Long postponed post already so my apologies dear readers as I have been the busy bee lately.
My childhood memories were rich with family gatherings every holiday season and as the years passed and people grew up and moved away, they became less complete in attendance but the tradition has always continued to exist. Regardless, family always made it a point to meet up and celebrate another year of being family. When we were young, these gatherings were eagerly anticipated by the young set then because we knew what was coming – gifts, gifts, and more gifts for us. Aside from the gifts, there was also the abundance of delicious food. Everyone in my family loves food! No wonder!
Most of the time, we spent the celebrations in Daddy Joe’s and Mommy Zabeth’s place in Cdeo or if not then alternate Mommy Ping’s house and also our house before. I remember my childhood there full of fun with the cousins, aunts and uncles. It was a time in my childhood which is really missed because everyone was present during those times and the family was complete.
Fast forward to today, last year, me, Mama, Zoe and my sister Krizza were able to go back home to Cdeo for a wedding and we were able to join in our annual post Christmas and advance New Year celebration at Daddy Joe’s and Mommy Zabeth’s place. I was so happy because I knew what was coming. Again I will be able to savor Mommy Zabeth’s French cooking and eat all that lovely food that Mama Ping, Aunt Babie and everyone else prepared.
Our hosts were very thoughtful as they knew that several kids were coming so they prepared candies and marshmallows for the kids to eat while at the house.
Ever dazzling and also the star of our party – the trusty lechon. Always present and at the honorary center of the table. Cdeo has some very good lechon as well. The lechon de leche was just right in size with a crispy and salty skin tasting faintly of lemongrass and spices all inserted in the cavity of its belly.
Ever present was one of Mommy Zabeth’s signature dishes – the ever refreshingly tasty Shrimp Salad. She told me that it was supposed to be with basil leaves but that they did not have any fresh ones in Cdeo so she substituted with some mango salsa and it was still very lovely. Fresh, plump and juicy red shrimps tossed together with some tangy and sweet mango salsa. Perfect!
An array of beautifully smoked pink salmon with some capers, olives and lemon slices on a bed of lettuce also graced the table. The salmon was melt-in-your-mouth and thinly-sliced beautiful slivers of excellent fish. To add to the fish list, we also had some steamed dory cooked together with black & green olives with slices of red tomatoes. Tasty and flaky is what I would describe it.
We also had some fresh greens with cooked quail eggs, bacon bits, cherry tomatoes and etc.
There were also several more dishes that I was not able to document and photograph anymore since we were busy eating like the fresh and delicious “kinilaw” but at the end of the meal, I lovingly reminisce at the cake that Mommy Zabeth cooks for us every time we have parties. It reminded me of a carefree, fun and lovely childhood with all the family. The memory makes the taste all the more beautiful.