The first time Hubby was entertained in my parents' home when we dated over 12 years ago, he went with a full stomach. Not the best move, considering that my mother is one of the Best.Cooks.Ever., and part of her assessment of this "new boy" was how he would be able to adjust to a food-centered-Filipino-family.
Hubby learned quickly, just as many of my friends learned before him, that coming to my parents home meant having a meal and obliging this show of affection. This was their way.
But, despite my mother being one of the Best.Cooks.Ever, I didn't learn to cook until I was married and stationed in Germany with Hubby, where I found myself fledgling in the kitchen. I burned scrambled eggs, pancakes, and barely learned how to make a cake by the time my first child turned one.
I was starting to realize that my half-filipino children might grow up not knowing how to eat the foods I loved and looked forward to, and I would not be considered by them as one of the Best.Cooks.Ever.
I wanted them to know their Filipino-American culture in every aspect of their lives. I then began on my cooking journey.
So, while learning how to make mac n cheese, I learned how to make rice. While learning how to make roast meant I learned how to make roast pig. And while learning how to make angel food cake I learned how to make leche flan. I called my mother often and she would guide me over the phone, and when we saw each other once a year I stood next to her by the stove and just watched. And I continued to practice.
Can my children have hope, that I can continue this legacy for them, even though the Army can take us anywhere in the world, and they are away from their grandparents? Can they know their mother's heritage through food even if they haven't stepped onto the islands.
I hope so.
I hope all of your dreams have come true this Christmas season! Have a safe New Year!
from top to bottom:
Bistek - Braised Beef smothered with onions
Garlic Rice - fried rice with garlic and vegetables
Lechon Kawali - roast crispy pork
Sarabasab - roast pork with onions and garlic
Bibinka Malagkit - sweet rice flour cake with cocounut
Pancit Bihon Guisado - Sauteed Rice Noodles with vegetable
Lumpiang Prito - fried spring rolls
Leche Flan - Milk Custard