Thursday, July 5, 2012

Relishing mom and sis' cooking

My mom, who is now 84 years old, is a good cook, presumably the reason my dad can't live without her. Haha! You see, my parents live in my dad's hometown of San Francisco in Quezon province, away from us kids when we were young (It was our two lolas who looked after us). Whenever mom visits us in Manila, she doesn't stay long because dad doesn't want her away too many days. Suffice to say, it's a rare treat to enjoy mom's cooking, so when my kids and I spent two weeks in Quezon last May, I was gastronomically delighted! Add to this that my sister who is herself an expert cook and baker, came home from Canada and my tummy was ecstatic! The ever busy mom and career woman that I am was just too happy relaxing and waiting for what mom and sis had prepared come mealtimes. Attempts to diet were thrown out the window. Haha! The pics here show some of what my mom and sister had cooked and prepared for us during our two-week vacation in Quezon.

Kare-kare. Mom does not buy ground rice and peanut but pounds these herself with the help of her well, helper. That explains the coarse texture, but mind you, that doesn't mean mom's kare-kare is not good because it is!
Hibasanan. 'Hibas' means low tide in our hometown, which is when these shells are gathered. Mom I think sautées
the shells with ginger. You will have to use a pin (perdible) to get the edible part. Need I say it's quite hard to eat hibasanan? Well, not really if you have a mother like mine who does the hard job for us. :-)

This is Nilagang Baka but let me tell you, this is not your ordinary nilaga. We call this Tinaphan (inihaw or grilled) na Nilagang Baka because my mom grills the meat and beef marrow before she makes them into Bulalo. The process gives the soup a wonderful smoky flavor that sets it apart from bulalo elsewhere. My mom's Nilagang Baka is really special!

Sinaing na Bigas at Mais. This is how my parents want their rice - mixed with ground corn. I love it!

Tinolang Native na Manok. Tinola is best when native, free-range chicken is used because the latter is more flavorful than the 45-day variety. The soup is really good!  I got my bowl filled ahead of the others so I would get the chicken blood and gizzard.

Ginataang Dalungyan. This is not 'langka' and I don't know what this called in Manila and other provinces but it looks like a small version of a jackfruit. In my opinion, dalungyan is better-tasting than langka.

Steamed fish. Sister cooked this. Tastes good and healthy, too.

Palabok. Sister made this on our mom's birthday. Delish!