The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

On producing food

Lately, I’ve been in the kitchen. The thing about working at night and at home, there are days when you just want to get out of the house, and sometimes it makes it even harder to dress up and face the Metro Manila traffic. In those days, I turn to food.

For me, cooking is soothing. It helps that there is an actual end product to enjoy, and not just by you, but the others in your space. It gives back, and even if you’ve cleaned out your wallet paying for the ingredients, it’s not like it’s just going to run away from you, there is an experience to share, and depending on how much you make, it lasts for some time.

I actually have a list of things I want to learn how to cook, and mostly it’s been Filipino dishes. I realized, while thinking about what to make the significant other’s parents, that I have no Filipino specialty. All I make are American, Italian inspired things. And I get it, because those are easier to make and less pressure. Because Filipino dishes are personal. Everyone and their mother have their own sensory memories of Filipino dishes that they’ve tasted over the years and turn to for comfort when they tire of restaurant dishes.

I myself have a few Filipino dishes that make me happy every time I have them. Goto (tripe porridge), Kare kare (satay-like sauce with tripe and veggie) and nilagang baka (beef soup). All I can’t make worth a dang and I have to wait for someone else to make, as I don’t want to waste ingredients. (Precious cleaned tripe!) I have resolved to learn how to make these the next time ingredients are available. I find myself a little ashamed I still have not perfected these, as when I try to cook for others, I find myself at a loss for a repertoire that’s decent enough for a week. For someone who says she has a penchant for food, I really should be able to make more of a variety.

As for baking, I’ve checked off my one thing I wanted to learn how to bake successfully, which is cheesecake. It’s a crowd favorite, my favorite. My favorite one comes from the Calea bakery in Bacolod City, they have a white chocolate cranberry cheesecake that is thick and creamy with the tang from the cranberry sauce, it is so good. My dream is to hack the topping and to make it at home, because as it is, I’ve only had this cake a few times in my life, and I can’t fly to Bacolod just for a cake (It would be fun to, but not practical, not at all).  My next project is an iced cake, I just have to decide what kind of cake it is, before I break out the baking ingredients, as in our house, I’m primary cake eater, and I can’t keep eating all of my goods, I wouldn’t fit in my chair after a week.

What is your favorite food to make? Any recipes you want to share?


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