A Christmas feast

My family hosts a Christmas lunch every year and many of my cousins come. It makes for a rather raucous — almost everybody is part Capampangan — but thoroughly enjoyable meal. My mom used to slave over the hot stove a couple of days before the big event but lately we’ve been relying mostly on the culinary efforts of Fil-Am businesses in New Jersey. Not that mom has totally given up on cooking. But these days she just picks one or two dishes to add to the feast.

This year, since we decided to get lechon, my mom made fresh lumpia. She says that’s the complementary dish. Makes sense now that I think about it. Lumpia is sort of a veggie side dish — although the way my mom makes it it’s almost a meal in itself. Oh, I have to mention that the wrappers or crepes were made by Dad.

We also bought dinuguan from BBQ at Legal Beans, the folks who made the lechon I featured in this post. Their version is more “soupy” than my mom’s. As far as I could tell, there weren’t any “laman loob” (intestines, stomach, etc.). I guess that’s because it’s for catering.

Dad also ordered a tray of pancit from another Fil-Am restaurant, Blue Ribbon Kitchen. It’s bihon and was actually pretty good — until you get to the bottom, which didn’t have any sahog at all. Sigh.

I had planned on making tibuk-tibuk (maja blanca) but didn’t get the chance, so when one of my cousins asked if she could bring anything, i immediately requested her popular turon, or fried banana roll. I couldn’t stop munching on these. They were really good, not too sugary and the banana filling was just the right amount of ripeness.

Last but definitely not the least, the piécé de resistance of the Christmas table, the ham. One of my cousins bakes one every year but she was so busy this year. This one we ordered from another Fil-Am restaurant whose name escapes me. I don’t think they actually make the ham, though. They buy it from somebody else. I’ve been enjoying the ham with pan de sal since Christmas morning.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Betis Boy says:

    that ham looks good. and yup, ham is perfect with pandesal, with the syrup leaching into the bread… 😀

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  2. claire espina says:

    In Christmases past – it was my mom's Nilaga which was a staple and of course there was always Spaghetti for the children. Christmas was always at our farm in Villa Anally. When we moved to the US some 3 decades ago – somehow – the ritual became Christmas at my home. Pochero or Cocido has become the anchor meal. I still cook this. But like your Mom – for a few years we have had our Christmases catered by Chef Reggie until he left for Guam in 2010. This year everyone pitched in. Ing peka buri ku ing turon keng litratu mu. And the crepes look very good too, balu mung homemade la. Ing pancit naman, mas buri keng maracal a noodles kesa sahug. Thanks you Kats and Greg for a wonderful food and everything else blog.

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  3. Guagua Girl says:

    atche, nilaga was a huge part of my christmas childhood. my grandmother insisted on it when she was alive. we spent many a christmas eve slurping soup from mugs, blankets around our shivering shoulders. for some reason, that tradition kinda fell by the wayside when we moved to the US. i miss my grandmother, especially during the holidays, and i do miss her nilaga. thank you very much, atche, for your continued support.

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  4. Betis Boy says:

    merry christmas and happy new year, atchi. you are as much a part of this blog as we are, and we hope more friends take part in the exchange across the oceans 🙂

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