All I wanted for Christmas was to make my first ginataang halo-halo (mixed fruit/veggies in coconut milk). So I got my frozen purple yam and langka (jackfruit) from a Filipino store and a sweet potato and plantains (in place of the Filipino saba) from the Real Canadian Superstore. But then I thought that maybe I could add one more ingredient – bola-bola or bilo-bilo (glutinous rice flour balls). But where would I get them? I didn’t want to drive to the northeast (15 mi.) in -34 temp for just one item! So I checked out the Filipino store nearby and voila! I found a pack of frozen ground cassava (yukka) which (at first) I thought was what I needed. So the 24th came and I took out of the fridge my thawed ingredients. As I started forming balls with my ground cassava though, I thought that maybe something was wrong. My dear friend and housemate (and her mom) gave me the answer: “That’s not what it’s made of, Lina. It’s glutinous rice flour!” Oh, my bad! How could I think that it was cassava? Anyway, my friend took out from the cupboard a pack of dried balls of glutinous rice flour (I suppose), the size of fish’s eggs, and saved the day. It was just the right kind of dessert for our Christmas dinner. But what about my cassava balls which I made in one hour of hard labour? I dropped them in boiling water and scooped them out when they floated, sprinkled brown sugar on them and voila again! We had sweet cassava balls while working in the kitchen all day.
I hope you enjoyed the company of friends and loved ones last night, or perhaps enjoyed solitude and peace elsewhere in your world. Whatever way you spent Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), may your heart be filled with a lot of love, peace and happiness and every great thing I cannot name, each day of your life. Jamison/25/12/2012