16 (Mon) March 2020
Bitokes à la Russe
-Dasmariñas Village, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines-
with the Family
Bitokes à la Russe is a Russian dish – maybe. The recipe that I used comes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. An internet search returns mostly entries on the same recipe, or slight variations thereon, as if Julia’s dish were the progenitor of them all. In any case, it’s essentially a variation on her basic biftek haché, French hamburger, with cream sauce. Surprisingly, the recipe does not call for any breadcrumbs, only minced onion, an egg, and lots of butter.
The steak turned out juicier in texture and beefier in flavor than my prior attempt at salisbury steak (see for example 10.311 Salisbury Steak in Pan Gravy).
In my prior update on the COVID-19 situation just 4 days ago, the Philippines had announced an impending “lockdown” of Metro Manila; at the time, 125,048 global cases (7,869 in Korea, 52 in the Philippines, 12,462 in Italy, 9,000 in Iran, 987 in USA); 4,613 global deaths (66 in Korea, 2 in the Philippines, 827 in Italy, 354 in Iran, 29 in USA) (see 11.067 Bagiuo Beans in Oyster Sauce).
As of today, 167,515 global cases (8,236 in Korea, 140 in the Philippines, 24,747 in Italy, 14,991 in Iran, 1,678 in USA); 6,606 global deaths (75 in Korea, 12 in the Philippines, 1,809 in Italy, 853 in Iran, 41 in USA).
Effective tomorrow 17 March to 13 April, the Philippines will impose “enhanced community quarantine and stringent social distancing measures” across Luzon island, including Metro Manila, as a measure to slow the spread of COVID-19. This will include home quarantine on all residents, except those involved in essential services and restricts movement, except to procure groceries or health services, and suspension of all schools, mass gatherings, public transportation, and private businesses ,except those providing essential services, such as grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.
For the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, only staff involved directly in COVID-19 response and other core functions will come into the office starting tomorrow. Others, including me, will work from home.
Now required to feed 4.5 mouths for 2.5 meals a day, my current stockpile of food and water might only last a couple weeks. Time to scale back a bit.