Category Archives: gadgetry

a voice from the past

i interrupt my regular (ok “somewhat” irregular) programming….well i had such a huge scare today, when i found out my blog was g.o.n.e….as in kaput, pfffftttt! it went on all day, the panicky emails, attempted phone calls and such. bottom line, i got it back. but underline…i do not ever want to go through that again! especially when i felt truly compelled to publish something important, something tugging at me all this time, as if someone from the past were pushing me to publicize something very important.

i watched a bit of the inauguration of the new Philippine president, Benigno Aquino III, or “P-Noy” as he’d like to be called, allegedly. i listened to the lyrics of one folk singer, Noel Cabangon, and as i always do i went back to my grandfather’s Credo, which was published anonymously in the Manila Chronicle many decades ago, and then in his published work, “Fragments, Thoughts and Short Essays,” and which i saw first hand, painted on to the walls of the Courthouse of Gumaca,Quezon, where he was a judge from 1962 until 1967. he worked at the Bureau (later Commission) of the Civil Service from 1915 to 1962….i always read it as a sort of prayer for the Philippines whenever Filipinos pin their hopes on a new regime.

“Credo of the Public Servant

1. I believe that a position in the government is a public trust to be administered for the good of the people and not for the personal profit or benefit of the office, holder, his family, or his friends.

2. I believe that public service calls for sacrifice, humility, and renunciation; that although public office is an honor and gives opportunity for leadership, those wielding it and exercising its powers are servants of the people and not rulers or masters.

3. I believe that the government employee should be imbued with a high sense of honor, a steadfast devotion to duty, and unswerving loyalty to the Republic, and its cherished institutions.

4. I believe that the government employee should be physically, mentally and morally fit for service, should be strict and exacting with himself, and should expect and require of himself more than he expects and requires of others.

5. I believe in “the importance of little things,” in neatness and accuracy in beauty and art, in simple duties faithfully performed, little temptations earnestly resisted, little courtesies extended, and “myriad self denials.”

6. I believe that the employee should lead a simple temperate life, free from pretense, from excesses, or suspicion or appearance of evil.

7. I believe that moral leadership contributes to good morale and esprit de corps and that the law is but the ethical minimum.

8. I believe that job satisfaction is not all a question of pay or hours of work.

9. I believe in strict adherence to the principles of the merit system and just democratic management.

10. Lastly, I believe in human dignity, in a regime of justice, liberty and democracy, in the rights of minorities and the little man, in a government of laws under the protection and guiding hand of an all-wise, merciful, and just God.” –Amado del Rosario, 1957

i heart coffee forever

klik mo mukka ko
i call this my motivator. nothing like a new coffee toy to bounce out of bed for! i wanted to buy this when the coffee maker broke a couple of years ago but it was way too pricey for a little capuccino maker. so when i found one hugely discounted (with a slight smudge on tweety’s forehead) at Marshall’s, bearing TweetyBird’s face no less!, in such bright Swedish-flag colors…i ran away with it.
the original cowprint is very cute too.
it’s a marvel of Italian ingenuity. you fill up the bottom chamber with water, espresso coffee goes on the filter basket, then milk on the yellow bird body, then set on the stove. in about 4 minutes, it’s done.
accuracy in measuring is essential.
mukka in action

it took a while to get the hang of it but now i have, it’s been quite a pleasant thought to get up from under the down comforter (yes, it is cold here. again.summer officially starts tomorrow??) for a hot creamy steamy capuccino or cafe latte/cafe au lait.
pasaway mermaid
i must be the last coffee girl in the world to say, i have never bought one from starbucks.
it’s just so against my coffeephilosophy.
but when i heard that the extreme conservative types wanted this pretty little mermaid banned… why,
i just had to have one. i almost bought it from eBay, but then i got lucky and found one hidden away at a supermarket starbucks stand. since then i’ve discovered that the coffee megachain has revived the logo, albeit the mermaid is slightly more demure, as part of a marketing ploy to pump up slumping sales and over-expansion.
heehee. gotcha. or got-me? :capuccino
capuccino at home

springtime blahs and blues

hummus on feta cheese and kalamata olive bread

i don’t know why it is. the crocuses are peeking out, the lily of the valley shoots are all over, and even the old hundred year old maples’ leaf buds are shyly unfolding. i should be leaping for joy now that we’re finally crawling out of the winter that seems to have lasted six months.

instead i don’t have any appetite, and have no desire to cook. cookbooks are “falling” from the sky into my lap. my food magazines still get delivered. lucky for me i have a husband who likes to experiment in the kitchen/lab and who has taken this week off to hang out with our kids on their spring break.

lucky for me too i have the bread machine to play with, it is just about the only thing drawing me in to the kitchen.
i’ve made five loaves so far: white bread, sweet bread, whole wheat, feta cheese and olive, and brioche. yes! brioche! i’ve labored over that dough–it usually takes me 2 days for each attempt (gooey sticky buns; ensaymada). it is my favorite one so far, and it is all i can do to stop myself hugging my R2D2–for that it what the Dak auto bakery looks like.

we have just a small loaf each time, but it’s just right for sampling and because of the ease of use, i am contemplating the possibilities, of all the fresh hot loaves i can make. daily?!

it’s almost enough to shake off these springtime blues.

play time

i thought a bread machine would be fun to have in the kitchen.
i wanted a Japanese one..but have you seen how much those cost? i couldn’t justify spending too much on a brand new Zojirushi that i might not use much in the end. or that i’d feel pressured to use, to make it worthwhile…so i turned to eBay. i got really lucky and got a barely-used Dak (out of business, but parts are still available). i made our first bread machine loaf the day it arrived…

it was a bit alarming in the beginning, with all the noise it made. but 3 and a half hours later i got the best surprise…

it worked! and it was beautiful, moist-inside-crusty-outside kind of loaf. oddly shaped, but the magical way that it kneaded the dough, “fermented”, baked and cooled it…all you do is measure everything in, in proper order.

freshly baked, i slathered on some carabao butter…*sigh*
thank heavens for all the people who share recipes (the machine didn’t have its original cookbooklet)–i hope to try out as many as i can, who knows how long this machine will last?!

guess how much?

yes, the toaster oven has conked out– it was just over two years old.
those were the days ha. when things were made to last, and you could even pass them down to the next generation, or have to sell it if you wanted to upgrade.

so we were resigned to buying another “throw away” toaster oven, and this time i assigned husband the task of picking one out since i hadn’t done a very good job with the old one (it was a horrible thing, burning our toast and being very hard to clean–it got so bad i considered destroying it and not waiting for it to break down).

he found one in a big-box home store that gives out 20% off coupons every week and it came with a rebate.

final price? $12.
i give it six months to live.