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Archive for August, 2006

I’m having a hard time trying to fall asleep right now because I keep thinking that it was a year today on this “Wednesday” (8.31.05) we knew it would only be a matter of time when Nanay would be leaving us….around this time last year, 10:46 p.m. we were at Nanay’s bedside trying to keep her comfortable as possible despite the fever earlier that day.  As I recall, I gave her her second dose of morphine around 9:00 p.m.  The Tylenol did not do anything to her fever, whereas the “morphine” gave her comfort?  We knew it would be a very long night so Ate L, Jen and I had taken “shifts” to watch over Nanay.  I think Jen did most of our shift…I remember how she stayed next to Nanay’s bed-side throughout the night…holding Nanay’s “withered and tired” hands…Jen was seated on the floor with half of her upper body on the bed and arms next to Nanay…to her “Lola.”  I remember Ate L next to Jen near the foot of the bed all curled up in what I thought to be an uncomfortable position.  When I think back, I didn’t even notice or asked them if they were comfortable only because at that time, my focus was only on Nanay.  I think sometime between 3 and 4 in the morning (9.01.05) is when I awoke to find Nanay awake….we had the lamp on with a dimmed light-bulb.  I noticed also that Nanay didn’t say anything anymore, not even a slightest gesture the day before.  I tried to go back to sleep because I was exhausted but I couldn’t so I just laid on the floor and looked at Nanay…I remember Nanay was looking around but yet she was so motionless. Her eyes were in a “gaze” as she looked around.  I remember I got up to take her hands to ask her for her forgiveness for some of the things that I did wrong to her, to tell her that I loved her and that it was ok to “let go” because I didn’t want her to suffer anymore than she had to. (I was not able to ask Kuyang E for his forgiveness nor to tell him that I loved him before he died, so asking for one’s forgiveness and telling him/her that you love them is something I will always try to do….I learned it the hard way…it’s also better if you tell them not just at his/her “death-bed”…simply making “amends” too!) I wonder if she knew that her time was up?  Bro and his familia had slept in the livingroom…we were all there for Nanay’s last “time” with us . . .

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Around this time last year (3:00 p.m.) I was on my way home…was supposed to have worked until 5 but my supervisor insisted that I go home to be with Nanay. My other cousins either Lorie and/or Concon had already gone but KitKat had waited for me to come home. As soon as I got inside, the hubs told me that Nanay was running a fever (101)….I immediately went to her room and saw KitKat applying a cold wash cloth on Nanay’s forehead to help keep the fever down…(The hubs & KitKat didn’t want me to worry so they didn’t call me at work.)Nanay’s fever did not subside so I made the first call to the Hospice Nurse. She instructed me to give her Tylenol….after an hour or so, she was still running a fever. At around 5:00 p.m., I gave Nanay her first dose of Morphine. I knew that was the beginning to an end….Nanay’s fever did not go down that much throughout the rest of the evening…Ate L and Jen, my bro & his familia had stayed the night…I think we all knew deep down that Nanay wasn’t going to make it through. . .

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Below is a recipe for a chiffon chocolate cake I baked for my co-worker’s birthday last week….5:00 in the morning at that and all from scratch!  I got this recipe from another blogger’s website who lives in Germany, named Beng.  I had to give myself a pat on the back because the cake came out quite perfect considering this was my first attempt  AND….I had accidentally turned the oven off while in the midst of baking…Arghhh! I had finished melting the chocolate bar and the cocoa powder so instead of turning off those two burners, I even turned the oven knob off.  It was 35 minutes left into the baking when I peeked inside the oven and wondered why the oven had gone cold.  I looked at the oven knob and realized I had turned it off so I turned the oven back on!  Well, amazinging enough, the cake turned out! Whew! I even topped it off with some colorful purple pansies….sorry no pix of the real cake that I baked.

chocolate-cake.jpg(Photo courtesy of Beng)

Heat oven to 350°F (180° C).

Combine 1-3/4 cups sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl. Add oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in extra-large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gradually pour chocolate batter over beaten egg whites, folding with rubber spatula just until blended. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.

Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly. Invert pan on heat-proof funnel until completely cool. Remove cake from pan; invert onto serving plate. Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Thee Frosting

340 grams bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces  (12 oz.)

230 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces (1 cup)

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup strong coffee or whole milk

In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. When almost melted, turn off the heat and allow to melt completely, stirring occasionally.

While the chocolate is melting, in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle or beaters, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, stopping the mixer occasionally and scraping down the sides of the bowl and under the beaters as necessary with a rubber spatula. Start on slow speed and, when combined, turn up the speed to high.

In a small saucpan, over low heat, dissolve the cocoa in the coffee (or milk), stirring as necessary.  Remove from the heat, scrape the melted chocolate into the saucepan, and stir to combine thoroughly.  On low speed, pour into the butter-sugar mixture, again stoppig the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl and under the beaters.  Beat until smooth and shiny.  Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside until  of spreading consistency.  Use as needed.

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On that first (and eventually the last, 8/26/05…the hubs and my 16th wedding anniversary) Saturday that Nanay was home under hospice care, I was in the room with her to keep her company.  She was awake (I would glance her way here and there and she would give me that gentle smile of hers) when I was watching one of those episodes of Sara’s Secrets on the Food Network….they were showing this recipe for a chicken soup.  It looked easy-peasy, so I took notes and finished watching it.  I knew the soup would be easy on her digestive system and it looked yummy too, so afterwards, I went to Farmer Joe’s to buy the chicken breast, broth, & veggies so that I could make it for Nanay….got home and did just that.  The soup was very flavorful because of the fresh veggies and the chicken broth.  I spoon fed some of the chicken soup to Nanay.  I was so happy that she actually ate some even though it was a very small portion…I saved the rest and gave it to her the following day…..that was the last thing I made for Nanay.  To this day I’ve yet to make the soup….I’ll like to make it again, but I’ll know when the time is right…but not now. . .

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(From Sara’s Secrets on the Food Network)

chicken.jpg

5 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/3-inch thick slices
2 celery ribs, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch thick slices
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Bring the broth to a simmer in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan. Add chicken and simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover, then let stand until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and cool 10 minutes. Reserve poaching liquid, uncovered.
While chicken is poaching, cook onion in oil in a 4 quart heavy pot, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add poaching liquid and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
While vegetables are cooking, shred chicken into 1/4-inch wide strips (about 1-inch long). When vegetables are done simmering, stir chicken into soup along with parsley.

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Go Oski!

calbearswhuddle0806.jpg

Raider Fans infiltrate CalBears Huddle…my two buddies Mama ‘Doms & Bril

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The hubs and I celebrated our 17 years of wedded bliss last Saturday, 8/26.  We didn’t have any major plans for this “special” day…in the morning, we did the lake and went to Arizmendi’s on Lakeshore Avenue afterwards to have coffee….the hubs had his brioche while I had my scone.  Since I started “doing” the lake on Saturdays, this gives the hubs and I time to spend time away from home and the kids….although I don’t look forward to doing the lake, I do look forward to my scone & coffee! 🙂 It’s nice to just sit in front of Arizmendi’s to sip my coffee, devour my scone and talk to the hubs…I like starting our weekends like this.  Anyhoo….we went back home and decluttered for several hours.  The hubs complains I have too much crap (which is true…I am a rat-pack)! The plan for that evening was for the hubs and I to go out to dinner at Liaison Bistro in Berkeley….BUT…..since we had to pick up JP at BART early evening (he had worked that day) and AC was home all day with us cleaning ueb_trop_catfish_bg2.jpgp…and I didn’t have any thing prepared for the kiddies, the hubs and I decided to take the kiddies with us…so instead of Liaison, we went to the newly opened Elephant Bar & Grill in Emeryville.  Both JP and the hubs had the barbecue platter which consisited of ribs, grilled chicken, shrimp served with white rice, salad, corn-on-the-cob and a watermelon wedge.  I had their grilled catfish topped with mango salsa served with rice and fresh veggies pictured here. AC had their chicken tenders served with fries & coleslaw; however, to begin the meal, we had their soy ginger fried calamari.  Of course the meal wouldn’t be complete without the desserts so we all shared the creme brulee (hub’s favorite) and the chocolate chocolate molten lava cake. molten_cake_sm.jpg We enjoyed the food and being together as a family.  Later in the evening, we watched the second Final Destination movie…I’m glad that the hubs and I decided not to spend the time just the two of us for dinner because having JP and AC with us to share our special day made it all worthwhile. (Last year the hubs and I was not able to celebrate our 16th anniversary because we had to take care of Nanay who was at that time already home under hospice care….because of the situation, I was not up for it…so I thank the hubs for all his support and understanding during those times.)  Happy anniversary to the hubs….my one and only….my love goes out to JP and AC too!

 

 

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