Saturday, January 16, 2010

Boodle Feast, Brings Family Even Closer Together

Upon watching it in the television, I find the military style of group eating called "boodle fight" very interesting and I thought the practical and worthwhile activity is applicable to families every once in a while. A boodle fight is the military way of serving food in a wide table or flat surface covered with banana leaves where all foods: rice, veggies, viands and sauces are dumped and everyone gathers around to eat with bare hands. It might look messy and untidy but it is really fun, appetizing and brings members closer together.

Starting with an all-male group in the family composed of brothers, brothers-in-law, cousins, uncles and close friends who usually go together doing outdoors activities like fishing, hunting, playing basketball and later mountain biking, we tried doing boodle fight style of eating many years back, long before some Manila restaurants started serving them. It immediately turned a hit among us and repeat request mounts. Since then, we would always undertake the activity every time there are enough family members around, usually during special gatherings or holidays. Over the years, many other family members, my son and daughter among them, are attracted and would join the blissful and satisfying feast.

This year, I specially arranged for two boodle feasts intended for all the family members to participate. Everyone enjoyed, even my son and young nieces who are not accustomed to eating with bare hands. It is quite a precious family moment and grand time that my wife thought that it has now become a family tradition. I believe it is. Our all-male family members have been doing it for around 8 years I think and by most family members over the last 2 years. I expect it to get better every year as everyone now anticipates it.

Among the indoor-cooked main courses we lined-up in our boodle feast are creamy and delicious “ginataang dalag at hipon” (mud fish and shrimp in coconut milk), tasty “litsong kawali” (deep fried pork belly), sumptuous “sisig pampanga” as well as crispy chicharong bulaklak (pork intestine part cracklings) and fried pork liver which I missed to photograph.

Since boodle feast is an outdoor activity, barbeque and grilling are essential parts of the food preparation. For barbeques we have pork barbeque and some lightly seasoned and marinated spare ribs.

We have several types of fish for grilling like a certain type of marine flat fish offered to me in the market and some of our favorite local freshwater fishes like tilapia, walking catfish (“hito”) and mud fish (“dalag”).

Of course, for a typical Filipino meal with lots of barbeques and grilled fish, crunchy green mangoes and its “bagoong alamang” (shrimp paste) counterpart is a must. Additionally, “ginisang bagoong” (fish paste sauté in tomato) is also not to be forgotten to complement the grill dishes.

The feast will not be complete without vegetables to be steamed and grilled. We have long and round eggplants, young okra, plum tomatoes and finger chilies to add some kick. Some fresh calamansi (Philippine lemon) are also needed for that favorite soy sauce or “patis” (fish sauce) dips.

After cooking the barbeques, grilled fish and vegetables, preparing the boodle table is a sight to behold which will surely cause everyone to crave.

Believe me! Inviting everyone to the boodle table will not be difficult at all and for once, diet and weight control is out of consideration. Even during photo taking and prior to declaration to start eating, some will already be having a hand full of rice. :-)

"Cham and the other kids are pa-cute and the rest hungry"
Eating boodle style is not just a time for lavish eating but a wonderful family moment. It is a valuable quality time easily shared by every member of the family. A rare opportunity to bond, rekindle the closeness and make the family ties even closer and tight………and a sure way to have a lot of fun too. These images are my proof:

"Let the fun begins...."

"The proper way of eating pork BBQ"

"Pinsan, this is a child-friendly blog, remove that drink please."

"It's that fast hand again"

"She will eat too......after the pose.......promised!"

"Demure way of eating pork BBQ"

"Tin-tin could never be happier"
With such so many busy hands moving at an enormous speed, expect the feast to be gone in a short while. :)

What a better way to end a very sumptuous feast but with sweet juicy watermelon for dessert and “buko” (young coconut) juice (not in the photo) and the reliable coca cola as drinks.

And while everyone is still overwhelmed by the wonderful meal they just happily shared, Charize with her innocent antics is always there to provide with more delight and amazement to lighten the feeling of the really full crowd. c“,)

"Sangoy to the max, eat your heart out Attila, better be home next year."

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