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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Found out someone formerly from work is now with BPI, where my dad used to work. I suddenly got nostalgic for 80s-style vanilla milkshakes! These were a treat for me back in the day. I would tag along to his workplace and he would bring me to 1851, their in-house club/resto where he would order for me some heavenly vanilla goodness and frothy whipped cream bliss!

When he was still in private practice, he would also take my siblings and I to another club on weekends. After swimming, I would have my (yes, you guessed it) milkshake (!) with either a burger and chips or a grilled cheese or ham-and-cheese sandwich. It was something I looked forward to. For a brief period, I associated milkshakes with joy and security, and bonding with my dad.

One day, I had an accident. I was grabbing some clothes to change into after school, and I pulled too hard on something and my entire cabinet (no, I did not have a closet back then) fell on top of me.  I yelled, cried and prayed loudly. I thought I was about die. I don't want to die! I kept repeating this, while the tears kept soaking my shirt. The help came but it wasn't immediate. One of our helpers thought it was odd that the house was so quiet, (yes, thank God I was a loud kid!) so she decided to investigate. She found me buried under the cabinet.

I thought I was okay, and I felt relieved help had come, but my arm was swollen. When my grandma found out what happened, she rushed me to the hospital. Pupunta tayong Makati Med, she said. My thought was...Makati Med? Milkshake!!!!  I kid you not. 

So after all the tests were done, it was found out the nerves in my right wrist had died, and that it would take months of rehab before I could write again. Which was okay since I was only in prep. I realize now that it was a blessing that my little arm slipped in the gap between the cabinet door and the cabinet, propping the cabinet an inch or two from the ground. If none of my body parts and/or clothes got caught somehow, the entire cabinet would have fallen on top of me, with the lower possibility of air. If help had come too late, I might have suffocated. There would have been no more Frannie. No more milkshakes at 1851, Floating Island, or the club.

A couple of years after the accident, the country experienced a shift from a dictatorship to a fledgling democracy. My dad had no desire to enter politics, but the woman who became president told him she needed good people in government who would not shirk a call of duty. All incumbents were removed from office and she would be appointing officers-in-charge for the different municipalities and cities while the elections were being prepared. He meant to stay as OIC for only a few months, but the months became years until the first election in 1988. Someone from work said, What kind of madness has gotten into you? 

The season of our regular milkshake dates had finally run its course. No, milkshakes hadn't gone out of style just yet, to be replaced by mocha frappuccinos and bottomless iced tea. But my dad suddenly got busier. Apparently, when you are in public office, even your weekends aren't yours. But I hated that feeling, of that fateful Saturday,  ready to go in my swimming gear, with my extra clothes in tow, only to be told we weren't going. 

And yes, milkshakes aren't in anymore. But I'm glad I can do something about that!

Here's a humble, raw take on my my childhood favorite vanilla milkshake. Any suggestions to make it more frothy would be super! 

Ode to the 80s Vanilla Shake
(1 serving)

2-3 frozen ripe bananas (peel the banana and place in a freezer bag in the freezer)
half a fresh banana 
nut mylk (Any nut mylk will do, but for this recipe, I used 1/2 c soaked, then dehydrated sesame seeds, plus 1 1/2 cups water, run through a blender, then strained. Save the remainder left on the strainer for breads)
cinnammon to taste
1 vanilla bean
4 pitted dates or 2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)

Blend the nut mylk and the vanilla bean in a high speed blender.

Strain through a nut mylk bag/cheese cloth/strainer.

Pour the strained nut mylk back into the blender and add the frozen bananas and fresh banana, along with the cinnamon with pitted dates/honey. Blend again.


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