All of a sudden, I feel homesick, as I remember a Filipino summer favorite ice treat of mine, halo-halo. In the midst of a sea of people watching a summer concert in the park, I feel alone.
"Orange, Strawberry, Pina Colada" are the suggested flavors. I picked the pina colada. While I mix the shaved ice, the familiar sound gave me a childish giggle. But the shaved ice is unable to give me the same delightful experience. I craved for the real thing... I craved for halo halo.
As I obsessively try to make my time with the snow cone more enjoyable, my mind races to list down the ingredients that I could gather from my pantry. The traditional halo halo back home consists of shaved ice with sweetened fruits, dried nuts and tapioca pearls. What I was able to assemble from my pantry included: bananas, rice krispies to replace the pinipig (dried rice), green gelatine (agar-agar) and sweet rice (this is one of the ingredients popular in my home province).
I got some shaved ice, leche flan (custard ) and drizzled the crushed ice with condensed milk...
Ahhh... I was ready to enjoy my home made halo-halo.
Some would like to arrange the layers into different colors, making it a visual treat. But most of us would not bother, as all the ingredients are mixed together anyways (halo-halo literally means mix-mix). The soft gelatin and the sweet rice plus the crispiness of rice krispies blended in my mouth like a beautiful orchestra... it was definitely delicious - just as my palette remembers my childhood favorite.
Well you can tell... the whole serving disappeared in no time...
With the heat rising to almost a 100 degrees, we needed another bowl of halo halo to enjoy...
Although I was not able to get more traditional ingredients, my version of halo-halo hit the spot. The traditional recipe will include ube (purple yam), canned jack fruit, sweet beans and nata de coco (sweetened coconut). Shaved ice is added to the top of the sweetened fruits, beans and dried rice. Evaporated milk is then poured on the ice and a slice of flan or a scoop of ice cream is added on the pile of shaved ice. This designates it as a "special" halo-halo, in contrast to the "regular" version, which we add sugar to the ice before we mix in fixed anticipation of savoring the different ingredients.
Despite being in the Midwest thousands of miles away from my hometown, a spoonful of this cold treat made me feel like I was at home... But then again, this is my new home, made more meaningful and special by my memories of the Philippines. Looking back at the concert, I did have fun listening to the jazz band and enjoying the late summer day. More thoughts flooded my head as the band played "Deacon Blues" by Steely Dan. But alas, these stories deserve another post. In the meantime, I rifle through the songs from my youth on Spotify and reminisce with a smile on my face.
Yum! i want some!!! Hope you guys can come over this Sunday! :-)ReplyDelete
THanks for the swift comment... what's the occasion this Sunday ba?
We feel the same way Malou. Sometimes we ask ourselves what are we doing here. I hope you find your answers and it will be as good as mine.ReplyDelete
Halo halo, very apt with the mixed emotions. Great post as always. You make me think all the time.
We are where we are supposed to be di ba? and it all depends on us on how we make it home.Delete
Wow I want some even its winter here, you made me crave for those. Now I need to find some ice crusherReplyDelete
NZ right? But Raymund I don't have an ice crasher myself. What I did was to crash the ice on a ziploc and then used the blender to crash it even more. I had to remedy the craving so desperate times calls for desperate move haha. Thanks for dropping by,Delete
My gosh..your halo halo makes me drool. When I read about 'shaving ice', you make me homesick and crave of those shaved ice dessert drinks back home too...haha. We have a popular one called ABC drink which has an an assortment of red beans etc and drizzled over with coconut milk or evaporated milk. It's so good when the weather is sizzling hot. Hope to make when the weather gets hotter here. Thanks very much for sharing.ReplyDelete
That is a Malaysian treat called? Wow that's an interesting tidbit Mary. I know Asian countries have different shave iced treats. I have yet to try using coconut milk.Delete
I do the same thing!! Every time I get homesick I cook something decadently American and instantly I'm transported to the East Coast of the US. One time it might be a Maine recipe, or a New York recipe, or one from Tenneseee, Georgia or Florida. All depends on which one I'm missing. :)ReplyDelete
This looks great.
It's wonderful how food connects us to our home... and we are lucky that we could remedy that by cooking it ourselves.Delete
Thanks for dropping by Maureen! It's winter over there right? So keep yourself warm!
I definitely know how you feel being homesick. I'm from the US, but grew up in Cuba (Gtmo Bay.) I now live in Switzerland...! I've had a jar of Halo Halo mix in my cabinet since last Summer! I hope it's still good, we recently bought a blender that can crush ice. Hope to try it soon! I got it at an Asian food store here, that sells a few Pinoy staples. (Dried mango, sky flakes, purple yam jam, etc.) Have you checked out stores near you, maybe they have it?!ReplyDelete
We have a decent Asian store around here but I was craving right at that moment and I had to address it.. if not I'll go insane haha.Delete
I hope you will be able to find new friends over there in Switzerland that will make you get the semblance of home.
Oh my goodness, you just made me crave Halo-Halo even more!Coincidentally I was just thinking about making some last night and mentioned it to the family. Now your post just convinced me to run to the Asian store for ingredients. Thanks for the inspiration, Malou & a great post! Happy summer :-)ReplyDelete
I would pick the pina colada too! I've just visited a blog where the blogger was born in Malayisa but now lives in NZ and he's all nostalgic about the ices he used to get in Kuta Kinabalu that he can't buy in NZ. Great that you've made your own. Love the colours Malou, so pretty! xxReplyDelete
Steely Dan? That's more of my genre Malou. I couldn't help but commont because of that. LAWLZ! --PReplyDelete
What a lovely post. Your shaved ice is almost as delicious as your memories. Thank you for sharing both with us. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...MaryReplyDelete
Hmmm, looks great! We also enjoy shaved ice during the summer time in Japan too. It's a bit different from Filipino style but I kind of miss eating it too. But the only problem is that SF is not hot enough to enjoy cold icy dessert! I'm kind of envious that you are enjoying actual summer. I was just outside wearing leather jacket... lol.ReplyDelete
Malou, what a super yummy summer treat! I love the mason jar serving! I would not, or could not duplicate this wonderful treat, so I would just have to book an airline ticket to...St Louis?...am I correct on your location, and would check out your beautiful new location, and would love to get together with you, so you can enlight me of all your exotic treats!ReplyDelete
Come on over Elisabeth. STL is the city where I live. Just let me know your ETA and Ill be there to pick you up... for real!Delete
Enjoy the weekend,
We always have halo halo at special family gatherings. My husband doesn't like it (how weird is that?!) but I love it, especially the red mung beans and jackfruit. Your homemade version looks amazing, love the mason jar presentation.ReplyDelete