Urban settlers take a short weekend vacation out of the city. They would usually take off to an island beach resort or trek to a mountainous region. You’re either a beach person or a mountain person. I am definitely a beach person. I’d rather go deep, than climb to the top.
To seek depth to me is the ultimate road to find meaning. I enjoy the beach with the people who matter.
And so we prepare food that lasts. We do not bring food that spoils too soon. Vinegar preserves a favorite: the adobo. As we take our time to travel, the adobo gets tastier and tastier.
My home town’s adobo is dry. In the wok, the pork cutlets is soaked in water, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper and a lot of garlic. They are boiled until everything has been absorbed by the meat. And the pork is cooked in its own fat until golden brown. Usually the meat becomes shredded and they are reduced to a size.
To serve, I like dipping the adobo in vinegar with garlic and bird’s eye chili or siling labuyo. But bring catsup for those who like a little sweetness.
For fanatics, we don’t wash the wok right away. We fry rice by using the adobo oil. We scrape the sides of the pan for the extra adobo meat to mix with the rice. But if I cook, and my friends like fire in their mouths, I crush small siling labuyo in a tablespoon of water and add it to the fried rice. Yum. Yum. Yum. Nothing is wasted.
At the beach, desert should be just plain and simple. Like fruits. Bananas and mangoes, green and yellow, complement salty water. Indian mangoes are eaten raw or with a little shrimp paste or bagoong. Again, use your hands. There’s a lot of water to wash them and fish to enjoy the scraps.
A fellow Jesuit like green mangoes with soy sauce. As a friend, I just let him be. After all, friendship is about accepting the weirdest part of ourselves and loving the eccentricities of others. At the beach, you don’t swim with clothes on. You go bare.