Christmas in Pampanga & ToT's Kitchen

Before I go on another JuJu cleanse for 2011 to rid me of all the holiday cholesterol, let me greet everyone a very belated Merry Christmas and a happy happy 2011 from ToT's Kitchen & family!
Every year, we prepare a traditional Noche Buena meal for the family. This was our first ever Christmas in our new home with the kitchen I designed. Our meal consisted of:
Nilagang Baka & Native Chicken
(Boiled beef & native chicken with cabbage and potatoes). We make this extra tasty with ham bone and boiled for a few hours.
Lechon (Roast Pork)
Sisig made healthier with more lean meat than pork cheek and ear.
Alaskan King Crab Legs 
I know it's not Filipino, but this is our substitution for local crabs.
Fresh shrimp from Australia that my cousin, Fidel, brought over. YUM-O. Thanks Tito Jerry & Tita Lucy!
Our homemade Rellenong Bangus, stuffed milkfish with raisins, egg and repacked in the skin. Email me for orders!
Peking Duck with wrappers & hoisin sauce
Lengua Valenciana
Ox tongue cooked in tomato sauce and olives.
Honeybaked Ham flown in from California. Thanks Tito Dan & Tita Joy and the Kids from Long Beach!
Fruit & Cheese Platter
Our dessert station
We love our fruits.
Since we are Capampangan, we also have to have Suman (sticky rice) with some sugar.
And not just one type of Suman, but 4 different types of Suman.
As well as some native kakanin of Kalamay with Latik (rice cake)
Our extended family enjoying Noche Buena.
Do you like my chandelier?
After the anticipation mass for Christmas, we went back home and served some Arroz Caldo (rice porridge) to our barely hungry tummies.
What better to pair the Arroz Caldo with some Tokwa't Baboy ( Tofu & Pork ear). Perfect with accoutrements of fried shallots, garlic, calamansi and toyo.
Hungry family
Then my brother decides to gift my dad a shirt.. which looked like a pajama top.
And he also gifted my brother the same shirt!
What they had in common: they can't close the tummy part! hahahah
Barney, is that you? Grimace?
Jimmy Choo still sensitive about his furless self.
For Christmas lunch, we spent it at my Lola's house in Guagua, Pampanga for some authentic Capampangan food and for my dad's yearly Santa Claus.
My much awaited dish was the Adobong Balut prepared yearly by an aunt. Duck fetus eggs sauteed in a whole lot of garlic, butter, and more butter equals a cholesterol bomb that's irresistible! It's also good for your knees!
My Lola Ima with her traditional Nilagang Native Chicken
This year we were all complaining because it tasted too much like corn and not enough ham. Lol picky eaters.
And the star of every Capampangan's lazy susan: Buro!
Buro, or Balo-Balo in Capampangan, is cooked rice, raw shrimp, bamboo shoots and salt stuffed in a jar and fermented for up to a week so the shrimp basically rots. Then you saute the goop with some garlic, onions and tomatoes and what comes after that is a stench so smelly yet a taste so appealing. it goes perfect with mustard greens, catfish, or eggplant and okra as a little pate. Stinks like feet but tastes like heaven!
Our favorite Lola Ima!
After lunch, we opened the doors of the house to let people in. Strangers, relatives, fake relatives, they are all welcome.
What do they line up for? Every year, my dad likes to pay homage to his roots and gives a little Santa Claus cash and cheer to whoever lines up. We have perfected the system so no repetition occurs, but I'm sure these clever Capampangans have found their way around it.
This year, I think Santa thought he was in Capri or the French Riviera. Tres colorblock!
Santa: Who are you? Kid: I'm so and so's 4th nephew from your 2nd cousin... Or something like that.
The value depends on if you are related, but we have noticed over the years that once people exit, they clamor to another line: The Ice Cream Line!
This clever Ice Cream trike man knows where to station himself where the demand is high in this heat of the holidays.
ToT trying to bribe love out of a little kid. Ahaha! What did you have for Christmas?

Happy Holidays!


  1. I think your bro will REALLY appreciate your Barney line. Hilarious! I miss you guys! The duck fetus looks a little questionable. I think I might have to take your word for it. It's kind of like the baby eel; the taste is probably phenomenal, but I don't think I could get over the duck fetus part...:) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Much love to you and your family!!! BTW-your Godson misses you...:)

  2. Yummy! May I order some suman? All varieties, esp the suman pasko. Love Santa in Guagua. Happy new year to the clan!

  3. Christmas dinner looks really good. Oh and if may add, your pictures look better :) just wanted to say that haha

  4. Lori: Lol Jerico Gave that to Joel! C'mon, you'll LOVE Balut! You're Korean! And I miss Arkin! see you sooooon.. or when i save enough to fly out again.

    Tita Janet: Happy New Year! Reunion soon, please

    Mr.S: I'd like to thank you for my christmas gift, and confiscate the one I gave you.

  5. Thanks for posting nice pictures that show images of christmas in the Philippines. May I ask your permission to use some of these pictures in a powerpoint presentation I am preparing? This is related to christmas traditions in the Philippines. Thank you very much! Merry christmas 2011! -- Fely Rabe


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