I have been blessed with good karma when it comes to storms (said with fingers crossed and knocking on wood at the same time). Typhoons, as you will soon learn from reading all the other Lasang Pinoy entries are quite common in the Philippines. For a while I had missed the torrential rains and winds these bring as I lived in southern California where it is indeed sunny 350 days a year. Ok, so maybe I exaggerate a bit, but I’m sure it’s pretty close. Then we moved to North Carolina, where once again I could feel the bracing winds of hurricanes. You get what you wish for, right? So the first year after we moved here, hurricane Fran paid us a visit, toppling trees and downing power lines. We were without power for five days. Luckily, aside from a fallen tree in our backyard, we didn’t suffer any damage to property.
That set us up to enjoy, well maybe mostly me only, a few days without distractions from television, radio, telephone, lights, etc. We spent daylight hours reading or playing board games. We ate mostly sandwiches, cheese, crackers, fruits, anything that didn’t require cooking. After a couple of days though, we were all wishing for something warm and comforting in our bellies.
The next power outage event happened during the ice storm of 2003 when ice downed the powerlines and we were out of power for another week. We did manage to cook some food (adobo) on top of the kerosene heater, and by this time, we had wised up and had a portable gas stove handy so cooking was not as much an issue.
During both times, soup was always a mainstay. Soup just has that way of comforting anything that ails you; whether it’s a virus infecting your body, mother nature’s calamities, or life’s many crises, soup is like a warm blanket and a mother’s love all rolled up into one.
This one, we’ll call the eye of the hurricane:
We had made some meat balls last week and I had put some aside for later use as we had too many. So rather than the pork meat balls traditionally used for almondigas, these are beef.
1 lb. Ground beef
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 med. onion, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
Salt & Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients and form into balls.
For the soup:
Meat balls, browned either in a skillet or oven
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 oz. Misua Noodles
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
6-8 cups chicken stock (I didn’t have beef stock)
1 teaspoon patis
Black pepper, to taste
Heat about a tablespoon of oil and saute the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the meat balls and soup stock and bring to a boil. Add the misua noodles and cook for about ten minutes. Season with patis and black pepper. Add the green onions, stir, and serve.