(Small Celebrations) Black Sesame Palitaw and Coconut Milk Cacao

The weather is being very odd lately, from extreme heat to unusual rain. Some nights are extremely muggy, while a few are chilly and perfect for sitting in the garden with a blanket. We have no indication of Christmas coming except that the days are really short now.

So we've begun easing the holidays in slowly. One way is by rediscovering kakanin, or rice snacks, and a hot drink. We've learned to keep portions small, or else it's usually too much for everyone to finish. Palitaw is a good way to go about it, because it is made from glutinous rice flour, and cooks in boiling water. And cacao-- well, cacao is a great hot drink at any time of the year. Here's a recipe for two:

Black Sesame Palitaw

200 grams glutinous rice flour
enough water to form the flour into dough
A pot of water
Coconut sugar
Raw black sesame seeds
Grated meat of half a coconut

Combine the glutinous rice flour and water and form into a dough. We find that the amount of water varies according to what flour you use. The dough should be firm and pliable, not sticky.

Shape into balls, then smush with your palms. The size can vary according to your preference. Smaller ones are good for parties, because people can just pop them in their mouth. Put these into a pot of boiling water, around two at a time so they don't stick to eat other while floating around. When they are done, they will float to the top. Hence, the name palitaw.

Have a bowl with the grated coconut meat ready. After draining each palitaw, throw it lovingly in the coconut meat, imagine how nice that must feel. The meat will stick to the palitaw. Coat it well. Coconut meat makes you feel a little bit better about the fact that you're eating a glob of flour.

Sprinkle your serving plate with coconut sugar. Lay the palitaw on top of the sugar. Then sprinkle them with black sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature. Don't keep it for days. It goes bad after a day.

Coconut Milk Cacao

Two handsful of grated coconut meat
Some water, enough to make two cups
Four cacao tableas (we used the Subasta one, which is the best for us)
Coconut sugar

Combine the coconut meat and water. Squeeze some of the milk out.

Strain the milk into your cacao-cooking receptacle. We use a Turkish coffee pot, but you can use a saucepan. On medium heat, simmer the milk then add the tableas.

Use a batidor or a wire whisk to mash the tableas and mix the whole thing when it gets hot. Whisk it madly. Like you are creating a vortex to get to another dimension.

Serve in small cups, put coconut sugar to taste.

*You can get raw black sesame seeds, coconut sugar, and cacao tablea at the shop. The rest is easily spotted at your local palengke.


(Ecology) Good Refillers

We love our crew of refillers. While this isn't all of you (yet), we hope to increase refill rates drastically by 2012. Green your daily operations, come with your containers!