Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fruit Cake Recipe

To all baker's aficionado, I thought of sharing my most favorite recipe of all, fruit cake. It's been a while since I've felt that adrenaline running through my veins brought by the excitement of the smell of cake fresh from the oven.

Though it requires lots of patience and time, the effort is worth it if you'll end up with delectable and irresistible best cake ever.

So, here it goes...

2 cups of all-purpose flour/ sifted (I don't recommend cake flour because it makes the cake very soft and not good to cure later)
2 eggs
2 tbsp. molasses
3/4 cups margarine
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
walnuts (large pieces)
1/4 cup almonds
red and green cherries
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon ground
whiskey (or any cheap wine will do)

Preheat Oven to 250 degrees
Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda, set aside
Use electric mixer in combining margarine, sugar, eggs, molasses and flour
Put the cinnamon ground, nutmeg and peanut
Mix well then transfer it to a medium- sized baking pan
(put wax paper on the pan)
Add almonds, cherries and walnuts on top of the cake as decoration
Bake for about 2- 2/12 hours occasionally rotating the pans
Set aside over night to cool
Put the whiskey and wrap it into cloth, set aside if possible to covered container
After a day, pour whiskey and put it back to the container
Set it aside until it becomes a bit dry but when you taste it, it sorts of melts in your tongue

Tips: Don't open the oven for the first 45 minutes. It's the time the cake is rising. Use that "100 strokes" where you'll mix the cake manually to make sure it's free of lumps. Use a toothpick in checking if the cake is fully cooked by sticking it in the cake

Best serve when refrigerated.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Waging War

War has been part of human existence since time immemorial. It only differs in form but usually bubbles up to one thing- that of a struggle to end something we abhor.

Hitler must have prophesied he would be remembered forever by launching the biggest war at all. A man whom many considered as embodiment of evil. Indeed, he's always being remembered- and utterly hated.

Through the years, people like him were born possessed with that lust to shed blood. This time however, the horrible acts committed are being camouflaged into terms such as national security and heroism. Terror, grief and antagonism are covered in the National flag hoisted with pride.

Influential countries thrive with influence all over the world while majority of poor countries that can't afford billions of dollars to powerful armors cowed in fear that they'll be the next in attack.

War exists not only between countries but in other forms as well. There's that war between families, friends and the list goes on.

But, inside all of us is the silent war we fight everyday. War whether to continue living or stop fighting. Life is a battle we fight everyday. It guzzles our whole being forcing us to wage war against ourselves.

Our armors come in disguise. Oftentimes, even if we try to hide behind our mask we can't really conceal what we feel inside. There's that war for something inside us that's dying to go out.

War with ourselves is without a doubt the most difficult battle of all. It's not just blood that will be shed at the end but heart will be ragged into pieces.

Now, that's quite more horrible, right?

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Messages of Students for a Teacher

(All images were sent by my former pupils)

Twenty days. That's exactly the length of time that I have to come up with a decision. Decision that'll tell what kind of future I'm going to trek. A big change for myself that's definitely for sure. 

If only making choices is as easy like guessing in examination. But, decisions like this entails more than guessing. Pros and Cons should be weigh warily. (Sighs)

"Teacher sana bumalik ka pa!!!" (Teacher, I hope you'll still come back)

"Teacher Buena, NPS miss you!!! Please come back!!!! NPS loves u!! and miss u"

"I miz u na po!!!"

"Teacher nakasali ako sa division presscon ....pero.... 6th lang ako pero teacher kung yaon ka digdi ay sigurado 1st ako" (Teacher, I was a contestant in PressCon but I only won 6th place...If you were here I'm sure I'll be first)

"Hi teacher Nin!! yeah, i miss you, we all do...I owe you a lot for bringing out the best in me. Thank you so much and good luck to all your endeavors, God bless!!!!"

Bringing out the best in him? Now, does it mean I did make a difference? (more sighs)

"Teacher where do you live?... I want to visit you. I heard from Inar that you live in Concepcion Grande. But, I don't know where?... pls pls pls plS REPLY"

"Hi teacher.. long time no see!. We missed you a lot being our school teacher"

" The BEST TeacheR EVER!!"

"Happy birthday teacher I hope we can meet again. Thank you very much........^_^"

"hi teach I hope u have a fast recovery and may God guide you always!!!!!!!
you are in my prayers!"

"hi teacher.!how are you there?we are ok here. though its very hard.
especially with smart classmates. this is my first time to be in the honors' class and it's fun! hehe.! take care po.!"

"hI teaCheR buenA!!
cOngratZ paLan pO!
sOri ta paSaway kamInG mGa eStudyaNte mO..(sorry if we were naughty)
peRo kadaKOL pO kaminG nanUdan saimO.. (we learned a lot from you)
tNx fOR teaChinG uS!!
takE caRe!"

"inGat pO chEr ninZ!!gOd bLesS"

"Im sorry im late in giving a gold medal...Congratulations!! Teacher Nina"

or ate nina...
maAm nlng dw...hehehe
n maAm?
misz ko n kw maAm
salamat maam sa gbos" (thanks for all)

Grown up now but still they will remain my kids forever...

You're all very special to me too. After all, you've been my life for five years. NPS, home, NPS, home...hay...those were the good old days...

On The Wings Of A Butterfly (Rics)

Your friendship is special
Like the flowers that bloom,
Or when a butterfly emerges
From within its cocoon...

You remind me of that butterfly,
Loving and free,
Bright and colorful,
For the world to see...

We will share sunshine and rainbows;
Sometimes, the rain and the snow;
We'll stand together through it,
While the cold winds blow...

When the time is right,
We won't stop to ask "Why?"
Our friendship will take flight
On the wings of a butterfly ... 

Talking about friends filled my heart with yearning to spend good times again with them. Like eating halo-halo, fries and pancit in Ice Blinker (weird combination). Or listening to them sing coz I can't. Or playing basketball and volleyball during retreat...and ended up with swollen hands.:)Well, I was good in shooting...he he

"teacher nuarin ka mabalik sa nps?" (Teacher when are you coming back to NPS?)

I wish, I knew...:(

Hello Teacher...How are you po???...yu know po we have already our newly elected SCO president...plzzz welcome...IAN BRENT B. SERVIANO
I think he is very responsible for the job...and I know that even if he's not very smart as smart as he's rivals...MR.Sambo, and MR.Jed...I know that he will do his best to serve us...and you know teacher the projects of SCO are going thank you very much...always take care of yourself...

Very updated..

"ShE's A gOoD, cArInG, hOnEsT, rEsPoNsIbLe, TeAcHeR aNd AdViSeR"

"!~CeRtiFieD GoOoOd TeaCheR of NPS~!
!~CeRtiFieD GoOoOd TeaCheR of NPS~!
!~CeRtiFieD GoOoOd TeaCheR of NPS~!"

Now, that gives me indeed a hard decision to make. (hundred sighs)

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My Sister, My Inspiration

"The person who stabbed me only got a suspended sentence...I got life"

Those were written in bold letters in the newspaper that I found while rummaging in the package sent by my sisters from Ireland thru a friend who visited today. I couldn't believe that I was staring at the picture of my sister in an International newspaper!

It was a year ago when my sister was stabbed at the back by a psychiatric patient. She celebrated her 30th birthday in ICU. It was ironic but we both celebrated our birthdays last year in strange way.

Despite of the trauma that befall her in a foreign country, my sister took care of me and gave me strength during the time I got terribly ill. She's only two years older than me so we grew up together and attended the same schools in elementary and high school.

She's intelligent (99+ in NCEE/English!) and very sensible woman who grew up practically without an enemy. A silent worker and very studious from whom I learned the value of humility. I remember back in high school my younger sister, Angel, and I would discover on their bulletin board that she's the top in academics and we would broadcast it to the whole family but she remained silent to her feat.

It's also from her that I got inspiration to work on my skills in computer. She taught for quite some time as Computer teacher in a public high school. More than these qualities that made friends and family admire her was that sense of dedication in everything she does.

I was in school early that morning when I received the call informing me of the tragedy that happened to her. We were helpless to do anything about it because she was thousand miles away from us. My brother and her beau, Tony took care of her since that time my other sister's family (Con's) was also in vacation here in the Philippines.

When she visited last April, she told me stories like how she was brought to the hospital. She tried to remove the knife 3 inches into her back! Her x-ray showed that of the knife and the cross in her necklace. Her room was filled with flowers and cards mostly from unknown people who just sympathized with what happened to her. Oh, she made it actually not only in the front page of different newspapers but also to the radio and television news.

I realized the time she was telling me these stories how brave my sister was. I can't say that she has recovered fully to what happened to her specially that the man who caused her so much pain was only given a five-year-suspended sentence but I knew inside that small body of hers is a brave heart.

I'm thankful also that she has Tony who's making her courageous in this battle. I know time heals all wounds and soon even the scars will fade away. 

How Far Will You Go for Your Faith?

Two were confirmed death, more than thirty others were isn't that the same scene I was mulling over this morning?

The evening news finally confirmed what I feared this morning- that the news will be dominated again by fatalities of the procession held in honor of the Black Nazarene of Quaipo.

Now, don't get the wrong idea. I have nothing against procession or any other Religious activities for that matter. But, isn't it amazing how a supposedly religious activity like this ended up? Tragedy.

If only we will learn how to make the tradition more meaningful. That's quite a wistful thinking I know. But then, isn't it what faith is all about?

I knew it. History indeed repeats itself.


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