My beloved M posted a couple of articles on her blog, here and here. The articles are about some dishes that she made, with one of the main ingredients being ampalaya or bitter melon (Momordica Charantia Linn, for you geeky types).
In both articles, M observes that unlike a lot of people, yours truly simply adores ampalaya. Being married I of course defer to my wife’s wishes–she can’t stand very bitter ampalaya. I can. I remember once (when I was still single) dipping raw ampalaya in boiling water for ten seconds exactly and eating just that with rice for dinner. Heaven.
Another time, I got myself a juicer and made ampalaya juice every other night for two weeks. That was three years ago, and I never did it again. For one, I sold my juicer, and two, I didn’t know drinking ampalaya juice that frequently lowered my blood sugar. After two weeks, I couldn’t get out of bed. (At least that’s what one doctor said.)
Anyway, I didn’t always like bitter melon. I first had it when I was six or seven–mom cooked it for me, with the attached love and tenderness I’m sure–and I absolutely hated it. I hated the color, the smell, the texture, and I hated the fact that I wouldn’t be having my regular fried chicken or meatballs that my grandma made. (Yes, people, grandparents spoil their grandkids!) It was a good two years later when I got to realize that it actually tasted good. I’ve never looked back since.