Craving a taste of home

My long weekend is coming to an end and I’m trying to cram a blog post here between Facebook messages, uploading pictures to Flickr and writing some snail mail — and cleaning up to make room for my Christmas tree.  (Yes, we’re going to try and put it up this weekend..)

The previous week was chaotic enough that I am looking towards the coming week with some anxiety.  I’m wondering if there’s a switch I can flip to skip through it and jump to the next.  Or can we just put everything on hold with a pause button?  Wishful thinking, I know.

I’m trying to distract myself with some positive thinking and happy thoughts.

We didn’t really plan on a tight weekend because we just wanted to chill this Thanksgiving weekend.  In fact, we started it by spending our first Thanksgiving ever here at home with just the four of us: Alan, myself, my mother-in-law and Angelo.  It was quite a busy day for me as I cooked away beginning first thing in the morning with my leche flan, until just before dinner when I finished up with the garlic spinach side I was serving with the eggplant parmesan, potato salad and the prime rib. 

We were hoping to resist the urge to hit the Black Friday shopping spree but we gave in anyway and drove to our favor outlet mall, Tanger, up in Riverhead.  It was difficult trying to decide which bargains to snap up and which to forego.  (Talk about practicing self control!)

Yesterday was a quiet day and we decided to drive to New Jersey to have lunch at the only Red Ribbon branch here on the East Coast.  Alan wanted to have some kaldereta which apparently is now off the menu.  We ended up having their sotanghon and arroz caldo with their asado siopao.  The siopao was so good we decided to take some home.  The pandan maja blanca slice that came with Alan’s combo was a big disappointment, though, having grown up on Red Ribbon goodies from their first store waaaaay back in Greenhills. 

We got some ensaymada which I will try in a bit, but I’m wondering what happened to the Red Ribbon that greeted us when we visited it the first few months they were in operation here in New York.  I have kept my expectations low when it comes to franchises from back home that I see operating on this side of the world (you can’t quite beat the original ones considering they make ingredient substitutions here), so I’m not going to bash Red Ribbon like some of the negative reviews I’ve seen online.

We go to places like this to satisfy a craving for a familiar taste.  It does not guarantee us the same experience, but it brings us close enough to it and face it, we have to make do.

Rumors are flying that Jollibee is finally opening a branch somewhere in Woodside — and if it’s where we were told by a cousin it would be, good luck in getting there with your family in tow unless you’re commuting.  But we’ll go all the same.  Jollibee IS Jollibee..anything for a taste of home.

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