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Etag con fusion 2

If it's smoked and salted and dried, it's called kiniing in Southern Kankanaey and much of Benguet, or kinoday in Ibaloy. Sagada is the only place I know of where people smoke their etag, and call it etag. I call it etag because I love buying the stuff in the Sagada market, or texting Sagada friends for it, but if you're going to try out these etag confusion recipes in Benguet, what you want is kinoday or kiniing.

Recently I made pork and beans from scratch, as a matter of personal redemption. The one time I was given pork and beans at home, I brought the wrath of my mother upon myself.

My mother always cooks everything from scratch, with the freshest, in-season ingredients, and with much love. I have vivid memories of my mother expertly drawing one of her precious knives across the necks of chickens I had raised and fattened myself, and holding them over a stainless steel bowl as the bright, red blood dripped from the twitching bird. By contrast, I have few memories of my mother opening canned goods. In fact, the only canned item I can remember her opening was thick cream, to have with our strawberries. And even this she opened with disdain.

When I was seven, I felt deprived of canned goods and junk food. I relished eating corned beef, spam, and cream of corn, and drinking tang in the houses of my classmates. I resented having to eat native red rice out of a handwoven basket when everyone else was eating polished white rice out of tupperwares during lunch breaks in school. I wanted to be like every one else. After the first time I tasted pork and beans from a can out of a friend's lunchbox, I marched home and demanded pork and beans from my mother. And she did what she always does when I want to eat something in particular. She went to market, bought all the ingredients and set to work in the kitchen, letting the beans, the meat, and the herbs and spices bubble and boil on the stove all afternoon. What did I say when her labor of love touched my lips?

"It tastes better from the can."

Ungrateful brat indeed! I don't remember what my mother's exact words were, but I remember the look on her face that was at once pained, indignant, and fuming mad.

Of course, on many other occasions I ate pork and beans from the can. I would be lying if I said I never enjoyed them after that unfortunate incident. But truth be told, I could never buy a can myself, and I can't eat a single bite of pork and beans without thinking of my mother. Now that I've tried and succeeded making pork and beans from scratch, I feel like a new person.

To start, slice the etag/kiniing/kinoday into bite-sized chunks. Boil the meat and set aside.

Then you'll need dried white beans, soaked overnight. Throw out the water and put the beans in a heavy-bottomed pot. Cover the beans with water. Add a finely chopped onion, a slab of butter, 5 cloves, a bay leaf, and the soup stock from the meat. Bring to a boil, and then leave to simmer until the beans are softened. It could take up to two hours. Keep checking the pot to make sure the liquid doesn't dry out completely. Add water when necessary. At the end, add salt, if necessary.

In another pot, sautee garlic, onions, tomatoes and rosemary. When the tomatoes have dissolved, add the meat and bring to a simmer, then add the beans and bring to a simmer again. Delicious poured over a bowl of steaming rice. Red rice or white, that's up to you!

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