Tag Archives: rice

Feb 16 2009

Bob’s notes – Visit to the Philippines

Mission awareness trip
Jan. 29 – Feb. 9, 2009

A warm welcome
Sponsored children in the Philippines welcome us with a smile and a song. Their choir of 20 sponsored children charmed everyone.
Welcome to the Philippines
With great admiration I note that our dear friend and longtime sponsor Jerry Menard has arrived in good health and great spirit. He currently has two children sponsored in the Philippines. I believe this mission awareness trip marks Jerryís seventh trip this year to visit sponsored children.

During lunch the owners of the Good Shepherd Center in Antipolo, where our group is staying, told me that after meeting the sponsors and learning about CFCA, they, too, want to become sponsors.

Two talented sponsored girls with severe physical limitations won our hearts with an emotional rendition of ìYou Light Up My Life.î Four personal testimonies added meaning and substance to the afternoon.

Visit to former sponsored child, elderly in dump

In Quezon, we split into small groups to visit families and livelihood projects. My group visited the home of Maria Elena, a former sponsored child, recently married and now working as a business analyst and auditor at a major bank. Riding jeepneys and tricycles takes Maria Elena the better part of two hours to get to work and costs about $2. But the work is steady, and Maria Elena is grateful to be able to help her mother.

We were able to visit several aging friends in the dump area of Payatas. They seem to overcome difficult living conditions with hope and determination.

Today after lunch we traveled about one hour into the countryside near Antipolo to encourage an organic and sustainable food/farming program for 21 families. We dedicated a new water pump and hand tractor, purchased with a loan from CFCA. The hand tractor motor also provides power for the new irrigation pump. The tractor and irrigation system permits the CFCA families to produce two rice crops per year – sometimes three.

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Dec 16 2008

Make your own Christmas tamales

In Latin America, the traditional Christmas fare is tamales. Tamales originated in Mexico but today, every Latin American culture has its own version. While tamales vary from country to country, all are made with a corn or rice dough steamed inside a leaf. Most tamales are filled with meat and sauce, but some are sweetened and filled with raisins. Making tamales is a labor-intensive process that can take several days. Watch how the residents of Santa Teresita make their tamales.

Mexican tamales

Allow two days for preparation.

4 lb. package of maseca for tamales (available at Hispanic grocery stores)
10 lb. chicken pieces
3 c. oil
4 T. salt
4 T. baking powder
1 package each of chiles anchos, chiles California and chiles de arbol
1 lb. corn husks

Prepare the chiles
1. Pour hot water over all the chiles and let soften for one hour.
2. Puree the mixture in a blender.
3. Strain through a colander to remove seeds and skin

You may want to wear vinyl gloves because the chile oil can burn your hands.

Prepare the chicken
1. Remove the skin and boil the chicken with salt until the meat is cooked.
2. Remove the bones and tear the chicken into small pieces.
3. Saute chicken pieces with the strained chiles in 2 T. oil and 1 tsp. salt. Set aside.

Prepare the masa (dough)
1. Mix maseca, baking power, salt and oil with enough lukewarm water to give it the texture of playdough.
2. Knead the dough for one hour.

Prepare the corn husks
1. Soak the husks in hot water overnight.
2. Remove from the water and rinse.

Prepare the tamales
1. Spread one husk out flat.
2. Spread with a thin layer of masa, about Ω inch thick.
3. Add 1-2 T. of the chile/chicken mixture in the middle of the dough.
4. Fold all sides to the center, adding a bit of dough inside the ends to keep the chicken mixture from oozing out.
5. Steam in 2î of water in a large pot or tamale cooker covered tightly with aluminum foil for several hours on medium high.
6. Let sit for 1 hour

Enjoy with sour cream and hot sauce. Eat them anytime, breakfast, lunch or dinner. Tamales can be stored up to a week in the refrigerator or for 3 months in the freezer.

In Mexico, tamales are eaten traditionally during the Christmas season with champorrado, a hot, spicy drink made with maseca.

Recipe courtesy of Martha Cromer

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