Carinderia Circa 50s

27 Jan

My beloved maternal grandmother, Engracia (RIP) was  well-known to be the carinderia-owner beside the church patio in Poblacion. In this carienderia, she served goto (beef-tripe noodle), puto-bibingka(rice cakes) and halo-halo (a sweet concoction of shaved ice and fruits). My Lola Gracia (as we fondly called her) was not just the owner but she was also the cook, server, dishwasher, maintenance and whatever else was needed to keep the carinderia running smoothly. Talking about multi-tasking, huh!

But, hey, the job didn’t even start there. The preparation was way ahead before the carinderia opens at 6am. She had to go to the market for ingredients, place order for ice and sodas, cook ingredients for halo-halo and make galapong (rice paste). Does anyone still remember how they used to make this? After soaking rice in water overnight, it is grinded in a gilingang bato.

Oh, boy… I’m glad there’s Seafood City and Island Pacific to buy ready-made ingredients to make bibingka. Or if you’re still too lazy to do that, just go to Goldilocks for cooked bibingkas. But still… nothing really compares to a hot bibingka made from scratch.

Going back to my Lola’s daily task. Before the 5am mass ends, she had the piping hot goto, pandesal and a few bibingkas ready to serve to the church goers, tricycle drivers, farmers and early risers. And how did she cook bibingkas after making galapong? The picture below shows how it’s made, the old-fashioned way….

Wow!!! Bibingka with itlog na maalat (salted egg) and kesong puti (white cheese), it’s the best. Add on top of that, freshly-grated coconut. And how it’s made? With this…

Now, let’s talk about how Lola Gracia made the halo-halo. In those days, an electric ice shaver hasn’t even come to anyone’s imagination. So, here’s how she did it. She kept blocks of ice buried under rice husks to prevent thawing because there were no refrigerators or freezers still back then (not in the Philippines, at least). She chopped a small block of ice, washed it and used this to shave ice….

Thank you, Chow King. I could enjoy halo-halo without going through this.

And my poor, Lola Gracia… Imagine the hardships she had to go through to raise her six children? She’s one tough lady, I tell you. In fact, I could still vividly see her in my childhood memories with an ax in her hands, chopping fire woods even in her late seventies. She’s definitely one tough cookie….


Posted by on 01/27/2011 in Blogs


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19 responses to “Carinderia Circa 50s

  1. James

    01/27/2011 at 1:32 pm

    You should try and make both mom! Lol

    • USpinay

      01/27/2011 at 1:46 pm

      Ahhh, no. Thank you. I don’t even know where to get these equipments anymore. The gilingang bato is now used for landscaping purposes by your Tito Angel. Hey, Tiya Rose!!!Do you still have Lola Gracia’s vintage ice shaver?

  2. Bella

    01/27/2011 at 1:39 pm

    Oh, I miss my grandma. If there is anyone who reminds me of my early childhood… my grandma! She didn’t like me very much but I loved her anyway.

  3. FedEngr

    01/27/2011 at 2:16 pm

    Hey, that grinder looks familiar. I remember seeing something like that. The only difference is that the grinder itself was attached to a wooden manifold with a mechanism to be pushed and pulled by an operator. I would imagine it being attached to a stationary bike. That would make a good exercise machine right there.

    • USpinay

      01/27/2011 at 8:02 pm

      I think I know what you’re talking about. The handle is suspended like a sling about six feet away from the grinder. We had something like that which I tried when I was a kid but just got stuck. I didn’t know the proper technique.

  4. PED_guy

    01/27/2011 at 2:18 pm

    My friend would bring rice cakes to work once in a while. Man! They are really good. I guess it would have been more delicious if they were homemade by your grandma.

  5. LilNel

    01/27/2011 at 2:21 pm

    We have the same grinder and ice shaver back where I came from! And they also remind me of my grandma. Thanks for posting.

  6. Jo

    01/28/2011 at 7:24 am

    Those were the days when things were done the hard way. Lucky for the new generation, all they have to have is money and everything is made easy. Don’t forget our oldies; what they went through to give their children the best that life has to offer.

  7. bella34

    01/28/2011 at 3:19 pm

    I really like this post. Kind of nostalgic

  8. rene san andres

    01/29/2011 at 2:22 am

    we still have gilingan bato and sometimes use it whenever we have that desire to eat galapong-based cake (bibingka, putong puti or kuchinta and palitaw). it will take an hour and a half to grind a kilo of rice already soaked for at least 12 hours. you can not fill the very small inlet of the grinder as it will displace and choked it. a spoonful will be enough followed by another spoonful of water to lubricate it. the grinder has to be moved only in one direction to achieve a very fine and smooth galapong. preparing the galapong for the palitaw will take a little longer since you have to remove the excess water by putting both pair of the grinder on top of the tightly tied katsa.
    and mind you, would you believe that using the gilingang bato resulted into some peculiar things? making the galapong will take a long time and needs 2 persons to do it. while grinding, these two people exchange stories, jokes, pleasantries and even gossips. if they exchanged gossips, the resulting galapong will be coarsed and watery, because the actions were not synchronized and they often stopped just to hear the whole story. i remember a young man and a young lady in our neighborhood eloped just after they finished making the galapong..whew! it seems the young man took that chance to win the heart of the young lady while making the galapong. a marriage made on the grind…

    • USpinay

      01/29/2011 at 8:32 am

      Looks like you’re an expert grinder (LOL). And what a nice love story to share. I wonder if their children are made on the grind as well (LOL, again)….

  9. aren

    01/29/2011 at 8:33 pm

    i think so because the names of the children were “Gil” maybe short for “Gil-ingan” and “Galathea” could perhaps stands for “Gal-apong”…lol!

    • USpinay

      01/30/2011 at 8:23 am

      Here’s some names to suggest…Gilbert, Gilmer, Gilroy for boys. Gillian, Gilda for girls.

  10. Tony B.

    01/31/2011 at 8:14 am

    This reminds me of my Grandma who cooks fried rice in the morning whenever I spend the night with my twin aunts which are a month older than me. She cooks also longaniza with a little bagoong, oh how good it was to enjoy that breakfast, although we do not know that it is all filled with fat, or high in cholesterol. Then we do not know what is best for us.
    Your write up is very good to remind us the experiences we had during our child hood.
    Good work!

  11. Ignatz Fungo

    02/01/2011 at 8:32 am

    Reminds me of Texas Bar-be-Que!
    Pass the Corn-pone!
    Extremely popular in the southern United States, corn pone is an eggless cornbread that is shaped into small ovals and fried or baked.

    Corn Pone

    2 cups white corn meal
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups cold water (or enough to make a soft mixture that can be spooned like pancake batter)
    4 tablespoons vegetable oil

    1. Preheat oven to 475°F (245°C).
    2. Mix corn meal, salt and water.
    3. Heat oil in a 9-inch round iron skillet in the hot oven until hot.
    4. Carefully spread mixture evenly in hot skillet and spoon some of the fat that comes to the edges up on top of the batter.
    5. Place skillet in oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
    6. Optional: Broil for the last 2 to 3 minutes to make it extra golden brown and crispy around the edges.

    Makes 8 servings.

    • USpinay

      02/01/2011 at 8:36 am

      Why not pass on to us the recipe for Texas Bar-Be-Que. Sounds like a good idea for Super Bowl Party!

  12. Aruray

    02/02/2011 at 4:45 pm

    Oh, I miss my grandma. Nobody spoiled me just the way she spoiled me. She’s the best Lola ever. I miss her so much that I’m beginning to tear up.

  13. helicopter games

    02/09/2011 at 7:08 pm

    Nice post. I study one thing tougher on completely different blogs everyday. It can always be stimulating to read content from other writers and apply just a little something from their store. I’d choose to make use of some with the content on my weblog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide you with a hyperlink in your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Rida Mendoza

    06/08/2013 at 8:01 am

    Nice post about that gilingang bato…I was really looking for a picture of it for my maruyang parirutong, posting in facebook, which was an old time favorite in my town in the Philppines, Pagbilao, Quezon. My grandfather used to make the galapong for my grandmother to cook and sell at the wet market in our town. Thanks you have it. I posted a picture of the maruyang parirutong at my FB page ALL ABOUT PAGBILAO, QUEZON and it has the highest view among others (6012 as of this morning and counting within few days only) and few are requesting for a recipe which I am ready to post but wanted to show how it was being traditionally made and prepared during the old days. I’d like to use your picture as well as your blog about it. Thanks for sharing.


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