Sunday, January 23, 2005


I'm so proud of myself! I actually cooked something Filipino today that I would serve my mom and dad!

I've taken this turn for the good and am trying very hard to eat more vegetables. I feel like I forgot how to cook... so when I was home I made myself WATCH my mother cook and ASK QUESTIONS so I could cook like her -- healthy and quick (she get a delicious, healthy, almost-no-fat meal on the table in 20 minutes!).

Gulay means "vegetables" -- my mother is nuts about them and defines them as GREEN. Unless she's out somewhere she can't get them (like McDonald's!), she has to have veggies at every meal she has rice. She has also passed this to us -- all three of her children have to them at every (rice) meal, and we used to giggle at other Filipino families and what passed as gulay there -- corn, cucumbers in vinegar, coleslaw? Vegetables to us was something sauteed in garlic, onions and tomatoes (or other variants), has some kind of chicken, pork, fish or beef in it, and has lots of sabaw (soup or sauce) to soak onto your rice... yummy!

My mom said when she grew up in Surigao they were so poor they could only have vegetables with their rice, and only ate fish when they could afford to get it (they lived near the ocean but weren't fishermen) and hence is her favorite bayan (spelling? I mean meat/protein and I can't find it in the dictionary) is fish. The only time they would eat chicken or pork was when there was a town fiesta or during the Christmas events. Hence, when she went to visit her sister and other relatives in her small town of Tagana-an and bought meals and groceries and demanded (!) vegetables -- THEY THOUGHT SHE WAS NUTS. She was luxuriating in the variety of greens and fruits she could have there and they were pigging out on lechon (roast pig)!

Today it was just broccoli with chicken -- I was so proud. And after I cooked it all... I wasn't really that hungry and ate very moderately. How did THAT happen?! Maybe that's the true secret of cooking.