PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

Month: November 2018

Invasion of the Marching Bands – Beautiful Sunday

Invasion of the Marching Bands – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 There is a time in this city when marching bands invade the streets of Cavite in the Philippines. Different groups from different areas of the province comes together for the ultimate battle. This year nine groups march around the city to […]

Solitude in a Resort – Beautiful Sunday

Solitude in a Resort – Beautiful Sunday

  My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108   Have you ever experienced enjoying a pool in a public resort all by yourselves? No long lines, crowd or noise. Only a calm and peaceful ambiance, hearing only the laughter of your family. Let me share with you our […]

Dreamy Purple Treat – Beautiful Sunday

Dreamy Purple Treat – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Every year we prepare a dessert which is unique from our country. Made from a root vegetable with a delightful color it is called Ube. The root is also known as purple yam and can also be found in other countries, the dessert though is uniquely Filipino. Come with me today, join the family as we fire up the wood and heat up the cauldron. Step inside our kitchen as we cook a delicious dessert called Ube Halaya.

 

Dreamy Purple Treat

Each year every second Saturday of November everyone in the family helps out to prepare this purple treat. Why Saturday if you might ask? It is the day before our annual fiesta in the city. The recipe of Ube Halaya has been passed down to us for generations now and my childhood memories when my grandma prepared this is still very vivid. As a kid I felt excited as they brought out the big black cauldron where they used to cook it.

Now my aunt along with my wife does the preparation. They bought around 9 kilos of purple yam if I’m not mistaken. That sounds a lot, but the volume decreases as it is cooked.

To start off, you first need to soak it up with water and remove all the dirt from the root.

Since it has been harvested from the ground, all dirt must be brushed off. Making sure it is very clean from the dirt as we would not want it to go in our dessert.

Be careful though, the water from the washed purple yam can be very itchy on the skin. It is best to rinse everything with clean water after the scrubbing.

Time to fire up the wood as we would first need to boil them to soften up the root vegetable. This cauldron that we have is no longer the original black one that we used. Thru time and age that antique cauldron cracked at the bottom. I guess somethings doesn’t last forever, but I really loved that old cauldron which was very well seasoned.

I used old pieces of wood from discarded fruit crates and some wood used in construction. Some pieces of broken hollow blocks are used to hold up the cauldron. Maybe when we visit the beach I would look for large rocks to take home with me. Something that would be perfect to hold up the cauldron, but for now I guess the hollow blocks will do the trick.

Fill it up with water as we are getting ready to boil our purple yam.

The boiling process would take about two hours, but we wouldn’t want it to be too soft. It is best to check once in awhile poking it with a fork to know if it’s ready. To speed up the process it is best to cover the cauldron with a sturdy lid.

After the boiling process, we removed the ube and what is left is the purple hot water.

As you could see, that beautiful purple color is already showing. Now it can be easily peeled with a knife.

Making sure that all skin are peeled off before we proceed to the next process. My daughter was also eagerly helping in the process.

Once everything has been peeled, it is time for the shredding.

Each piece will be shredded evenly by using an old tool that was made by my grandpa made from stainless steel. In this portion everyone in the family is joining in the process.

My daughter is very much enjoying herself is very much eager to have a bite of this tasty treat.

The shredded ube would look like this once done. Somehow looks like shredded cheese and I am wondering if you could already sprinkle some of these on some desserts. Maybe sprinkle a little on pancakes or ice cream.

This dessert only requires very few ingredients, but would require a lot of love in the preparation. Here we used a lot of canned milk. To be specific, we used 7 cans of condensed milk and 10 cans of evaporated milk. These are the local brands that we have and would not matter if you mix up different brands.

Next we would need some sugar which is around one kilo.

That is it for our ingredients and let’s step outside again to our kitchen. It is time to grease up the cauldron with some butter.

Make sure that the surface is well greased up with the butter. This will ensure the ingredients would not stick as this would be very hot.

Once greased up the shredded ube is transferred as we would need to mix it well with the milk and sugar.

Another very important tool for the cooking which is what we call the pala or shovel. This was also custom made by my grandfather also made from stainless steel. I love how he made a lot of kitchen tools with stainless steel, something that would last for a very very long time. Something that is irreplaceable which we will also pass down to our future generations.

Time to pour in all the cans of evaporated and condensed milk.

Next the granules of sweetness are added to make this sweet delicious dessert.

Everything is mixed well and with all the milk this will turn into like a purple milkshake.

Now it’s  my turn which is my job every year. The hardest part which is non stop stirring for almost three hours. Doing this for years now I have already established a technique in the stirring process. The secret is within the movement of the wrist along with the push of the palm. I could say that I am now a master stirrer of the Ube Halaya.

Before everything, let’s add some more heat to it by throwing in some more wood to the flames.

At this time, it is still too early to notice the change. But as time passes the consistency of the mixture will thicken. It is very important to stir from the bottom making sure nothing would stick and burn on the surface. The flames are hot and the smoke often goes to your eyes. It is no easy task with the non stop stirring.

Normally, I go shirtless when cooking. Because of the heat, but I’m not confident enough going shirtless on the photos…lol.

After an hour, you could already see the change in the consistency but still it has a long way to go. You would know if it is ready if you could no longer stir it completely, the texture would be very thick.

Portions of the mixture would stick on the sides and would need to scrape them off. At this time, it is already around two hours of non stop stirring and we are almost there to the finish line.

Finally, around two hours and 45 minutes later it is cooked. The Ube Halaya would stick on the shovel which is an indication of the perfect consistency. Remove the heat and leave for around 3 to 5 minutes before taking it inside.

In this portion, the rest of the family will be helping out to transfer the dessert in plastic containers. Some will be given to other relatives and friends. They always look forward to this day of sweetness which was made from love and tenderness.

About the taste, let me describe it to you. It is like a potato with a hint of vanilla, sweet, smooth, creamy with texture like pudding but much thicker. Your mind might suggest a taste like grape due to it’s color, but you would be in for a surprise. We don’t have a lot of food in purple color, but you will be in for a treat once you have a taste of this dessert.

Here is my daughter ready for her spoonful of this tasty treat. Will all the help that she did, she deserves more than a spoonful.

With the large batch that we cooked, everyone was busy packing them in the plastic containers. The top is greased with butter to smooth en the surface.

You would not be able to resist getting a spoonful as the delicious scent floats around the air.

A tradition every year, bonding together, laughing with the family as we cook with love. These memories are priceless and I am glad to share this piece of true happiness in our lives. Although life is hard, we still find ways to give, laugh and spend quality time with each other. Doing things together keeps the family closer together and stronger.

Our relatives always tells us to make a business out of this dessert. My aunt always says that we would not earn much as we use too much ingredients. She prefers quality and superior taste when it comes to Ube Halaya. If you would make it expensive due to the ingredients maybe no one would buy it. Not to brag about it, but I took some to the office last year and some other people also brought their own. The guys at the office said that ours was the best and cannot be matched.

Here are what is left of it as some relatives already dropped by to get their share. Now we just need for it to cool down to be ready to be stored in the refrigerator.

 

Thank you for joining me today and I hope you loved the process in preparing this delightful dessert. If ever you stumble on this treat please do give it a try. In this world, colors that you see may not what is seems to be. Colors might be deceiving and you would not know unless you try.

Until then I hope to see you again soon, have a good evening everyone.

 

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens and Sigma 50 mm

 

 

 

Undas (All Saint’s Day) – Beautiful Sunday

Undas (All Saint’s Day) – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Every year we visit the cemetery together with the family and spend time with our departed loved ones. This tradition has been inherited from the Spanish which is also known as Todos Los Santos. The date is November 1 and is […]