Monday, November 8, 2010

Lutong Bahay: Mama's Home Cooked Meals

One thing I miss the most from home is my Mama's cooking.  I feel blessed to have grown up in a household where food was abundant.  It's as if we're always dining in out, not to brag but you could compare her cooking to well known restaurants.  Cooking is her passion,  She did not have proper training, what she knew she learned from my lola, who was pure Chinese and was a good cook as well.

When we went home for her birthday, I was so excited because she was inviting a few friends and relatives over for a small salo-salo.  I could almost imagine all my favorite dishes lined up, just thinking about them made me hungry.  

Baked Macaroni with all the melted cheese on top.  Mama's pasta dishes are heaven.  Every Sunday was always Pasta day at home.  She would cook different pasta dishes like spaghetti, carbonara, fettuccine and spaghetti with sardines and tomato pesto sauce.  I also make it a habit to cook spaghetti for my kids on Sundays.  By the way, I discovered that Spaghetti with Century Tuna chunks in Spanish style was also a yummy and healthy dish.  It's also easy to make, just saute the tuna in onions and garlic, add in salt and pepper to taste, and toss in the pasta.

Mama's Dinuguan is the BEST!  I would never eat dinuguan during parties or fiestas because I'm not really sure how they are prepared.  The only dinuguan  I eat aside from my Mama's cooking is the dinuguan they serve at Red Ribbon bakeshop.

One of her most requested dish is Paella.  It's a Spanish rice dish that she cooks on special occasions.  It's made up of sticky rice, with a variety of seafood's (crabs, shrimp, shells), chorizo bilbao  and quail eggs.

Other favorites include  embutido, sotanghon, and even the simple dishes she cooks for us during meal times are all yummy.  I guess cooking is her innate gift.  Her friends would encourage her to open up a canteen or go into catering, but she would always decline.  She just enjoys cooking for family and friends, and I think it is enough for her knowing that every dish she prepares is able to satisfy a hungry stomach. She is happy whenever her cooking is appreciated.

I am not a good cook like Mama, but every time I prepare a meal for my family, I remember what she has taught me, and when I have doubts, she is just a phone call away.  One important lesson I learned from her is cook with a happy heart and enjoy what you are doing.  Cooking is always a trial and error thing.  Don't expect your first dish to be perfect.

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