The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

26 February 2012

Sunday Barbecue

Sunday is barbecue day! Dining alfresco in the gardens with the grill nearby is one of our simple joys living in the farm. We grill practically anything: meats, fish, veggies, bananas even! To enjoy this lifestyle though, you need a steady supply of charcoal. So... we make our own!

Admittedly, this is one that I really had no clue we could be able to do in our place. I don't need to share any longer where I first thought they came from, but it turns out the locals use plain firewood (the most common in our area being Mádre de Cacáo [Gliricidia sepium]) to be self-sufficient.

But it is no easy task. It is laborious, yes; but it is also imprecise and calls for much experience to flawlessly and efficiently turn your firewood to charcoal. 

So Mang Dimô, one of the better mag-uúlings in our bárrio, works in our place and makes it for us. He makes a pit in the ground for an on-the-spot, built-in earthen oven to put the chopped firewood and cover it with coconut palápas (fronds) topped with soil (or something like that, that's how I understand it). Then he lights a fire on one end and leaves it for some days until he sees a signal that it is already done.

Eventually, he'll block all the air by dumping dirt around the pit until the embers die and let the charcoal cool off. In the end, he shovels them out and sacks them for storage.

Home-made, chemical-free charcoal briquettes to grill our free-range chicken with veggies grown by us, for Sunday lunch in the garden, under the mango tree: priceless...


  1. Replies
    1. I understand how you feel! There's something about barbecue lunches that evoke a special feeling: the casualness, the mouthwatering smell, the sizzling sounds! And everyone sharing the same food, I can go on and on...

  2. Looks so yum tito! Would love to visit the farm again :)