Typhoon Falcon lorded the skies that morning of June 25. Papa was not able to do the groceries due to the heavy rains the past few days, so mom wanted me to make something out of what we had – sort of my own little invention test. She asked me if we had the things we needed to make champorado. I looked into the old refrigerator where we stock our food supplies. Then I saw that we didn’t have everything but we had a few promising things….
We didn’t have sticky rice but we had leftover japanese rice from two months back, begging to be taken out of its misery. We didn’t have enough chocolate tablets for a decent champorado but we had our staple drink – SUSTAGEN choco. We didn’t have white sugar but we had brown. We didn’t have anchovies so we asked our grandmother down stairs if she had some. Luckily, she did. Here is how I made my Rainy Day Champorado:
1 1/2 cups Japanese rice
6 chocolate tablets
4 tbsp. Sustagen powder
1/2 cup of brown sugar
7 cups of water: 6 1/2 cups of water for rice ; 1/2 cup of warm water for chocolate tablets
condensed milk (optional)
1/2 cup of dried anchovies (dilis)
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
First, I boiled 7 cups of water. When the water is already hot and before it boils, I take 1/2 cup of water and set it aside. (It’s better to use the boiled water to dissolve the tablets but my mom said it is safer to take the water before it boils)
Second, I dissolved the choco tablets in the 1/2 cup of hot water that I set aside in the previous step.
Third, I put the japanese rice in the boiling water and let it boil for a few minutes.
Fourth, I put the chocolate tablets and the Sustagen powder in the boiling water and stirred continuously for 12-18 minutes.
Fifth, I put the brown sugar.
Sixth, I added vanilla extract.
Seventh, I pan fried the anchovies.
Finally, I placed the champorado on a bowl and put condensed milk and anchovies on top.
TIP: next time make sure to mash the chocolate tablets because it’s going to take a long time to melt.
My family started to assemble on the dining table before I was done cooking.
As we devoured the chocolate dish in front of us, Typhoon Falcon kept on pounding our rooftops, sending some amount of rain beside our dining table, through the holes on the metal sheet which covered our heads. It was something we’d shrug off, and maybe forget when the sun comes out again, then remember once again when rain comes pouring in on the next typhoon that comes along.
But that hardly matters specially this morning, as the family feasted on that delightful, makeshift champorado I started to cook 30 minutes ago.
As these things went on in my mind, I reached for the pot for a second serving, but just like everybody else, was disappointed to see that everything was gone in about 5 minutes. My mom had the least amount, as always, serving everybody else before herself.
The weather was cold and damp, but I felt warm and full. It might be because we still had a roof on our heads, when others were not as fortunate. Maybe it was the champorado that magically came to be out of nothing. Most definitely, it was the family , imperfect as it was, that took away the stormy feeling that pounded my spirit in the weeks before.