I really like the weekends when it’s raining. The house feels cozy. It’s like the whole house gets an Instagram filter on it, something about it is just really comforting. The sound of raindrops, the chirping crickets, the croaking frogs(Ilocos home), are relaxing and music to my ears. The cool breeze and gloomy atmosphere makes it harder to get out of bed and start another busy day, another reason to be lazy and just enjoy the comfort of your room and kitchen.
I know it’s not just me but I don’t know if everyone gets hungrier when it’s raining. It might just be a state of mind but I get to eat more when it is raining. So, here is my top 10 list of comfort foods in a gloomy weather.
#10. Muncher or Sunshine. Rainy days might make you sentimental temporarily, but fret not, it will certainly reminds you of the things from your childhood. My older brother and I used to dig in packs of sunshine-coated green peas. Perfect snack while watching TV. It’s got the right mix of saltiness and spice, you will end up munching the tiny pack in seconds. I also like Muncher which started to be popular on the late 90’s. At some point, those were not offered in the market, but now they are back. Hooray!
#9. Noodles. Ramen or Udon for the Japanese, Pho in Vietnam, Laksa for Singaporeans, Jjamppong in Korea, Wonton noodles in China, Miki Batac in Ilocos, Batchoy in Iloilo. Whatever they may be called, wherever they may come from, or however you want to pronounce them, we are in agreement that they are variations of noodles that are perfect for cold rainy days. For a typical Filipino Palengkera like me, we may not have those fancy ingredients to make those foreign noodles, we have instant noodles (seafood, beef, chicken etc flavors)that are just always available in the markets/Palengkes.
#8. Champorado and Tuyo. I grew up enjoying fried Tuyo for breakfast. And if it was raining, my Aunt used to partner it with Champorado. It is a sweet chocolate rice porridge that uses glutinous rice (locally known as malagkit) and cocoa powder as main ingredients. A more traditional approach would be using tableya (pure cocoa blocks) instead of cocoa powder. The salty taste of Tuyo (Maalat) and the contrasting sweetness of Champorado blends well in my taste buds.
#7. Goto/Arroz Caldo. Some say it is a cure for hang-over. But for me, it is a perfect food for cold weather. ”Goto” Arroz Caldo is basically rice porridge with beef tripe “goto” (pronounced “GOH-TOH”). Its origins may have been Spain or China, but nevertheless, it’s now a part of Philippine cuisine. We used to call it Arroz Caldo(Spanish) from Ilocos where they prepare it only during special occasions.
#6. Street foods such as cheese sticks, kikiams, fishballs, squidball. Available along side streets, but if you want to be sure that it is hygienic , you may want to head to supermarkets as they are available frozen. Enjoy it with barkada’s sleepovers or kuentuhans while it’s raining. To warm you even more, prepare cane vinegar with crushed fresh chili for the dip.
#5. Macaroni Chicken Soup. Speaking of which, our dinner with my Palenkenita-friend today was Macaroni chicken Soup. We paired it with hot coffee, Ms. World Philippines 2013 telecast, and with any topics under the rain so to speak.
#4. Banana Q/Camote Q with Hot Coffee. My grandma used to make these sweet treats when I was young especially during monsoon days. Perfect munch after siesta and or while watching “My Husband’s Lover”.
#3. Itlog na Maalat at Kamatis. I could eat this every day, if only my kidneys wouldn’t scold me for taking in too much salt and the thought of gas that could launch many annoyed seatmates. This traditional Filipino salad of salted red egg and tomato is usually paired with tuyo (dried& salted fish). But it can also be eaten as it is paired with a plate of steaming hot rice. What more can you ask for?
#2. Monggo with Chicharon(Pork Cracklings). My humble mom used to prepare this when it is raining. Called a poor man’s dish, this healthy stew is cooked with boiled mongo (mung beans) simmered with sauteed pork or just Chicharon, garlic, and onions. I prefer to top it with Malunggay leaves (which are abundant in our Ilocos backyard), but you may also add y vegetables like eggplant, Camote tops or Ampalaya.
#1. Cuddle with Someone. Well, I know you prefer not to hear the details right? I will leave it to your imagination. I am not a celebrity so I decided not to post our pictures/videos as they will not sell like the Chito-Neri thing. Just imagine, raindrops dripping from the glass window outside, while we are cuddling and asking the heavens not to stop pouring rain. Lol. And so, this is my ultimate food. If you don’t mind, let me close the door now.
I wonder what comfort food you are eating right now?