at my sister's house opened and saw my Mom, aunt and my brother who came from the Philippines. It is as spellbinding as stepping into Main Street USA in Disneyworld. I was enveloped in sheer happiness when I hugged my mom for the first time in awhile. Her face lit up and there were no signs of being tired from the 26 hour long flight. The cheery and oftentimes loud hellos and tight hugs that go with every person arriving one after the other (mom's sisters from Canada) to attend my sister's 20th wedding anniversary celebration. My sister's house is instantly transformed into a bed and breakfast inn, its halls murmur so much fun and excitement. I watch in marvel as my mom and her sisters gather around as they tell their never ending stories; their smiling eyes lend a window of the world I have not seen. These moments are truly as magical as watching the Disney Parade. I listen to their animated stories that are engaging and often times hilarious. The echoes of their laughter that vibrate all throughout the house, enthrall me like sparks of fireworks at the end of the day. Now in their aging years, their love and support to each other never faded. Indeed it warms my heart seeing my mom having a great time with her sisters like old times.
One morning I woke up to their (loud) "whispers" and the aroma of toasted garlic coming from the kitchen downstairs. The scent caressed my nose that it got me out from the snuggles of my bed even if it was way too early. I learned later that my aunt started cooking at 4 am, her congee (rice porridge) that I wanted to try. I thought she didn't hear my request, as the chorus of their voices drowns my voice. But the bowl was just soothing to wake up into... a spoonful hits the spot as an early morning meal...And so for this month's Kulinarya I share with you:
1 chicken breast
1 cup jasmine rice
shitake mushrooms, sliced
3 cups soup stock (add more as needed)
1 medium onion, quartered
1 thumb sized ginger, peeled
Boil chicken breast in a stockpot. Scoop out the chicken and set aside. Using the same stockpot, add onions and ginger. Add rice. Let it boil then reduce heat to medium and let it simmer. Add shitake mushrooms. Continue to simmer until rice is mushy.
Meanwhile, shred the chicken breast and add it to the rice mixture. Season with fish sauce and pepper. Dash some sesame oil.
Sprinkle some toasted garlic, ground crispy pork rind (chicharon) sliced green onions. And boiled eggs.
Squeeze some fresh calamansi or lime.
This has been my Kulinarya contribution for this month's theme of arroz caldo. Visit all the other Kulinarya Members to check out their posts.