My mom used to teach in an elementary school in the outskirts of the city, so she would leave the house early in the morning and only get to come home in the afternoon. Since the school we attended was a short walk from our house, we children had lunch at home with our dad. The most exciting part of the day for me was to meet my mom arriving in a tricycle (the public transportation in Dipolog City) to take a look at the fruit or vegetable she had in her bag. If it’s soursop (sirsak in Indonesian, guyabano in Filipino, and labana in Visayan) I usually would have it all to myself. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my sister recently told me that she never liked that fruit.
Fruits, in my childhood, were usually picked from our trees or brought by my mom from school or given by neighbors and relatives. The only fruits we bought from the market were bananas, especially the latundan and lakatan (known as Pisang Barangan in Indonesia) varieties. One bunch would usually be finished by the end of the meal.
I was not fond of vegetables when I was growing up, but my mom and dad—both good cooks!–never gave up preparing for us different kinds of vegetables cooked in various ways. Filipinos generally like condiments, and at home we often enjoyed something easily put together like eggplant-onion-tomato or cucumber relish flavored with vinegar, usually made from fermented coconut water. Occasionally, my mom would bake glazed squash and told us to eat it because it’s good for our eyes. To make us eat more greens, she also told us often that string beans or water spinach (kangkong in Filipino and kangkung in Indonesian) stalks were like brooms that cleaned the insides of our tummies.
I would like to thank my mom, especially on this Mother’s Day (Western Calendar) for sharing with us her love of healthy food.
♥♥♥Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!♥♥♥