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Khok: Ameliorated sardines

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I’M WRITING this column ahead of its publication date. Consider this week’s story as part of Covid-19 dining history.

After weeks of Covid-19 diet, I have learned to create socially ameliorated sardine dishes.

One day it could be “Sardine Moringa Medley” (sautéed sardines mixed with one cup of water and one cup kamunggay leaves). On another day, I might serve “Snow White Angel Hair Soup” (noodle soup made with miswa, sponge gourd, cabbage and beaten egg). Have you tried “Sardinia Fritata Eh” with savory cheese sauce? It’s sardines in tomato sauce sautéed with onion and garlic. Pour the mixture into beaten egg. Cook until set, then flip over to cook the other side. To serve, drizzle top with pimiento flavor cheese sauce.

Socially ameliorating sardines is truly one way of changing its image from “relief food” to “gourmet good.” I remember one vacation time the family spent in the famous diving town of Moalboal. The sardine run gave the adventurous among us the adrenaline rush of a lifetime. I can still picture the silvery wall of fish and how it changed in shape as the school of sardines moved as one body in the pristine waters.

There was a joyful silence under the sea, at least to me as a human being. I’m sure sea creatures find their world noisy and busy. And oftentimes visited by aliens, who have fishlike swimming ability using their awkward fins and flippers.

Staring at another can of sardines in tomato sauce for dinner tonight has almost made me a philosopher or, if not that, a vegetarian.

How can I eat a swimming buddy? But then man was made to eat sardines, and sardines know their calling in life. It is a life of sacrifice in the service of feeding 5,000 and more.


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