In his recent blog entry entitled “Chris’s Binagoongan, Rye’s Menudo & Dan’s Bistik” (http://8julio.multiply.com/journal/item/12?mark_read=8julio:journal:12&replies_read=5), Julius hardly ever mentioned anything about our cooking but definitely said a lot about the way people perceive all 3 of us as individuals.
It seems to me that despite the wide variety of dishes we three (four, including Julius) are capable of making, these three stand out to be our own trademark recipes. The reason is not that these are what we make most often, but that these are what people equate our personalities with.
Chris’s Binagoongan, for example, has the balanced qualities of extreme saltiness and extreme sweetness. He keeps his culinary interpretation of Pork Binagoongan minimalist. Unlike the elaborate versions one could find in Filipino specialty restaurants, the only non-pork ingredient he includes are subtlely-flavored, separately-fried eggplants. So there are basically just 4 flavors one can experience in his binagoongan: that of the shrimp paste, of the pork, of the eggplant, and of the sugar. Only four, but in a heightened, emphatic fashion. The same is true with Chris’s personality. He has very few moods – fun, child-like, artistic and bitchy. What you see is what you get. No hidden agenda, no pretensions. Only four, but in a heightened, emphatic fashion.
Dan’s Bistik is characterized by a heady tug-o-war between citrusy sourness and soy saltiness and a sweet-piquant hint of white onions. Much like his Bistik, Dan is a typical Gemini: interestingly bi-polar. He can be the wildest, craziest person in the room one minute and be an uptight prude the next. He can sing “Someone Like You” to his heart’s content at 7:00pm and be talking to me about the pitfalls of falling in love again at 9. Very few people know that beneath Dan’s cynical, jaded façade is a sweet, loyal person who’d go the extra mile and sacrifice his own comforts for a friend.
My Menudo is just delicious. Period. Very much like me. Dare to cotradict?!?
Free dinner was all i wanted to take advantage of. Then we all got high --- a natural one caused by the best and most effective narcotic: music. Intense!
When I was 14, I used to listen to Alanis Morrisette a lot. One of the most indelible lines she ever sang was, “There’s a black fly in your Chardonnay…”, which I didn’t really understand back then. Hell, I didn’t even know what Chardonnay was.
Just tonight, I realized how bad she might have felt singing those words. Coz there’s a black fly in my Chardonnay. Literally.