Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Agony and Ecstasy of Adobo

When I first heard about Adobofest, I instantly knew it was an event for me.

First, it’s a community block party in my beloved Beacon Hill neighborhood in Seattle. Second, it’s hosted by Geo and Sabzi of Blue Scholars, one of my favorite hip hop groups. And finally, this event is all about adobo, a dish near and dear to my heart.

Adobo is the one dish that every Filipino should know how to make. It can take many forms—saucy, succulent or crisp—but all involve the Filipino trinity of vinegar, soy sauce and garlic and is traditionally made with pork or chicken.

The other thing about Adobofest that excited me was the adobo cook-off. Anyone could enter their favorite adobo recipe and cook it for the judges and everyone else attending Adobofest. The winner would receive bragging rights, a trophy, $100 cash prize, and an invitation to have his or her adobo featured in the “Jose Rizal” sandwich at Beacon Ave Sandwiches.

I really wanted to enter a vegan and gluten-free adobo so that my friends—and others—who have these kinds of diets would be able to experience this quintessential Filipino dish.

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One of my vegan adobo attempts

I’ve made vegan adobo before, and while it tasted pretty good, it wasn’t competition grade. I tinkered with a few recipes, but with the contest deadline looming, I realized that none of my vegan adobos would withstand Filipino scrutiny (which can be TOUGH).

While I was disappointed not to enter, I look forward to tasting the other adobos (and refining my vegan and gluten-free adobo for next year). The top 3 vote-getting dishes chosen by the Adobofest audience will advance to a final round live-tasting where the winner will be chosen by a judges panel.

Adobofest is Sunday, August 18 at The Station coffee shop on Beacon Hill (16th Ave South, Seattle, Washington 98144) from 12-5pm. Prices are: $6 for 3 tastes and a drink, $10 for 5 tastings and a drink, or $25 for all you can eat and drink.

For more details, visit the Adobofest event page on Facebook.

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Filed under Events, Filipino food

The Beans of Beacon Hill

Along a busy city street and right next to a bus stop sat two decorated buckets. Encased in the buckets were bean plants, and the vines from the plants curled around twine tethered to a nearby utility pole.  It was definitely something I did not expect to see at a gritty intersection, but there they were.

Scarlet runner bean plants in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood

I live in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, and I noticed the bean plants during a morning walk to the grocery store. At first I thought the plants belonged to one of the small businesses lining 15th Avenue, and then I saw this helpful sign.

Beacon, A Hill of Beans Sign

I visited BeaconAHillofBeans.org and discovered a quirky project from the Seattle Beacon Hill Garden Club, RockiT Arts, 4 Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Beacon Hill merchants will host pots of scarlet runner beans outside their businesses, and the pods can be picked by anyone passing by. The more picking, the better, because it will encourage the plant to produce more beans. The goal is to get people interested in beans and commit to growing at least one vegetable for their table this year.

I eat a lot of beans, either dried or canned, but I had never seen a bean plant before that chance encounter on Beacon Avenue. It reminded me again of how people living in cities can be so disconnected from the food that we eat. I’m determined to educate myself and even produce some of my own food.

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Filed under Good causes