My husband and I once attended a lunch gathering where the host gave away living fortune bamboos. My husband kept his alive to this day, while mine dried out in 2 days because characteristically, I forgot to water them. I thought it was just decorative. One day, he asked, “Why didn’t you keep it alive?” To which I replied, “What for? I don’t see the point if I couldn’t eat it.”
“So you’d only take care of a plant when you can eventually eat it? Ohkay.”
One time, we were on our way home from Los Banos, I saw seedlings being peddled on the sidewalk and I asked my husband if we could buy some. “I don’t think you can keep them alive.” I was being challenged and I replied in the most mature and dignified way, “IcanIcanIcan.” So for 50 pesos each pot, we got ourselves 3 seedlings — an Italian sweet basil, a Thai basil and one arugula. Barely a week in and the ants already beat me to the arugula. Fortunately, I kept and have successfully replanted the basil plants. They have become the gifts that keep on giving. I’ve kept me alive nearly 2 months after. You know why?
Because I can eat them.
Last week, typhoon Glenda ripped thru Metro Manila. I barely slept with the howling winds keeping me up since 2 am. I was just anxious, and it really felt like our roof was tearing up, until it dawned on me that I lived in the 3rd floor of a 4-floor low rise building. My upstairs neighbors will fly with the wind before I get rained on. I decided there was nothing better to do at that point but pray and sleep, so I did at about 6 am. I slept alright, for a good 20 minutes, until I jolted myself back to consciousness realizing I left my basil plant at the mercy of Glenda’s 185 kph winds outside on my balcony.
I don’t care if a roof flew by and threaten to decapitate me. I must saves my basil!
And then, I got them inside, all safe and warm and decided, for all my life-risking efforts to rescue it, all four incredibly tensed steps it took me from my door to the planter and back, I should be rewarded with pasta.
Whenever I felt like I needed a quick, satisfying meal, I make myself some garlic-basil pasta. If I happen to have any left overs tupperwared up in my fridge: chicken, smoked fish, even tuyo, I’ll just toss them in, too. In this video, I got to top it with some breaded spanish sardines and a few cubed up and all-melted kesong puti.
Yup, let the storm rage on.