Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Week in the Country

Gathering rice from the roadside after it dries.  Notice the man with the sun protection.

Visiting with Sis. Lady and Anthony out in the boonies.  Brad liked the farm pictures, so here they are!  Rice, corn, and bananas are the crops growing here.

Our first less active wasn't home, but this is a typical home and surroundings.
Our next less actives weren't too excited to see us, but their parents (below)  are active and enthusiastic.  They have a beautiful house and are hoping their children will want to become active someday.  We are hoping these parents will be sealed in the temple soon.

We were looking for apartments and found this apartment we liked. Everything was cleared out except the sign saying Audrey. We teased the Elders and said they wanted this apartment because it had Audrey in it. When they removed the sign, this gecko was behind the picture, so we named it Audrey. Fun! (Or maybe you had to be there to appreciate the humor.)

This is Anthony, Sis. Lady's son who was burned, but is better now.  He's guapo!  (handsome)
Another scone class, this one at San Jacinto.  My keyboard students are Rose (right front), Malou (third left) and Lady (fourth left).  I love these sisters! 

Relief Society sisters in Mapandan after an activity.  They are eating ice cream sandwiches with purple ube (root) ice cream in a hamburger bun.  Yum! Well, not really!  I think you have to be Filipino to appreciate these treats!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lucky Week 13

 We started the week with the Senior Missionary couples luncheon at the mission home on Monday.  This is our mission presidency: Pres. Monahan (center) and counselors Pres. Mortenson (left) and Pres. Franco (right).

Senior couples--The Stamps, Us, The Mortensen's, the Monahan's, the Francos, the Engels, and the Fullmers.

Captain Moroni statues carved by a Filipino brother.  He supports his family by carving these in his shop.  If anyone is interested in purchasing one let me know.  They are about a foot high-18"?  Moroni sells for about p6000 ($150) and Liahona for about p1500 ($40).

Liahonas--I'm not sure if these are carved by the same brother as the Moroni's, or if his Liahonas are different.  I can ask the Fullmers if anyone is interested in these and find out more details.  The woodcarver is in their district.
Our first trike ride to do missionary work with San Fabian elders.  The two of them rode behind the driver on the bike and we stuffed ourselves in the center.  Brad says he's still sore from that adventure!

San Fabian elders and kids we met along the way.

        One of the homes had a pet rooster lounging about.  I couldn't resist the picture.

Over the river and through the jungle, to less active members we go. . .

On Saturday we visited 7 families with Sis. Lady (one of my piano students and the Relief Society President of San Jacinto.  The Branch Pres. made it a missionary day for his whole branch, and we split up with members and visited many of the less actives in the branch.  We went to 7 families and still have 3 more to see.
We passed these cages which are way out in the country, and they house fighting cocks, a huge past-time in the Philippines.

                                                 Pretty little girls we met along the way.
Way out the boonies visiting the elderly parents of one of my piano students Malou.  She has to walk a kilometer to catch a tricycle to go into town to church, and her parents are too old to walk that far, so they don't attend church.  They were glad to see us, though.
Sister Lady (San Jacinto's RS Pres.) and her son Anthony on the path to MaLou's parent's house. Anthony was the boy who was burned on New Year's. 

 One of the less active sisters said she was so honored to have such important visitors as us and wondered why she rated?  We told her we were there because she was important to Heavenly Father and He wanted her to know that He loved her and wanted her to come back to church.  In the closing prayer, she thanked Him for sending her Angels.  Other Filipino members have called us that.  That's the closest we'll ever come to being considered angels by anyone!
Malou brought me a sack of mangoes from her tree, and I a making jam out of them to served with scones for the San Jacinto branch on Saturday..  The mangoes are huge and so delicious!  I've learned I can make jam out of most any fruit, and I do it without pectin.  Equal amounts of fruit and sugar, a little lemon juice, and boil this with some apple peeling for about 10 minutes and walaa--jam!  Pineapple is my new favorite.  I love the "bite", but I also like papaya and mango jam.

I also learned you can make no-bake cookies without chocolate.  Use brown sugar, and if you like you can add peanut butter, or not, and you have delicious no-bake cookies.  Angela asked for the recipe so it is as follows:

No Bake Cookies
2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. milk.  Combine this in a saucepan.  On medium heat, bring to full boil.  Boil 90 seconds.
Remove from heat and add 1 t. vanilla
3 c. quick cooking oatmeal
If you want peanut butter, add 1/2 c. peanut butter.. If not, you get butterscotch.

Stir the mixture till p. butter is dissolved, add oatmeal, and drop immediately onto wax paper (or banana leaves if you live here.)

If you want chocolate no-bake cookies, you can add 1/2 c. cocoa at the beginning and use white sugar.  However I made a batch with brown sugar (it's cheaper here) and without the cocoa (also expensive ) and added cocoa to part at the end when I was experimenting, and they turned out good.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Our busy week

Maribel's family--our FHE guests.

The house under the mango tree where we visited the less active sisters.  Pretty good hammock, right kids?  Notice the fire where they cook all their meals, and how the dirt is swept clean each day.

This is the sister and her family in their nipa hut.  This room has a cement floor while the rest are dirt.  The girl had just finished showering in the river nearby.
Following the missionaries to the nipa hut by the river.

This photo is the outside of the nipa hut by the river.  You can see the woven reed construction--not too sturdy during a typhoon.

A Philippine version of egg plant?
More of the egg plant hedge.

Spoiled senior missionary couples in the nipa hut restaurant.  The food is so good!

A welcome home celebration for the man who has been working in Korea for 7 years.  It's been 3 years since he's been home at all, and his family is celebrating his return.  He's a returned missionary, father of 4, and is much needed in the branch.  The sisters are around a large pan of pancit, waiting for the rest of the meal to cook.
A close-up view of pancit--rice noodles, vegetables, seasoned with soy sauce and cooked to perfection.  I took out the chicken hearts and ate the rest of this delicious dish.
Cooking pancit.  How are those for spatulas!  The man on the right is Br. Art who has been gone.

What is this?   My favorite Elder taking a turn cooking pancit.

More sisters enjoying the afternoon waiting for lunch.  The whole branch came over for the celebration.

Pancit almost done!

Besides pancit, they served rice with ulam (topping) of a mung beans soup, some meat (not sure what--didn't get any because it was long gone by the time we got to the food), and tomatoes.  The pancit was the best!
Waiting for the boy to pick mangoes for dessert.  They serve them green with vinegar and salt, much like a green apple.  They really love them, and prefer them over ripe mangoes.  Not me!  I'll take ripe any day!

Somehow the women always get stuck with doing dirty dishes.  Oh well, even that can be fun.  Notice the outdoor pump for their water source.

Mangoes fresh from the tree, and a reat treat for everyone.  The trees are loaded and it's almost mango season.  This type of tree produces green mangoes, while other varieties has the ones they eat when ripe.
This is actually the nipa hut under the mango tree.  The ladder leads to the sleeping quarters where the floor is bamboo slats. 

Our second scone making class in Rosario.  In addition to teaching them how to make scones, I also made chocolate no-bake cookies and gave them the recipe for English muffins.  If any of you wanted to try those, I've included the recipe (at the request of some of you!)  A funny story about the scones--as I was putting the flour, which I had bought at the local market,  into the bowls, I saw a quite big black thing that looked like a potato bug (rolly-polly).  The first one I tried to discretely dispose of , but when I came upon a second one I told the sisters, "Oh no!  This flour is bad!  It has bugs in it!  I'm sorry, Sisters.  I don't have any other flour with me"  The sisters crowded around and one said, "They're not bugs.  They're rocks from when they made the flour."  Someone else said, "Even if they're bugs, they won't kill you!"  I guess that's a good attitude for cooking in the Philippines!

English Muffins

1 3/4  C. warm milk
3 T. butter
1 1/4 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 to 4 1/4 c. flour
2 t. instant yeast

Place ingredients in a bowl and mix together, or use a bread machine.  Transfer the dough to a cornmeal-sprinkled surface and roll it out until it's about 1/2" thick.  Cut out circles with a floured 3" cutter.  Re-roll and cut out the leftover dough.  Cover the muffins with a damp cloth and let rest for about 20 minutes.

Heat a frying pan or griddle to very low heat.  Do mot grease, but sprinkle with cornmeal. (I couldn't find cornmeal here, but breadcrumbs work fine.)  Cook four muffins (or more) at a time, cornmeal side down first, for about 7 minutes a side.  Check after about 3 to 4 minutes to see that the muffins are browning gently and are neither too dark nor too light.  Adjust temperature as needed.  When the muffins are brown on both sides, transfer them to a wire rack to cool, and proceed with the rest.  If you have two frying pans, you'll be better able to keep up with your rising muffins.  Yield 16 muffins.  Split and toast, or serve with butter and jam, poached eggs, ham, and hollandaise sauce for eggs Benedict.  Enjoy!