Category: Photography

Masks

 

Masks, photo by PH Morton

Masks

#1 Noh Mask

#2 Zo-Onna Mask

#3 Hannya Mask, represents a female demon

#4 Hanakobu Akujo

#5 Uba

These masks can be currently and readily admired at the V&A Museum, East Asian gallery.

Masks are used for protection, disguise, performance and entertainment.

The above masks were Japanese and were sculpted from wood.  They were based from the 14th century classical Japanese theatre called Noh which was much loved and patronised by the Shogun, supreme military leader.

The Age of Innocence

Age of Innocence, V&A, photo by JMorton

The Age of Innocence

The above marble sculpture of a young girl was by Alfred Drury.  It was signed and dated in 1897. Apparently it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1897.  It is now housed at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The young model for this work was Grace Doncaster, who was a daughter of one of Drury’s friend.

I was very taken with the facial feature of this bust.  The girl has such a sweet innocence about her.  Her plump cheeks and rounded chin are so lifelike!

Snuff Bottle – Qing Dynasty

Snuff Bottle, V&A Museum, photo by JMorton

Snuff Bottle – Qing Dynasty

The above object caught my attention immediately, not only because it was exquisitely beautiful but I remember I have a similar one at home, which Peter got me as a gift a couple of years ago.

I thought it was a perfume bottle.  It was only during a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum two days ago that I learnt it was a snuff bottle, which was used during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

Smoking a tobacco was prohibited during the Qing Dynasty, therefore nicotine loving Chinese and Mongolian people had resorted to sniffing powdered tobacco contained in snuff bottles.  Inhaling finely ground tobacco was allowed as consumption was deemed medicinal at that time.

The snuff bottles were constructed as tactile as possible as they are carried by hand replacing the snuff boxes favoured by Europeans.  There were really beautiful, work of art, snuff bottles as they were a symbol of your position, how high up you were in society.  Sharing a snuff during the 16th century China was a form of greetings.

Wonderful to learn new things.  I now know that my ‘perfume bottle’ is actually a snuff bottle.  Where is the tobacco?!!! 🙂

Prawns Vs Shrimp

Shrimps, photo by PH Morton

Prawns Vs Shrimp

Having grown up in the Philippines, we call these delicious crustaceans as shrimps rather than prawns.  Apparently prawns is the term used in the UK and Australia while in the USofA they tend to use the term shrimps.

I further found out that both the words: prawns and shrimps are English in origin.  The prawns are supposed to be larger than the shrimps. But to really tell a prawn from a shrimp is to look at their legs.  The first three pairs of legs in prawns have pincers while in shrimps, only the first two pairs are claw-like.

Well I don’t think I would be really bothered whether I was eating a prawn or a shrimp as they are both manna from heaven. They are both a cause for taste-buds jubilation. 😉

Walis Tambo (Whisk Broom)

Walis tambo, photo by JMorton

Walis Tambo (Whisk Broom)

Walis tambo is a cultural icon of the Philippines.  The tambo is more than just a broom.  It is part of everyday life for Filipinos. It makes for shiny and clean floor. 🙂  It is handy and can be used anywhere in the house (but not the bathroom as a mop  or a walis tingting might be more useful).

it is known as walis tambo because the soft bristles are made from the phragmites reed called tambo in the Philippines.  The reeds flower in December and the blooms are gathered together to make the walis tambo, much beloved by Filipinos.

Like most Asian countries, many in the Philippines still sleep on bare floors over a thin covering of mats and blankets, therefore there is a need for clean floors.

The walis tambo, is so portable and noiseless that it is more useful than a  vacuum cleaner to sweep and clean shiny wooden and tile floorings at any given time.

Marilou, my sister bought a couple of walis tambo to take back to Los Angeles, CA. She insisted to buy the broom from Baguio.  Apparently the Baguio made are thicker, thus sweeps better, and last longer.  You learn something everyday.

 

Pakam – Bulacan Recipe

Chicken pieces, Photo by PH Morton

Pakam – Bulacan Recipe

 

Pakam apparently is a very old recipe which is almost unique to Bulacan, a region in the Philippines which is north of Manila.

I love chicken!  I eat the meat almost everyday. Therefore a new recipe is always welcome. 🙂

Pakam Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 chicken, cut at the joints
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp butter or margarine (or even lard if easily available)
2 onions, sliced
1 tbsp fish sauce (patis)
2-3 radishes, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 ripe tomatoes chopped
1 cup water

Method of preparation:

Arrange the chicken pieces into a large casserole pan.

Add the vinegar, salt and pepper and cook until the liquid had evaporated.

Deboned the chicken and cut into bite size pieces.

Using a large frying pan, add the butter and to it saute the garlic and when brown (not burnt) put in the onions, tomatoes and fish sauce.  Also add the chicken pieces.

Let it cook for a couple of minutes before adding the water.

Bring the water into a  boil.  Add the radishes and continue cooking until the radishes are soft and tender but not mushy.

Enjoy this piquant tasting dish with some beer or go Korean with some Soju!

Yum!

 

Oysters a la Guisado

Philippine oysters, photo by PH Morton

Philippine oysters, photo by PH Morton

Oysters a la Guisado

 

It is Valentine’s Day tomorrow.  It is love day.  For total romance, why not cook the love one an aphrodisiac of taste and texture.

The ingredients:

1 tsp chopped garlic
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin or not 🙂
2 cups cleaned and shelled oysters
Salt and pepper to taste

Method of preparation:

Using large frying pan, heat the oil and saute the garlic until golden brown and fragrant.  Don’t burn as  it will leave a bitter taste.

Add the onion and saute until translucent, add the tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Add the oysters and leave to simmer for a few minutes.

Season with salt and freshly grown black pepper.

Serve with buttered sliced baguette.

Enjoy.

Big Ben, Clock Tower, Elizabeth Tower

Elizabeth Tower and the Parliament Bldg, photo by PH Morton

Elizabeth Tower, photo by PH Morton

Big Ben, Clock Tower, Elizabeth Tower

Elizabeth Tower was formerly known as the Clock Tower.  It is part of the imposing, one of the most famous landmark of London, the Palace of Westminster.

The tower is often identified by a  misnomer, Big Ben.  In actuality, Big Ben is the huge 13 tonnes Great Bell located at the top of the 360 feet high tower.  The four-face clock became operational on 7 September, 1859.

The Clock Tower has been renamed as Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.