Summer coolers
IN MY BASKET - Lydia D. Castillo (The Philippine Star) - May 6, 2018 - 12:00am

Some people have gone off to cooler climes. Those who are staying here need some summer coolers to refresh and rehydrate.

It’s May! The month of flowers and Santacruzan, a festival honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary with daily floral offerings. It is also the month of the intense heat of summer. Temperatures have gone up to unbearable highs. Some people have gone off to cooler climes. Those who are staying here need some summer coolers to refresh and re-hydrate. Think of chilled juices, water with lots of ice, even halo-halo and ice cream.

There is a cooling mix available in the market. This is Mama Sita’s Samalamig Kit. The name reminds us of vendors calling out “samalamig” offering cold drinks along the streets. The kit tagged as Geli-coolers contains a packet of powdered gulaman (seaweed gel) and another of muscovado syrup. The gulaman is melted in boiling water until it sets, then cut into cubes. The syrup is heavy and a bit of water can be added to it. Pour the muscovado over the gel and serve.

Speaking of Mama Sita, the lady behind the brand and products, Teresita Reyes descended from the famous Reyes clan which established the still very popular restaurant Aristocrat, thus she is backed by an unsullied reputation about food. Of late she has released three cookbooks, all in the vernacular, which our own cook welcomed as much easier to comprehend.

The books are “Homestyle Recipes” of traditional and contemporary Filipino dishes made easy for home cooks; “Lutong Bahay” is a relief from the daily concern of what to serve, and the small booklet “Easy Vegetarian Recipes.”

We note the new addition to their tetra pack collection – tomato sauce. Anyone doing the cooking at home will be able to try new recipes from these books. Cook Filipino, which has long been advocated by Mama Sita.   

Now ensaymada foodies must try the flavored variety on limited offer at Conti’s. Ube has been a popular infusion into the native ensaymada. Conti’s has gone a step further and produced a set of six flavored ensaymadas. They maintained the Classic Cheese and the ube and added four more flavors – apple which is a new way to enjoy apple pie; cookies and cream which gives the bread a more sweetish taste; white Cchocolate with almonds for those who like nuts. 

They are good for breakfast or snack. These are on limited offer until June 3.

Have a happy Sunday meal!

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