Celebrating Thanksgiving in the Philippines
Far away from California and longing to celebrate Thanksgiving, I decided to invite a few close friends and family to my Thanksgiving luncheon. I had never had a boodle fight meal and had wanted to experience it so I decided to have a boodle fight on the beach at Bitoy's. It was so nice of them to accommodate my group with less than 24 hours’ notice before the event. And the result was everything I could have hoped for.
I had reserved for 10 people and this is how much food we got. It sure was a table of plenty. We had oysters, shrimp, milkfish, chicken, eggplant, okra, fried banana, green mango, tomatoes, shrimp paste and rice. I had also brought with me the alimasag (baby crab) we bought at the beach in Ivisan the day before. Guests brought several kinds of dessert including guinataan*, brazo de Mercedes and various kinds of Philippine kakanin (delicacies). Needless to say, we lingered over lunch and slowly savored what was on the table before us.
The simple protocol of boodle fight eating is to carve out a space of your own on the table. The banana leaf is your plate and you eat with your hands. This is communal eating and you pick what you want to eat with your hand.
We all had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed this novel way of celebrating Thanksgiving.
*Recipe for guinataan bilo-bilo
"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was "thank you", that would suffice." Meister Eckhart
Images by TravelswithCharie