Homespun and Fun
LUCKY PLANT

LUCKY PLANT

Jade plant is a succulent that's regarded as lucky...

 
PORK TONKATSU

PORK TONKATSU

Tejie and daughter, Meagan, planned for a Japanese...

 
JOPIN’S SOLACE

JOPIN’S SOLACE

Jopin soaks in the early morning stillness in her ...

 
DRAGON FRUIT

DRAGON FRUIT

Dragon fruit belongs to the cactus family, and fit...

 
IT’S BLAZING HOT!

IT’S BLAZING HOT!

The heat index jolts in this climate crisis with i...

 
QUESADILLAS

QUESADILLAS

When the temp tops 90 degrees, Snookie cooks smar...

 
POTSCAPING

POTSCAPING

Liven up the landscape, grouping pots and containe...

 
RHIAN’S “PINANGAT”

RHIAN’S “PINANGAT”

The Bicol region's stellar attraction, Mayon volca...

 
 

JOPIN’S SOLACE

Story by Joy Manalac
Credit: Josephine Sibulo

Jopin soaks in the early morning stillness in her garden. It's her fave spot for some “me” time with her first cup of coffee. This is her way of living the art of “sweet idleness,” until morning duty in the kitchen calls. Her garden is 30 years old. The well-manicured lawn is hedged by perennials. Golden duranta, welcome plants, cofia, bonsai, forget me nots, foxtail, and more are neatly trimmed. The look is clean and harmonious. She has a birdhouse that's spruced up with fairy lights for the holidays. A 90-year old star apple tree was planted by her late mother-in-law in her backyard. It stands out in an island bed fringed by topiary bushes. The tree bears the sweetest fruits to this day. She keeps close watch on araucaria, an evergreen coniferous tree.

The garden is the safest place to be these days - outdoors, yet in the comforts of home. Jopin finds it therapeutic to plant and watch her garden grow. It's her companion that affords her a lovely view, rich harvests, and quiet bliss.


Other Articles



DRAGON FRUIT

Story by Joy Manalac
Credit: Myra Nepomuceno

Dragon fruit belongs to the cactus family, and fittingly looks as wild as this magical beast in folklore. It's vibrantly reddish-pink and scaly on the outside, with a pulp that may either be deep red-purple, white, or yellow and speckled with black seeds. But looks can be deceiving. It's flavor is refreshingly delicate - a cross between a kiwi and a pear. This heart-healthy fruit is packed with healthful benefits - vitamin C, potassium, iron, fiber, and antioxidants. That's why it's so popular.

Myra grows them in her garden in Tagaytay. She suggests to set them by a wall or post for support. Plant cuttings into the ground and water every 3 days. You'll know roots have grown when a shoot appears on the branches. From there, it needs little care, as in any cactus plant. It can start flowering in 18 months, and will bear fruit for years. She's harvesting soon, and looking forward to enjoying them fresh, in a salad, or in a fruit bowl, drizzled with honey.



IT’S BLAZING HOT!

Story #584 by Joy Manalac

The heat index jolts in this climate crisis with intense heat beyond the actual temperature. This is the "feels like" temp perceived by the body. It factors in air temp and humidity. When it's humid, sweat evaporates slowly, making us feel hotter. When the air is dry, the body cools quickly.

With the index exceeding 50 degrees, we yearn for more livable, green spaces. Makati City takes the lead with its green initiatives- parks, notably Greenbelt with lush vegetation, trees in Ayala Triangle, and the use of electric vehicles. Elsewhere, green design planning for climate proofing should ease the harmful effects with tree lined, walkable streetscapes, pocket gardens, patios, even potscapes, vertical planting, green facades, making smart use of limited space in the sprawl. Let us plant trees and shrubs now to temper the heat, to provide shade, green our surroundings, heal the spirit to keep safe and stay well.

Photo Credit: Zita Manalac



QUESADILLAS

Story by Joy Manalac
Credit: Hawks Nightingale

When the temp tops 90 degrees, Snookie cooks smart. There's quesadillas, that like sandwiches, take little prepping. For basic quesadilla to do in a hurry, she uses cheese for filling that melts and turns gooey good! For heartier, more appetizing combinations, she opts for leftover chicken and meat, cold cuts, avocados, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, bell pepper, and lettuce in the fridge. Simple but hearty when paired with soup/salad and fruit.

flour tortillas
grated cheese
butter

Coat skillet with butter. Heat flour tortilla on one side. Flip half while spreading cheese on the other half, then fold. Flip each side again to toast until golden brown.

For more fillings :
Slice ingredients into small bits. Heat butter or vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté onions until soft. Add chicken, meats, and other ingredients. Stir occasionally and sauté until the meats are done. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat. Clean and return over medium heat.

Meanwhile, assemble quesadillas. Sprinkle cheese onto 4 flour tortillas. Top with the mixture. Top each tortilla with a second tortilla.

Working one at a time, transfer quesadillas onto the heated pan. Cook until golden-brown, about 3 minutes. When ready to flip, cover the pan with a large plate. Invert pan to transfer the quesadilla onto the plate, then slide the quesadilla back onto the pan, toasted side up. Heat until golden-brown. Slice into triangles and serve warm.



Gallery


About the page

 

 

Be inspired!

We aim to spark creativity through tried and tested ideas from friends who share what they do best.
Be inspired with family recipes, arts, crafts, and gardening projects for fun and profit.
Because working from home need not be a chore.
Be dynamic and productive as we engage, reinvent, and stretch ourselves.
We'd love for you to share your ideas too.

About the Author

Joy Manalac is a writer with an extensive background in Marketing Services and Communications. She studied Communication Arts at St. Paul College Manila.

She wrote the corporate stories in “Simply Delicious,” the 50th anniversary cookbook of Liberty Commodities Corp. In 2016, this bagged 1st prize in the “Gintong Aklat Awards ” and 3rd prize in “The International Gourmand Awards," likened to the "Oscars" for the food industry.

She likes to write short and crisp lines, taking to heart her late Dad’s advice to write simply. What she loves most about writing is the cadence. As a tip, she suggests for writers to find their rhythm. There is melody in the play of words and phrases – the pace, lilt, and sway that lend music and grace.

Joy loves to tinker in her garden that needs a lot of tending. She enjoys the company of school chums who are keen about plants, coffee, and cakes. She takes inspiration from two spirited sisters, Monica and Zita . She can cook with a cookbook on hand and can craft with just enough nudge from Zita.