Lasang Pinoy 16: Pinoy Holiday Food Gifts

I haven't been able to join a Lasang Pinoy event for so long...and I miss it. It was one of the the first food blogging events I ever participated in, and the first I ever hosted. This month, I swore to myself, by hook or by crook, I am getting back on the Lasang Pinoy wagon. After all, this is a food blogging event highlighting Filipino food, something I think deserves to be highlighted and something I think more people (including myself) should be encouraged to explore.

This month's theme for Lasang Pinoy is Filipino holiday food gifts and is hosted by Ala Eh! "Wonderful!", I thought, when I heard. I could make my own Christmas gifts, just like I did last year. As crazy schedules and the Christmas hustle and bustle would have it however, I was relegated to buying gifts this year...not that that was such a bad thing as I discovered lots of cool products made by young local graphic designers which I was happy to gift my friends with. But, moving on...

I have been starting to make my own jam and, so far, have been quite pleased with the whole endeavor. But even then, I think I knew where I would end up...with the fruit that I think is the best in the world, a fruit that has been equated with the Philippines, the fruit that my grandmother (and now my father) has been jamming since I was a child. I would end up making mango jam.

I have waxed poetic about mangoes before, and I truly believe they are a little bit of edible heaven. It was only natural that my fixation with jam-making and my love for this fruit would eventually collide. And what a sublime collision it was! After hurriedly conferring with my dad on the proportions, I set to work. I scooped out the meat of the mangoes with a spoon and came up with 570 grams of meat. To this I added 470 grams of sugar. My grandmother uses equal parts mango and sugar, but our mangoes are just so wonderfully sweet I decided that we could do with less of the sugar. I put the this in a heavy-bottomed pot and cooked it for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently.

The result was delicious, and, I think, my best jam attempt so far (ok, it's only my third...but best is best!). It was simply divine! Mango jam is a whole other level of jam for me...almost like a very decadent candy. And it's great with so many things! On toast with melted gruyere, in dressing, with yogurt, in pan de sal with fried kesong puti (local fresh white cheese)...I'm sure you could even do wonders with this in relishes and marinades. And, in fitting with this month's theme for Lasang Pinoy, they would make excellent presents. Just festoon the jars with ribbons, and any odd knick knacks, and you have a little bottle of sweet tropical life to give to the people you love.

This may have come too late for this years round of gift giving, but I guess everyone now knows what they're getting next year!

I hope everyone is experiencing a holiday season full of love and laughter! I wish you all the best...may life hold many sweet surprises for us all! :)