Talk of Philippine cuisine and adobo immediately comes to mind. But with a veritable smorgasbord of regional dishes with evocative names like pinakbet, kare-kare, laing, inasal and lechon to name a few, Philippine cuisine is clearly more than just adobo.
Having lived in Australia for more than 10 years, my wife, Charina, and our two boys have been exposed to a wide variety of food from different parts of the world. Sydney is a veritable melting pot of cultures and cuisines – one can have an Aussie bacon and egg roll for breakfast, British scones for morning tea, Malaysian laksa for lunch, Greek baklava for afternoon tea, Japanese ramen for dinner and if you still have room for it, some Spanish tapas before calling it a day. But what’s even better is one can make all these dishes right in the comfort of one’s own home. So yet again it is clearly more than just adobo and what’s becoming evident is it is more than just Filipino food.
I grew up in the kitchen watching my mother create beautiful dishes. Everyday dishes that somehow transcended their everyday-ness by the love and care that she put into preparing them. But my mother is one of those cooks who relied as much on instinct as she did on experience. She learned to cook at her own mother’s knee and early on developed a palate that knew instinctively which ingredients went well together and when a dish is cooked just right. The downside to cooking on instinct is the fact that recipes are optional. Which became a problem when I tried to recreate her dishes – I had no recipes and she was more than 6,000 kilometers away. I had to reach far back into my memory banks to recall exactly how a dish tasted. So when my own son started to show interest in cooking adobo, I resolved to start writing down recipes.
I would like to think that I have been somewhat successful in recreating my mother’s dishes. When our circle of Sydney friends got together it’s usually potluck. Each family brings a dish or two and we’d all share a meal enjoying the warmth of each other’s company. Charina and I have been blessed that most our friends are also keen foodies. We’d swap recipes and try to replicate each other’s dishes. So more than adobo, more than Filipino food and more than family, this site is about a community of friends sharing a passion for good food.
Thanks for dropping by. I hope you like what you see here.