The other night I was out with a handsome young man. He asked me to be his date at a degustation. Frankly, I have always found the word a little confusing. It sounds like something I won’t enjoy.
Merriam Webster defines it as “the action or an instance of tasting in a series of small portions.” The Free Dictionary says “to taste with relish, to savor, to take into one’s mouth small morsels of food to test its quality.” That is exactly what we did, and I loved every bite.
We were at the top of the Globe Building at BGC in Black Sheep, a high-end restaurant where, at night, every booth has a spectacular view of Taguig and Makati. Everyone was well-dressed, casual but elegant. I was glad I wore my pearls.
I will not attempt to do a review. Loving to eat does not qualify me as a food writer. One of my best friends does that, rather quietly, but very well.
Allow me to just rave a little? My appetizer/salad was called “Bahay Kubo,” a winner, with a delicious medley of all the vegetables mentioned in the song. Have you ever tasted candied upo? And the Kitayama smoked (for 10 hours) beef brisket was to die for. Dessert was sinful.
Now back to my date. We chatted way into the night. We talked movie scripts. He asked me about my life in Hawaii and New York and shared the many funny misadventures of his first year of college, away from home for the first time and living in a loft in Pasadena. We talked about love, marriage, about heartbreak and mending.
There is much to learn from a 30-year-old who is no longer a boy, but is still very much a child in his heart. Isn’t it funny how, when they are little, we can’t wait for them to grow up, and then we hate it when they do and get too smart for their own good?
He made sense. His conversation was delightful. He asked questions and listened. He was thoughtful, solicitous.
The food was excellent and the service outstanding. But the best part of my evening was when he took me to meet his friends and proudly introduced me, announcing: “I want you to meet my date. This is my Lola.”
Forgive me for doting.
Here we go again!
Thanksgiving Day is almost here. After what seemed an endless text and reply exercise, we finally set the date on the Sunday before the actual holiday. Not all could make it on the 27th. As long as we can gather as family to give thanks, that’s all that matters. Everyone has been notified. I am happy to say that the younger generation seems to be getting the hang of RSVP. Now for one more reminder!
I look at my checklist. Have I counted right? Have they all responded? My golfer grandson has a tournament but will come right after. Our theater actress has a matinee but will hopefully make it before we carve the bird.
We will miss the children and grandchildren who live in the United States. We will try to Skype.
Two granddaughters are in charge of the dress code. We will pose for pictures that night. I worry about what I will look like after stirring gravy and sticking my head in the oven all afternoon. Someone suggested a hair and makeup person to stand by. Really?
I review the menu. Of course there is turkey and all the trimmings. That’s a given. But I always agonize over the second dish. Last year the pasta went practically untouched. Maybe I can serve a meat dish? Dessert still has a big question mark. But I vote tres leches. (Pardon the expression!)
Thanksgiving Day as we know it is truly an American tradition. It is bigger than the fourth of July and almost as important as Christmas. My family adopted this special day when we lived there, and we have made it our tradition, as well.
There is so much to be thankful for. Every second of every day is a reason to fall on our knees in deep gratitude.
Take a look around you. Another day has dawned. You are alive. You breathe. You see and speak and move. You hear the birds in the morning. What more do you want?
So your bankbook is at zero? Like Irving Berlin wrote: “Got no checkbooks, got no banks. Still I want to express my thanks. I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.”
I thank God for our “lupang hinirang.” I pray for walls to come down and for our people to come together and speak life to one another. Let us focus on what is right and work to correct what is wrong.
Thank God for good and honest leaders. They are not perfect, true. But neither are we. May their tribe increase!
Thanksgiving Day officially starts Christmas in our home. The tree will be up. My farol will be lit. It is happy time!
There will be empty places at our table. We will remember and give thanks for the light they brought into our lives.
I like this: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” (Melody Beattie, American author)