Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Moussaka (Eggplant Lasagna)

This is a dish of layered eggplants and meat topped with white sauce and baked. Moussaka means "casserole". Origin is Greek.

For Filling

3 large eggplants
1 cup oil
3 large onions, chopped
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For cream sauce:
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
3 beaten eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
dash white pepper
dash nutmeg

Wash eggplants. Slice eggplants (with skins) into 1/2-inch rounds or cut into 1/4 inch lengthwise. Sprinkle with a little salt and let stand 20 minutes to remove any bitter taste. Rinse in cold water; pat dry. In a frying pan, heat oil, fry eggplants briefly about 1 or 2 minutes or brown slices of eggplant on both sides. Set aside and drain on paper towels.

In skillet saute onions in 1/3 cup oil until tender. Add ground meat and saute around 5 - 10 minutes. Drain off any excess fat. Return to skillet. Add tomato paste, water, parsley, salt, pepper. Simmer until liquid is nearly absorbed. Take off heat, add 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 2 beaten eggs, and 1/4 cup cheese.

For cream/custard sauce: Bring milk almost to a boil. In another saucepan, melt butter. Blend in flour with wire wisk stirring constantly. Add warm milk slowly to butter-flour mixture, stirring vigorously. Continue stirring and cooking. When mixture is thickened and smooth, remove from heat. Cool slightly. Slowly add a little of the cream mixture to beaten eggs, then pour back into cream sauce and stir well. Add white pepper, nutmeg and cheese.

To Assemble:

Grease 9" x 13" baking dish or pan. Sprinkle bottom lightly with bread crumbs. Cover with a layer of eggplant slices. Spoon on all of meat mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Arrange remaining eggplant over meat mixture. Pour cream sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake custard uncovered until custard is set about 1 hour.Bake 350 degrees F. If custard oozes out, cook longer another half hour. Remove - cool slightly before cutting into squares.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho Segment

June 14, 2006 (Sat) - I had a very brief part on Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho show (Daboy segment) but the experience of appearing on TV was a rare opportunity for me, Ms. Soho being the country's top TV journalist and an award winning show, was indeed a privilege.

My neighbors, my internet shop customers, and my friends watched the show. When I went to the meat shop at the wet market, he remarked "Ate" I saw you on TV. I was an instant celebrity. In the market, they asked me what is peri-ampullary cancer. They had no idea what that cancer is all about. So I pointed to the "laman-loob" displayed and hanged in his meat shop.

I pointed out the pancreas, the small intestine, the stomach, the liver & the gall bladder. Inside these areas are pancreatic and bile ducts connected to the head of the pancreas, liver, gall bladder and the duodenum(upper part of the small intestine). The cancerous tumor had grown here somewhere. It was hard explaining, but I was able to describe where the tumor originated.

They asked me several questions: Why I survived? What are the symptoms? Where I was operated etc...

GMA Kapuso Jessica Soho Reports

June 8, 2008 - Surprise, surprise!!! I got an email from GMA Channel 7 Jessica Soho inviting me for an interview with regard to peri-ampullary cancer. They were looking for survivors to relate their story on their show.
I have a number of reasons why I was hesitant to do the interview. First, time element, they wanted to conduct the interview the same day they called me. I wasn't prepared, I have a shop to attend to etc. Secondly, I was shocked parang showbiz ang dating, di kaya ng lola mo at ma expose ang beauty ko (lol), third, I don't want publicity, the whole Philippines and other parts of the US will see me discussing my illness.
But, when they informed me that they will be doing the story for Rudy Fernandez, I finally agreed. I was not a fan of Rudy but I considered him as one of the "Pogiest" macho actors in the Philippines. I have stayed abroad for many years so I lost track of showbiz happenings. When I came home in 1998, I started updating myself with the current TV shows here. I enjoyed watching Daboy comedy sitcom in GMA.
I truly admired Lorna for being strong and a faithful woman till the end. She is a remarkable woman.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rudy Fernandez and Peri-ampullary Cancer

June 7, 2008 - actor Rudy Fernandez passed away at age 56 after a two- year battle with peri ampullary cancer.

Why am I upset? Why am I affected? His friends, fans and everyone who knew him mourned his death. How am I related with Daboy, what is my connection to him?

What do we have in common?
The answer is Peri-Ampullary Cancer! Yes... we have the same illness. The only difference is he was diagnosed at stage IV in 2006 and mine was diagnosed early in 1991. We both have Whipple Surgery (pancreaticoduodenectomy).

Last year, I started this blog to write about food, recipes and my travels. When I learned about Rudy's CA, I decided to blog my experience with this type of illness which only a survivor could relate, explain, and feel what its like to be stricken with this rare type of cancer.

What is a Whipple operation?
In the Whipple operation the head of the pancreas, a portion of the stomach, bile duct, and the duodenum is removed. Occasionally a portion of the stomach may also be removed. After removal of these structures the remaining pancreas, bile duct and the intestine is sutured back into the intestine to direct the gastrointestinal secretions back into the gut.

Daboy will suffer no more.

Blood Moon

I captured this Super Blood Moon last January 2018 from our balcony.