Writing Diary, Entry #29
Not What I'd Usually Read . . . Which is Half the Fun!
Getting to review books for MOD Magazine makes me feel like I'm part of a book club. A book club with thousands of members who love hearing (or in this case, reading) what I have to say, but who never tell me what they think in turn. (Then again, maybe they do and my editor just never tells me about my fan mail . . . or hate mail . . . or whatever.)
This month's book club selections are Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts by Mark Kurlanski and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan. Both are titles I'd never pick up on my own, and I'm totally looking forward to them.
3 "Foodie" Articles
I Wrote for MOD Magazine
From November 2011: Virgin Coconut Oil: The Surprising Saturated Fat
Indeed, the only reason I'm mentioning this one and not the more inspiring
Indeed! As I wrote to a friend while working on this old one: "The research I had to do to get my facts straight convinced me that all I was doing was getting my fads straight."
In other words, my findings only confirmed all my prejudices--and I actually wasn't very happy about that. It's so much more fun when all my preconceptions can get blown to smithereens, but that rarely happens. I'm just relieved my editor wanted only 300 words on this.
From March 2012: Chill Factor
Halo-halo is one of those traditional dishes that everyone makes differently. The name literally means "mixed up" and it can have up to a dozen other ingredients held together by crushed/shaved ice and evaporated milk: ice cream (usually ube/purple yam), leche flan (custard), macapuno (a kind of coconut), nata de coco (fermented coconut water), kaong (sweet palm), langka (jackfruit), pinipig (a kind of puffed/toasted rice), saging (banana), sago (tapioca), garbanzos (chickpeas), gelatin in two colours, sweet corn, sweet preserved beans . . . and pretty much anything else you imagine would make the mix greater than the sum of its parts.
Yet more is not always more--at least not when I am reviewing the desserts. My two favourite halo-halo were a "minimalist" version with only four ingredients besides the milk and ice and a "Chinoy" version which included Chinese sweets that were all the sweeter for being impossible to identify.
From April 2012: A Modern Lady with an Old Soul
Interviews are either the best assignments ever . . . or the absolute worst. I'd say that they depend so much on the interviewee, but then I remember (in all fairness) that for them, the interview experience depends so much on the interviewer. =P
This time, the overlap was with Food and Career: I had to interview the general manager of a very upscale (one might say, "poncy") restaurant. I was really excited about talking to her when I realised I already had my One Word angle (See Entry #22) for her interview: TRADITION. Her chosen career in her family's business was such a perfect parallel to the "living history" of that business that I had to point it out in the introduction to her Q&A interview . . .
Tradition and heritage are doubly meaningful to Bea Pangilinan, general manager of the celebrated Ilustrado restaurant. Not only is she stepping into her rightful place in the family business, but she is also a torchbearer for national history and culture—and this rich sense of the past permeates every aspect of what may appear, to casual observers, to be a very modern working woman’s life.
Note that there's still time to grab a copy of the April 2012 issue of MOD Magazine and read the rest of it! This is an especially good deal because I have a whole spread on towels as well as a book review in it, too. =D
Image Source: Natural coconut oil