Staying cool

Summer in the Philippines is becoming a test of our enduring character, don’t you think? And the average daily temperature tells us that we’re experiencing hotter summer each year. So we make our best effort to adjust and enjoy the warm weather before the rainy season hits in.

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I also noticed that our calamansi ripens quite quickly this summer. If I remember correctly, we harvest ripe calamansi during the rainy season. But when I checked last weekend, our trees are teeming with ripe calamansi.! I think the summer heat is affecting the ripening process. But of course, we’re not complaining. More fresh calamansi juice for us! I made some mint ice cubes and popped them in a glass of freshly squeezed calamansi juice. Cool, citrusy and minty!

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Red, green and brown

01.16.2013

I attended a calligraphy crafternoon by Alessa Lanot last year and from them on, I try to practice this craft/skill on my own. It was not a formal workshop, but it gave me a first hand experience on doing calligraphy. I used to practice at night during weekends but I decided to stop this habit to rest my eyes and allot the time for sleeping! 😛 So I bought my calligraphy nibs, holder and ink to the province so that I will only practice on weekends.

I bought a red ink from Deovir and printed a sample sheet using Centeria Script which I learned from The Fozzy Book blog. After practicing writing the alphabet and some messy pages of drawing paper, I wrote this:

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I like how this font looks and it is not that hard to copy. I think it looks good on posters and postcards. And the red ink is love 🙂

01.07.2013

I once read that tropical countries, like the Philippines, are lucky to have a variety of fruits in season. The availability of these local fruits is a good opportunity to make by-products such as jams, jellies and marmalades. It’s the over supply of calamansi from our farm that led me to make my first ever calamansi marmalade. Luckily, I found this easy marmalade recipe from MarketManila. It was a success on my first attempt! And since then, I had this yearning to learn jam/jelly/marmalade-making.

So when I arrived home last Saturday, we have a basket of calamansi in the kitchen and my mother asked me to make marmalade. I am just happy to oblige.

Choose the ripe ones so that you don’t end up a bitter version of the marmalade. This recipe requires the the skin to be included so it is better to choose the ripe ones to add more sweetness.

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The chopping and removing of seeds takes a lot of time, so you better be patient with it.DSC01445 DSC01448

I usually spend the entire day cooking this marmaladeDSC01463

Just follow the recipe (you can adjust the waiting time between cooking and the amount of sugar) and you’d be rewarded. The calamansi marmalade should always be keep in the fridge and can stay up to a month, based on experience. I remember tasting it after a week in the fridge and I just love the chewiness of the skin. Perfect on warm bread with butter or margarine.

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I’m on a roll that day so while waiting for my marmalade to cool, I decided to make Chocolate Crinkles. The recipe originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Yummy Magazine, but I discovered it first from 80 Breakfasts’ blog. It was my first time to bake chocolate crinkles and I’ve been planning to make this since Christmas.

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I love how it turned out not too sweet. But I realized I can improve it by using a good quality of cocoa powder and I need to learn how to make it moist in the inside. Based on how fast the 40 pcs of crinkles was wiped out by my family, it think it was pretty good. 😀