So yesterday was Monday here in Los Banos. The college was not open because it was the day they recognized All Souls Day (which takes place the day after Halloween), so there was not much to do. I woke up, did my morning routine and then by early afternoon I said to myself, “I need to do something! I’m bored.”
I called my friend Jae up and said, “Let’s barbeque!”
and he immediately told me, “Why not?”
And that was how this whole BBQ journey started.
I’m going to warn you all that this post will mostly be about food and me cooking it. So if you don’t want to hear about me cooking you should probably stop now. But if you like that kind of thing great!
Jae and I went to the grocery store around 5:00pm. I took my friend Belle with me (you’ve seen her in many previous posts of mine) and shopped at South Super Market. I picked up 2 kilos of pork, tons of fresh vegetables, some skewers, milk, salad dressing, condiments, pasta, drinks and even some more cooking utensils. I spent the most that day shopping than I had ever done before in the Philippines, but I was determined to make some good BBQ and some good side dishes to compliment that BBQ. Before going shopping I did some research on some well known BBQ recipes and also some good dishes to accompany them. So I came up with three things I wanted to do: Filipino style pork BBQ on skewers, fresh potato salad, and another pasta salad with fresh vegetables
that my friend Elsie from Singapore recommended. For dessert I decided to go with more of Elsie’s suggestions, by roasting over the fire some bananas (to be topped with chocolate sauce later on) as well as sweet potatoes
. And thus, that is what I did.
I went home and Belle and I immediately got to work on prepping. Jae had to step out and help his girlfriend Emma, since she had just come back from Batangas and found out that her apartment was totally flooded. They spent some time cleaning it out before coming over. I first prepared the marinade for the 2 kilos of pork that I had bought. It consisted of 2 cups of soy sauce, a whole head of garlic, 2 minced onions, 1 cup of Sprite, a cup of chili sauce and some sugar and salt and pepper to taste. It was supposed to be a very quick marinade, since we didn’t have much time to do so before actually starting up the grill. After that, we dumped the pork in it and set it in the refrigerator to soak while we got the other dishes ready.
The next dish we started to work on was the potato salad. I was going to make this from scratch, so I had bought 5 pounds of potatoes for the recipe. Belle and I boiled the potatoes until they became tender and then we went about cooling them off and peeling them and cutting them into cubes. Belle is more efficient at prepping and cutting than me, I found out, so she took care of most of the peeling and cutting (what an angel!). Meanwhile, I cut up some onions and prepared the dressing for the potato salad. It consisted of about 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of Miracle Whip salad dressing, 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard, and a 1/2 cup of milk with salt and pepper. After mixing this all until it was smooth it came out to a slightly thin consistency, which was perfect for the potato salad. While the potatoes were cooling Belle managed to boil 6 eggs until they were hard-cooked in my small portable water boiler. The eggs would later on be cut into cubes and put on top of the potato salad as an additional topping.
After that was done, we packed it away and set it in the fridge to chill. By that time, Jae and Elma had come over and had already started up the charcoal grill (which he had brought to my place). Elma and Belle helped each other in skewering the meat that had been marinating and Jae took care of the grilling while I was working on the final recipe. For the final recipe, I decided to work on Elsie’s quick pasta salad recipe. Belle and I cut up and diced 3 onions, 6 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers to mix into the salad. I cooked 16 ounces of spiral pasta (that’s right, a full pound) with some olive oil and salt. After that was all done I took out my biggest plastic container and Belle mixed in all the vegetables we had cut up as well as 2 full containers of Italian salad dressing. I added some salt and pepper to taste, as well as some basil, oregano and thyme and it all came together. That recipe turned out to be my biggest one and I didn’t realize it until I had it sitting in front of me. I think I’ll be eating that salad for a very long time until it runs out… hahaha.
After that, Jae and Elma had cooked all of the BBQ and so we sat down to start eating. I set the bananas and sweet potatoes which I had wrapped in foil beforehand onto the grill which was now starting to die down and let them sit until we were done eating. Jae, Elma and Belle tested out the recipes that I had chosen and everything was a big hit! They really enjoyed the meal and I was happy to say that everything was satisfied. There was way too much food for us to finish though. As a matter of fact, there still is. My fridge is packed to the brim with BBQ stuff today. If anyone wants to come over and help me finish things then let me know! I might even send you home with a doggy bag.
After dinner, which totally filled all of us up, we ended up watching funny videos and inevitably some Wonder Girls videos. (So sue me! Haha, I’m too big of a fan.) We tried out the bananas with chocolate sauce and the kamote (sweet potato) we had grilled and they were super yummy. Jae and Elma also had brought some marshmallows to put over the fire and I have to say, if done over a slow fire and not totally burnt, marshmallows that have lightly been roasted are really tasty. Thanks Jae for bringing them over!
We continued talking, eating and relaxing until around 2am. Jae and Elma eventually said good-bye, but Rosebelle decided to stay over. We both watched 3 episodes of Arrested Development before calling it a night. I took the couch while I gave Belle the bed… and that was the end of the BBQ party.
This morning I got up, and that leads to another story all together. I will talk about that later.
For now, I hope you guys all enjoyed my story! Being on semester break is ultra fun and with some good friends, things just get better. Thanks to Jae, Elma, Belle and Elsie (for the great, simple recipes!) for helping me make this BBQ a success!