MANILA,  September 14
, 2004 (STAR)  IN MY BASKET by Lydia D. Castillo - Now there is a Saturday market at the Velasquez carpark in Salcedo Village with the battle cry "Preskong Presko sa Salcedo", organized by Barangay Bel-Air and the Makati Commercial Estate Association Inc. (MACEA) with the very active manning stalls. Others even make their own specialties. It is a pleasant market of "Pagkain, Halaman, Atbp." As weekend markets have become social meeting places, there is an eating area on the left of the entrance. Cooked food sold is very tempting to buy and to sample.

Itís a haven for people who want to take a break from cooking Saturday meals. If one fancies lechon, there is La Ecijana selling at P400/kilo. On certain weekends they have kare-kare at P50 per serving. Hectiís rice toppings include callos, pork salpicao and caldereta at P60. If ordering for a party, they sell by the gallon, from P900 to P1,200. A friend swears by the pancit palabok, but the lady selling this come at about 10 am. There is a Malaysian-Singaporean stall where one can get authentic dishes and desserts from P68 per serving. The Knights of the Blessed Sacrament is a group of 3rd generation Kapampangans born and bred in Arayat. They sell the delicious Medina ensaymada (P75 a big one), pastilles de leche (P75), balo-balo (fermented fish) and even camaro-maro. The Ensaymada Factory has banana cake slices and chicken pie with substantial filling.

From De La Rosaís Deli are roasted chicken and pork ham, the latter glazed with a torch right there. Frozen seafood, as in many other markets, can be purchased from Yvanís, such as Chilean seabass at P950 a kilo or the local catch from Roxas City at P260 a kilo. Bottled prepared food by Sabroso includes Paksiw na Lechon and Callos. Processed meat (schublig etc.) is found at Macís Deli, while dried fish, like the rare daing na biya, is sold by a lady named Sonia at P125 a pack.

Flavored drinks are very popular these days. Saint Mary Dairy offers low fat yoghurt drink in mango-pineapple (P150 a bottle) or fresh strawberry/blueberry (170). Joey of Isabela Organic farm carries produce from the different parts of the countryĖbeans from Tagaytay at P35 a kilo, paayap and cherry tomatoes (P150) from Tanuan, Batangas, capsicum at P180 and Ilocos garlic at P90. He has what he calls tamyao (sweet pea sprouts) for salad at P35 a pack. Mangoes, as everywhere, have become more expensive at P75 a kilo. Bicol pineapples are still at 3 pieces for P50.

Shoppers at the SM Super Hypermart in Sucat, Paranaque should try and catch the "Super Chefs, Super Treats" promo which goes on daily from 4 to 6 pm until Nov. 27, exclusive to the Sucat store. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn some special recipes presented by a team of professional chefs led by Vicky Villanueva, formerly with a popular restaurant in Makati. We were particularly impressed by a recipe called Grilled Asian Chicken Salad. Chefs Menoy Gimenez and Ricky San Pedro ingenously combined the flavors of lemon grass, ginger, chili, sesame oil and garlic to produce a delicious dish. From the demonstrators we share the following tips: it is better to marinate at room temperature; the best lettuce for salads is iceberg because it stays crisp for a long time; thereís nothing like touching and tasting the food one is preparing; when using garlic, add it last so it does not get burned.

Let us to tell you an incident involving a Lady and an Insensitive (abusive even) Congressman. As we were waiting for our ride one afternoon infront of the Supermarket entrance of Rustanís Makati, there was an Expedition parked right in front of the entrance, with another equally big car ahead of its, causing a traffic jam. Then there was this familiar looking lady who quietly and unobtrusively waited for her car, moving to the side where she would not be in the way of people coming and going. The security staff of the expedition group was rather loud, complaining about their Madam doing her shopping even on a rainy day. A Congressman owns the two vehicles while the lady, a real lady, is a former Firs Lady. There ought to be a law against lawmakers abusing their office.

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Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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