Saturday, January 02, 2010

Conversation at lunch today --

Maybe it's because we've been eating leftover spaghetti since December 30. 

Or maybe it's because there was a fire 2 blocks away from us last night and we had to rush home from a dinner with our uncle and his family who spent New Year in Iloilo. 

Or maybe it's because we slept at 11 because we had to air out the house from all the smoke.

Or maybe it's because we woke up this morning to a house littered with ash and we spent the morning vacuuming.

Anyhoo, the conversation:

Me: (After taking a bite of baguette) I never did understand baguettes.  Even when we were touring in France.  I always found them too difficult to bite into.

Johann:  It's the combination of textures.  Crunchy outside.  Soft and chewy inside.

Me:  Yeah, di ba they talk about that in Gourmet Rhapsody?  How bread contains many textures -- first, hard crust and then soft inside.  And when you keep chewing, it becomes sticky.  I still don't understand french bread.  Especially in sandwiches.

My sister:  It's because we aren't French.  I can't imagine the French rhapsodizing about our Kong Kee Siopao and Love & Kisses pizza. 


* * *

Excerpt from Gourmet Rhapsody --

You storm it through an initial encounter  with the barrier of crust, then yield to wonder the moment you are through, as the fresh soft interior consents...

... chewing bread, unlike pastry, or event sweet breakfast rolls, leads to a surprising result, to a ... sticky result.  As you chew and chew upon the soft interior, a sticky mass is formed, which no air can penetrate: the bread adheres -- yes, like glue.  If you have never dared to take a mass of soft dough between your teeth and tongue and palate and cheeks, you have never thrilled to the feeling of jubilant ardor that viscosity can convey.

* * *

The fire --

We were about to leave anyway, because it was 8 o'clock and I had to be home by 8:30 to put Anya to sleep.  Our driver knocked at the glass behind us and kept signaling to me.  I thought he was asking me if I wanted him to bring the car around to the front and I kept signaling back that he should wait for us.

Then he pulled out his cellphone and pointed to it.  I checked my phone and my heart stopped when I read the message:

"Grabe ang smoke diri.  Damo na bombero."  (The smoke is unbelievable.  A lot of firemen/firetrucks are here."

The message was from Anya's yaya who was at home watching Anya.

I called home immediately.  The only question I asked was, "Is it our house?"  and the yaya answered, no -- but the fire was near our house.

We rushed through our goodbyes and sped home.

We were about 3 blocks away and the smoke was so thick that our driver had to turn on the hazard lights because the visibility was so, so poor.

When we arrived home, I went to get Anya and the two yayas and brought them to the car.  My parents brought them and the two kids to the Christmas light display at Angelicum School.

My sister and I stayed home and turned on every fan we had in every room to clear the smoke.

Thank goodness it was a windy night and the air helped to clear the smoke faster.

This morning, we looked out our window and saw the black patch of grass and trees where the fire was.  It was a grass fire -- thankfully, no houses were affected by the fire.

We are now dealing with the soot, ash and burnt debris that keeps blowing our way because of the wind.

So now my sister and I are thinking of our emergency protocol -- what does one do when there is a fire nearby? 

The yayas said the initial smoke was so black and so thick that they couldn't see across the street.

I am grateful that my kids' yayas are calm and level-headed.  They kept Anya in our bedroom upstairs with all the windows closed and a fan running.  Seth's yaya closed all the other windows in our house.

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