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06 January 2013

Halo-halo heaven

Today is the last day of our Christmas break, but there's really no time to mull over the end of the happy days, so to speak, because the sun is out shining brightly, and there's still time for one last get-together.  And this one's quite special as we planned for a Halo-halo afternoon!

Halo-halo is a summer treat back in the Philippines.  Its literal translation is 'mix-mix', which is essentially what you do after adding all the ingredients in a cup, then topped with crushed ice, followed by leche flan and/or ice cream and/or ube.  The dry season is welcomed with makeshift stalls on the roadside selling this popular delicacy to help stave off the heat.  Halo-halo is in fact a staple of many a happy childhood memory, along with trips to the provinces and the beach.

For our contribution to this afternoon's gathering, we prepared some sweetened kamote (sweet potatoes).  We simply diced the kamote, then let it cook over water with sugar over medium heat until the water has almost evaporated, leaving a syrupy residue.  We also brought along ice cream, crushed ice, and our manual ice crusher!

Rice crispies, ube, sweetened saba, sweetened kamote, all sorts of sweetened beans, sweetened coconut strings, nata de coco, evaporated milk, sugar water, leche flan .... definitely halo-halo heaven....

Kids dig in, coached by the elders on how to make their halo-halo

My second serving!

The kids making most of the sunny afternoon

Our hosts also cooked squid balls with special sauce - much to our delight!  They cooked three batches which did not even have time to cool off before the plate has been wiped clean.  This actually gave us the idea of having another gathering, this time for street food!

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