Atchara and Biding My Time

A morning for atchara! #Filipinofood

I know I’m not alone in saying that none of the things I do feel like they make any sense, and I feel lost in general. There are goals I would like to reach, but anticipating the work it will take to get there makes me feel incredibly overwhelmed – and I’m certainly not a superhero who can tackle every challenge head-on, because most days, I just don’t have enough energy to do more than heat leftovers for dinner and unwind after 8-½ hours of answering phones and responding to guests’ needs.

I bought a papaya the other day, determined to make one batch of atchara from scratch. I had no idea whether the papaya was overripe (I think it was), have never made fridge pickles before, and like other cooking projects I’ve started to document for this blog, I have no clue what to expect when these pickled papaya, carrot, shallot and ginger strips come out of their cure in a week.

They were relatively easy to make, following a recipe from Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine; mostly involved a lot of grating and measuring, though everything can be done and ready to jar in about an hour.

People have pointed out that I can be a little harsh on myself when things start to go wrong. Right now, for instance, I think I really just have 5 hours to complete a list of tasks I wanted to do today – because I need time to sleep, recover and clear my head. I still don’t know whether all these little changes to adapt to my overnight schedule are worth it, and whether all this legwork to research and write about Filipino food – something that seems to consume my waking hours -will lead anywhere. As before, forward seems to be the only way to go.

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