Jan 5, 2010

1st for 2010 :D

I guess it’s a little too late for me to greet you with a Merry Christmas, since the holidays are over. But, I’d like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous year ahead. Happy New Year!

I couldn’t find time to blog or even tweet during the yuletide season. It was a very busy Christmas for me and my family. There wasn’t a day where we were able to sit down and relax for an entire afternoon. I don’t quite get exactly why we were busy as bees during the season, but we were. Occupied and jolly; doing this and that, going here and there. Recalling the quality time I spent with my family is such a treat, I’d like to share some of the ‘events’ that transpired at our home.

One night, just a few days after my siblings and I arrived, Papa decided to make a family affair of his piggy bank withdrawal. The piggy bank was, I think, a give-away from one of his Medical Representatives. It’s colored a sunny yellow. A few months back, Papa started to fill it with 5- and 10-peso coins. December was the perfect time to get all the coins out; we decided that the money raised will be used for our holiday expenses. We gathered around our dining table as the coins were shaken out from the piggy’s belly. We counted and grouped the coins into hundreds. It was amazing how it reached +5,000! It was such a happy and proud moment for everyone. What saving your coins can do! The piggy bank is a tradition in the making.

The piggy bank is now empty and Papa just started filling it. Mama is also planning to have her own piggy bank. I’m looking forward to Christmas 2010  Hmmm … maybe I’ll drop my coins in a piggy bank of my own too.

Being the family’s cook, I tried to experiment with the dishes I prepared every meal and especially during Noche Buena and Buena Noche. The two special dinners was something I made a big production of. This year’s Buena Noche, however, was my sister’s first assembly, I was sick and so my job was to supervise her cooking. She did extremely well; we all loved her pansit and fruit salad.

My kitchen trials taught me that basil leaves have such a strong flavor, a very, very small number of leaves will do. That when making my apple wanton, I should mix a little sugar in the filling since my family’s not really a fan of cinnamon. And I also realized that using Sesame oil to fry my meats enhances the flavor.

This year, I was able to cook new dishes for the entire family to try and critique. Now, I have recipes I can call my own because of the modifications I made. Some of these dishes are: omelet, fish cake, tuna carbonara, spaghetti, lomi, fried prawns, pansit, and bangus daing. Also, I was able to perfect my mocha bars after two attempts to bake it right, hurrah for me! I was so happy to see my parents love it. Already I’m planning for the dishes and desserts I want to serve when I visit home, and, of course, for the holidays.

Recalling these and the many memories of home cure my homesickness.

Yes, I am missing home. I miss how I am able to take care of my parents --- cooking, running errands and doing stuff with them. I’ll have to wait until February for my next visit; I’m looking forward to that.