Originally written: June 2007
It has been half-a-year since I visited my parents. It has been that long since I’ve had my Mom’s cooking, which doesn’t really hit me how much I miss it until I’m eating food made by her.
Unfortunately, she has returned to primary care so she can work directly with patients which she enjoys, instead of being on the management side of nursing. The downside is that she works evening shifts in the pediatric unit so that means less time at home. Mom has been an RN longer than I’ve been on this planet. I admire her loyalty and dedication to the profession. But I have to agree with Kat that it takes her away from us which means home meals are affected.
During her days off though, she whips up requested meals. I rarely, if at all, eat any Filipino food outside of home; so when I’m at home, she makes the ones she knows. My sisters and I have different taste requirements and food inclinations, so Mom adapted herself to our food inclinations by learning to cook dishes from the cuisine of our choice. Cooking traditional Filipino dishes isn’t her forte due to our leanings to other types of cuisine.
Because I’m rarely home now, I’d frequently ask for a Filipino dish, because it’s pretty much the only time I’ll have it. Even though Mom has been known to intentionally butcher Filipino dishes to alter its fat or sodium content, which I’m grateful for!
Before I come home, she’d ask me what food I would like to have so she could get the preparations underway. Normally, I’d ask for noodle dishes such as pansit palabok or sotanghon, just because she only makes it out of the norm.
Weekly dishes in the household that never grows old are grilled fish and eggplant rebosado. Mom usually makes them on a weekend because that’s when Dad can do the grilling. So then technically, it’s really Dad who makes the grilled fish. The eggplant rebosado though is all Mom’s. First, she bakes the eggplant to char the skin, then she peels the skin, breaks the flesh with a fork so it fans out, dips it in an egg batter, then fries the battered fruit. We eat it with rice, the ever so popular Asian staple, and with shoyu mixed with lemon juice.
All this talk of Mom’s cooking is making me hungry.