Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday Night again

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving, but today is another week, and it is December. I did a beef brisket that I put in the oven overnight at 220 degrees, threw in onions, garlic, liquid smoke, soy sauce, left over bbq oven pit, honey mustard, lawry's, salt, pepper and covered it. So when I was worried about dinner, I remembered the french beans I had so that got nuked with olive oil, then I did egg noodles with butter and parmesan with meatballs. There was LO of yukon gold potatoes and pork. Whew, another night of food, kids, apos, laughter, buzzing. So much to thank the Lord for.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Florida trip bits and pieces

The space launch was amazing, a streak of gold slashed through the sky and a cloud of smoke trailed the shuttle's path. of course, you have 12 minutes to run back into the bus just in case acid rain blew our way off the causeway.

Where are the oranges? ooops, as we drove down towards Ft Lauderdale, every side of the 27 had orange orchards ....wish I could have stopped.

Tamiami Trail is also the 41 which if followed through would have led back to Chicago. But Tamiami trail is also Alligator land....soon, alligator spotting was the sport.

But the birds ...didn;t get to see flamingos nor pelicans but lots of egrets, cormorants, eagles and so many more...forgot to buy a book so check off which ones I saw.

And imagine that, no Disney when I was in Orlando. But got to swim briefly in salt water.

2009 Thanksgiving

It's one of those off years, Kylie went to Zion, Bambi to Wauwatosa and JB to somewhere in Indiana. So we had a quiet but enjoyable turkey dinner at Anamite's. Dawn had a good turkey, great side including a green bean and mushroom side, Migay's famous smashed potatoes, some brussel sprouts which i tried to eat (finished one) and Ina's orange cranberry relish. Hunter played the cello with a lot a prodding, and pumpkin pie was had. Thankful for another year, missed GYN and remembered all the turkey days back home. Capped the evening with a George Clooney movie, Men Who Stare At Goats.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Thursday Night Dinner

So tonight, we had a pork butt crock pot roast I made earlier this morning. But I decided to add shrimp fried rice which all the apos enjoyed. And I am still trying to re-create the pancit sotanghon that we used to have at the Rolling Pin MH Del Pilar restaurant. Another regret I have for not spending more tim,e with mang Lucio and mang Emong. I sauteed garlic and red onion, added boneless, skinless chicken breast with a bit of Knorr ginisa mix, black pepper, patis and powdered atsuete. Then I added sliced green beans, sliced baby bok choy and chicken broth. I remembered to add last minute garlic oil which picked up the flavors a lot. Came close, but I should have used a firmer fatter sotanghon. And should have used an oil based atsuete (annatto seed powder). Another dinner done. And hey, this time the apos ate both pancit and shrimp fried rice which was simply stir fried eggs, garlic, peas and carrots with baby shrimps and rice. Oh, and a bit of soy sauce. Lynn said she liked it and it tasted better than the ones from the Chinese restaurant, that was a great compliment from my pihikan na apo.

Cupcakes for c Cause

Mrs. A's Cupcakes & Cookies is once more participating in Cupcakes for a Cause which supports Cancer Care for Kids. From September 21 to 27, 50 cents will be donated to the organization from every cupcake sold at our little shop. To find out more about this worthwhile fund raiser, please check out their website and create a cupcake on-line at

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday Night Dinner 9/03/09

Sigh, the weeks go really fast. So I got lazy. Went to the fresh market of ASSI, got some big shucked clams....there's the linguine pasta with garlic, basil and curly/flat leaf garlic herbed butter...(don't have any olive oil, need to buy), then the inihaw na baboy...marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic with salt and pepper, last night's left over binagoongang baboy will now become binagoongang kang kong for the veggies, and since fresh shrimp is as cheap as beef or pork, hilabos na hipon again. Really lazy of me but hey, it's fresh. Am now just wiaiting for family to arrive...and I am planning next week in my mind again....when it gets cooler, back to casseroles stuffed in the oven...too hot right now to do that.

Time Flies Faster Than We think

August 25th marked a year since mom died. And yesterday marked the day we cremated her.
And what did we do? Celebrated like she would, eat and feast and remember. So on the day itself, I shopped for shrimps and blue crabs and had pancit as a side. She missed all the other sea food from home, but these we can get here, so that's what we did.

We had Sundays inviting friends over for a feast of hilabos na hipon, alimango and not the paltry blue crabs, inihaw na baboy and lost of side relishes like tomatoes with onions and red eggs. It was non stop lamon...hahaha. There would be Sundays too with all the breakfast foods, longganiza, tapa and tocino, with eggs anyway you want them.
And GYN set a pretty table, always with a theme, pinks, greens, blues, with flowers cut from our kalachuchi tree. Kamias in our Pinoy version of bruschetta/pico de gallo. Lots of dipping sauces: soy sauce with vinegar and siling labuyo, vinegar with garlic, mashed kamias with shallots, etc.. Those were the days my friends.....

One cannot regret her life, she rose from the mountains of Baguio, ran up the trees with the Igorots, had a very romantic life with Clinton H. Nichols, survived the bombings of Manila during Liberation, visited the US as a young widow, cam back home to a romance with the handsome rogue Ruben S. Menguito, allowed him his foibles as a second string QB, but led him to the path of fine dining with the HRAP and IFSEA.
Accolades, society weddings, her creativity knew no bounds. She knew the taste of what is should be, she set the prettiest tables, she was a fountain of knowledge, the best Ann Landers or Tia Dely when giving advice to the love lorn, the antsy brides and families of the weds to be, everyday conundrums.

She also opened my eyes to the other world, often leading to weird experiences that we my apo Daniel was singing about ghosts at last Sunday's mass, "ghosts are people too" he marveled. Pshew pshaw says the parents but the one single sentence that we challenge his folks to deny was when he said, "Ghosts have no feet". So mom taught us this not by what she would also say but with the books we read on the paranormal. So we have never been skeptics, and in fact enjoyed our joy rides with her following hearses, going to weird cemeteries, visiting old churches from around town to way up north, adventures.

This is remembering you mom, Gloria Y.Nichols, a giant who stood only 4 feet 10 inches or shorter, but with the name of a mega star in her hey days.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Luau Time

For Bambi's graduation party it will be a luau. What is a Luau? For many of us, we see a roasted pig (but the hawaiianos roast it underground), lots of pineapple and spam. Hahaha. So we will have lechon, the ubiquitous Filipino fiesta feasting food, macaroni salad with pineapple (chicken or tuna? with pickled relish and a bit of this and that, spicy chicken wings (from a Korean grocery)two kids of fruit salad courtesy of Kylie, pineapple upside down cake, mango and strawberry trifle cake, lots of fruit and veggies. Wanted to do a spam sushi but don't have time. Wanted to do this and that but ultimately, we'll just go with the flow, including a chinese pancit. remember, hawaii is a melting pot of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and so many other little ethnicities. we'll see how it goes.

Another Jeff Foxworthy adventure

So I went to this out in the wilderness flatlands area where there were three gigantic bleacher buildings called the Joliet Speedway, three tracks for different races. Underneath were food stalls of americana foodstuff catered by Levy brothers. Funnel cakes, lemonade, corn dogs, Beer, twisted fries, beer, popcorn, beer, burger, dogs, beer. Young and old were there.
Looking down into a muddy track with four giant giant tires as markers, drove in 2 sets of 4 cars, each garishly decorated each team with a single standout color.
Object of the game and bloodlust of the crowd which included boys and girls as young as ...wha???year olds? strollers of infants? fat little 7 year old girls, skinny 4 year old boys, was to see whose lead car could go around the track at least 5 times and survive the onslaught of being mangled, battered and beaten by the other cars. Like quidditch. Protecting the seeker with chasers and beaters. Only the cheers for each banged up and demolished car was like being in a Roman arena.
Interestingly enough, I picked each winning team including the final ones. Cheez, there were no betting booths because, mind you, this was a Family Event!!!

And the kids behind me were yelling loudly, Hey Mr. Popcorn Man, thinking we were all deaf..I whispered an aside, ermmm, they surely teach them young, don't they? And the chubby, red faced little girl (who probably will grow up to be a butangera na taga bayan ng pulang leeg) muttered a "I'll get you for that" when my thrilled companion blurted out that he almost touched the danged beach ball that was making the rounds up and down the stands. She and her little sibling were the loudest in yelling FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT when a scuffled ensued down the pit place. Bloodlust at this early age!

So Foxworthy, I'm earning brownie points for adventuring into the land of your brilliant spiels, and I'm not even a red neck! Still, this is part of americana I never knew existed beyond listening to someone else's stories. Chuck it down to being a tourist in my own back yard. And on to the next red neck adventure.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thursday Night Dinners

Last Thursday, on a whim I made paella, then I had a pork roast and some other stuff. I was rushing as usual, and as I was boiling pasta, watching the paella simmer, and doing multiple tasks, i asked myself why i was doing this. And I realized that it's because I want to push myself to see if I can do it! Get a meal for 17 persons done every Thursday, within a certain amount of time (one hour to 2 tops) as I get home late, and still serve hot meals to my kids and their families. And to test recipes and flavors. I saw Bobby Flay do a paella throwdown, and that's what made me decide on paella for dinner. Came out pretty good even if I only had chicken, chorizo de bilbao and shrimps. Now on to the next Thursday....sotanghon anyone?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jeff Foxworthy Would Be So Proud

It was a surreal experience. I went to what i thought was a traditional American Pig Roast, as opposed to our Lechon frenzies, and I was expecting a big pig like our lechon and American sides, the American sides were there,bbq sauces, mustard, hot peppers, cole slaw, potato salad, pickles,a yummy cool whip with cherries, walnuts and coconut thingamaglob which I actually liked (2 servings since no one was touching it, maybe cuz it's a usual fare for them) lots of sweet roasted corn, right off the grill (sanay ako sa corn naka tatlo pa nga ako). But where's the pig? Why are there crockpots with some shredded gunk? Alas, poor pig, you became pulled pork...

But....looking around the 150 or so people, er, was I the only Asian? Oh hey, there's a token black dude (security guard for the venue) and 3 sets of sheriffs with barely concealed vests....and tons of loaded, well kept shiny big monster Harleys, and lots of tattooed men of all ages in various shades of black, harley t shirts with too many sayings I cannot remember any sa dami, and women in all shapes and sizes, all of them holding red plastic beer filled cups (there was a beer station, they ran out of bottled water but not beer). Two sun darkened men probably in their late 50s dancing all over the place shirtless (and I am ready to barf or die laughing) even getting onto the stage just to jiggle their fat bellies and let the alcohol make them believe they were still in their early twenties....I stuck a stoic look on my face so as not to draw attention to me....
tattoos, studs, girls with their jelly bellies peeping from their short blouses and tees, where was I????

To get there, it was a dirt road hidden away from the well paved highways of the area.
Brooooom brooms went the bikes as they showed off their rides....hey, was that my lawyer there with a bad ass expensive harley? hide hide maridel.

The bands were playing a mix of electrified country and some stones, hey there's achy breaky heart....but unlike pinoys who jump up and dance, only a few were bellying their dance moves aside from the two over grown teeners.

I've seen scenes like this before, on TV and movies, but here I was gob smack in the midst of the whole surreal party. But for a good cause, raised over 4 grand to fund cookie baskets for our troops out there (bring them home).

and as the light grew dimmer, and the mosquitoes were out in full force, it was a great relief to leave this magical(?) americana, thank goodness we were in Illinois and not somewhere else where I could've been part of the Pig roast.....

Friday, April 3, 2009

another thursday night dinner

one daughter decided not to relieve me from work till too late. and then while trying to figure out what to feed the hungry horde, she calls and says the car seat is in her car, another set of minutes i have to i grabbed 3 pounds of shrimp, 3 pounds of longganiza, and chicken breast, then cheated by buying marinated bulgogi and adding another few pounds of thinly sliced beef to extend this, and baby bok choy for last minute veggies...clearly not remembering there are 5 kids who may need soup or pasta or pancit...
so I get home at 6:49 pm and they are all expected within minutes. thank goodness Kylie cooked rice.. Hilabos the hipon, start the longganiza, and then wow, I have time pala! Then I started the bulgogi, nuked the bok choy with oyster sauce...then they tell me James is coming....OMG, so I bring down the pasta pot and slice the boneless chicken breast, garlic, onion and crushed tomatoes with a jar of Bertollis' marinara.
Whew...and we ate and ate and ate...and the kids ate the rice and meat, then pasta.
And of course, they came and ate, and all's well that ends well, whew...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

bits and pieces

So St. Patrick's Day has come and gone.
But I remember my first St. pat's Corned Beef dinner, really promdi..I didn't know their corned beef came in those weird slabs with spice packets....akala ko I'd have to cook at least 8 cans of carne norte....hahahah. Years later, each kids mastered the art of corned beef for St. pat's JB topping it off with wilted cabbage leaves for effect when he served his masterpiece. Bambi does a good one but this year, she followed her mom's advice and had 2 roasted and one boiled for flavoring the cabbage and potatoes, her entire sibling group bravoed the end result. (Note to Sam, boil the root crops to near tender before adding the rest, then your Irish Stew which everyone enjoyed immensely would be more stew instead of pulled meat)
But on St. Pat's itself, on the prodding of sister Patricia, I did one better, had the boiled corned beef with potatoes and cabbage (and I had to pressure cook this because I was short on time and it really worked!!! It would've been 50 minutes per pound so a 4-5 pounder would've been done by 10pm, and instead, I got it to 80minutes and tender) I pulled out the meat and added the potatoes and cabbage to the cooker and then put back the meat..But I did the pinoy version, guisadong corned beef (garlic,tomatoes, onions with corned beef, diced potatoes and shredded cabbage. Came out a good side dish to the dinner and of course...freshly cooked white rice, didn't know which we liked better...hahaha.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Manang Estella

A thin woman, dark skinned but, with a bit of lipstick, one could see the beauty she hid behind toothless cackling smiles. She had always been with GYNichols as far back as I could remember househelp, Estella our labandera.
Mom spent a fortune every few years getting Estella Custodio y Campos, pustisos, and each time after a few uses, she would conveniently hide the beautifully expensive bridges and lose them complaining they were painful. So she was toothless most of the time. Estella had a hard life. Her baby Danny was only a few months old, she lost her husband in a drunken knife fight somewhere. But memorable is that during the funeral, as people were crying and were hovering around her, she felt claustrophobic with all the mourners trying to comfort her, and she also couldn't cry, she was one of those who laughed at a time of crisis. So she leaned on a tombstone cross and of course fell into the newly dug grave. All the while laughing instead of crying, she laughed harder as people were reaching in for her begging her not to follow made for many a laughing moment whenever we would recall this incident. Bony, skinny, black beauty trying to follow her dead husband to the grave, NOT!

And who does she hook up with? One of mom's bread bakers, the complete opposite of black, he came from a mestizo (as in white) family. He must've loved her, bones and all, because they had beautiful children, I cannot remember the count as I know only 4 of them, and happily, or sadly, I have just hooked up with two of them, Linda, always the caring one, meant to watch over the whole brood, and Apple, of her father's eyes, as we used to tease. I thought Estella was pregnant every i know I am missing kids other than Danny and Bobot.
But she was always there, come rain, shine or flood. Doing the laundry, chatting every body up. She also had a nervous tension when we bought our first washing machine, she thought it would take away her job, hahahaha.Once she got the hang of it, did she enjoy it! If she ever found out that here in the esta-te I wore underwear that weren't ironed, she would flip. Towels, dresses, undies and all were washed and pressed every day! She would freak out to know that I hang my clothes instead of doing laundry on them till the chocolate stains were visible and then needed washing. Or that I tried washing and bleached out the kids' clothes, which made the older kids run for the basement to do laundry whenever I said I would do laundry....She would have loved that story.

Estella was always with mom, she held court inviting everyone to our New Year's Day party for the kids in her neighborhood. She loved Fernando Poe Jr and Joseph Estrada, the two main stars of Philippine politics at one time or another. But I am happy to note, that her daughters and sons all were touched by mom's baking empire. Each of them passed through the walls of Rolling Pin learning a trade. Which kept everyone working long after we were gone from Manila. And which kept them in relative comfort so they could take care of Estella. Years of smoking and drinking (was that why she was always happy?) took its toll on her and she developed cirrhosis of the liver. I already warned each daughter to be prepared.

So Estella was waiting for GYN's cremains to come home. But we were not able to do that this year, so the day after GYN's 92nd birthday, I guess, Estella decided to follow mom and report to work, just like old times at 527 Mariano Marcos (159 Ortega). This is my tribute to someone who was a major part of my life, with her funny personality, her trials and travails, and friendship, Manang Estella.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

remembering GYN and my MIL

Today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, King's Cakes and Paczis, eat and be gluttons. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.
But it is February 24 and 25. My MIL Leonor's birthday and GYN's 92nd.
Kylie had a crying jag at mass last Sunday remembering her Lola.
But for GYN, it's all about celebration, commemoration, remembrances. So, in honor of her 92nd birthday, my sister and I will EAT crabs and shrimps, mom's favorite food (it's meatless Wednesday) and share with whomsoever wants to come over.

Our original plan was that Feb 25 would be the day we hold a memorial service and inter her ashes at Manila Memorial Cemetery, have all Rolling Pin employees and friends and family hold a memorial service right before.
But, as it is, maybe mom wants me to go home with Patty to do this.

Mom, as a kudos to you, I have been able to find and reconnect with Menguitos, yes, Eric's kids and Tibol's son, and have been able to share with them memories of dad.
And give my kids a sense of family, having actual first cousins (albeit half).
Miss you mama, and love you. You lived a rich and wonderful life, from the mountains of Baguio to the kitchen cabinets of the Bagatsings and Macapagals, from a vendor of handicrafts to the cake maker to Manila's 500, from being so loved by Clinton Nichols, to being a life-long companion of RSM, I thank you for my being here, for forming most of my philosophies and liberal lifestyle. Wherever you are, happy birthday with love.

Monday, February 2, 2009

what's in your pantry?

For many of us Filipinos, our pantry is a maze of food that in a pinch can help us survive any calamity.
What's in yours? I usually have a few cans of SPAM, CORNED BEEF, VIENNA SAUSAGE, some bottles of tuyo (preserved in oil), cans of tomato sauce, tomato paste, crushed and whole tomatoes for quick pastas, artichoke hearts (AHA a new dish as in boneless skinless chicken breast, the artichoke hearts, lemon juice, some cream, spinach)
some assorted pastas from linguini, fettuccini, elbow macs, rotini, egg noddles, then cream of mushroom soup, refried beans, and a whole assortment of mama sita mixes, and of course, toyo, patis, suka, lea and perrins, sesame oil. There's also rock salt, peppercorns and ground pepper, crushed red peppers, dried and canned mushrooms, sotanghon and bijon noodles, some jambalaya and red beans and rice mixes, turmeric, pinoy saffron or casubha, barbecue sauces, red wine and balsamic vinegars, capers, etc.

The spam, corned beef and vienna sausages come very handy for hungry apos, corned beef rice and spam with whatevers. I also have canned pimento, anchovies, bits and pieces of spices and soup mixes, for just in case, miso paste etc.

Have you checked your pantry (larder) lately? In these tough economic times, or when it's hard to get to the local grocery, a complete meal can be had by all with what's in your pantry.

In a way, I'm proud to note that Anamite, JB and Bambi all have pantries that can make a meal ASAP. I guess the many years of being in Forest Knoll having to forage for merienda food have taught them how to create their own pantry wish lists.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I enjoy pizza but only when it's hot and fresh from the oven. Years ago, we'd drive to south side Connie's and bring guests over for their pizzas, until they started popping up everywhere and we lost interest. Just like Pizzeria Uno now it's everywhere. Lou Malnati's was another favorite and then Giordano's and gino's East (because they take IMS Trade) only after I got over the gaak factor when I saw a vat of pizza sauce fall onto their matting during Taste of Chicago and they scooped it out again back into the auuurgh vat. Took me a long long long long time to try them again. But they do ahve good pizza. Tonnelli's and JP MCCarthy's are dreams of the past as both wonderful places have closed down (JP is still around but not like when it was still JP who run it).
My dream pizza comes from memories of old D'Marks back home, and Cucina Italiana. Every now and then I do get a whiff of that long imagined taste left lingering in my memory's taste buds. So I try searching for that particular pizza. Sliced mozzarella with basil and tomatoes, maybe a bit of olive or sardines or anchovies....

Last night was pizza thursday night dinner. Baker Rigo made me 6 full 16" fresh pizza dough. Kylie stretched it and started making 1/2 sheet pizzas. Her first had sliced mozzarella with italian sausage I browned, pepperoni, shredded pizza cheese, and i snipped basil onto it. Parts of it had mushrooms, some had black olives, some had all components. The next pizza had a garlic and olive oil base before the cheese slices, sliced plum tomatoes with basil(ok a margherita). And the pizza sauce was dei fratelli , used sparingly.

It was a pizza orgy as we all wanted a bit of this and that. Nothing beats fresh pizza dough! So we might do this again and start adding more adventurous toppings (I didn't want to bring out my artichokes, anchovies and whatnots) as I wanted us to start with the basics. Even the kids ate the pizzas specially made for them. Who would think that all of us with our picky tastes could have a slice of whatever we want on the same pizza
Of course, there was the chunky meat sauce served with cavatappi and ziti combined as the other dish. I forgot the salad but we were too into the pizza to care.

And today, at work, we had the last piece of dough with just onions, tomatoes, pizza sauce and cheese, oh and lotsa pepperoni. Still as good as the night before!
With all the trepidation I had in doing pizza at home other than the fast food stuff, 450 degrees and 15 minutes does the trick for a bubbly golden pizza. Amazing.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Comfort Food and cook books

Different weather, different comfort food. Last night I made guisadong monggo with fried pork chops. I never cooked monggo back home, but here, wow, i get to tweak monggo with spinach, smoked pork chops , salt pork at times. I keep reading and re-reading the Maya Mix and Match cookbooks that have weekly menus with our regular Filipino viands and wonder when I will actually cook some of them. In my mind's kitchen I already tweaked most of them. I read about Kulinarya, and am hoping to get someone to buy it for me, but the good old standards I have that are dogeared and worn out are Enriqueta David Perez' cook book (I remember meeting her at one time or another with GYN), Pat Dayrit's Cookbook and of course, Nora Daza's Cooking with Nora and the repro Galing Galing. I hunger for these cook books but find no time to really work on each dish, oh wait, that's what Thursday night dinners are for. Mechado is the next dish. Am still looking for the perfect adobo but have had success with some of the tweaked recipes. Sent the cocido recipe to my BFF Beng V.

But I miss the Mamonluk noodles and siopao during rainy days, and shudder at the thought of crispy pata clogging my arteries but longing for it, tapsilog is just a road trip away. Haven't had kare-kare since auntie porse left, but will find time to get this on the table really soon. Dinuguan is a favorite and have had many versions, am too queasy to cook my own. Palabok, luglug or malabon, whatever, I like them all, but cannot seem to cook these with Mama Sita. Until the next hunger pang and food epiphany, eat well and hearty, as I look forward to seing what is on the potluck table of tomorrow's pinoy party!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

migay at 25

parttime vampire, 4 of 5, lotsa pride for things rainbow, menguito streak even in this netherworld, Ligaya Maria (hey, Ligay is the right name, not our ever present Maria) turned 25 on December 31st. years ago, doctora divina gracia while dancing with les in the delivery room, told me to hurry up and give birth because she was partying that night. and out she came. and into my arms being the only kid in the nursery while the fireworks exploded in the rooftops of rich chinese merchants abounding Banawe. Migz earned a day off, and boy did she party!

another year

as i have always said, from thanksgiving to xmas day, we are never complete because of one or another kid being with an in-law. so January 1st, is my day, our xmas, our gift giving and our tradition.
the Sam and Bambi bells have hosted this event for us since we left forest knoll, and for this we are grateful. cocido, paella, lengua, turkey, baked potato salad (dawn) spinach dip (zebeda) fruit salad (Kylie) assorted chips and dips, drinks, banana cake, leche flan (Bambi) and a ravioli selection (new this year!) stuffed all of us silly. We had standing rib roast for xmas dinner and turkey and ham for xmas eve at the dawn anamas. Jb and Zeb provided the turkey I put in an apple sage brine.

this is our first new year's day without GYN. She, who started this tradition when we were back home. patty and i hosted cake and balloons for the neighborhood slum kids each January 1st. as the word grew, kids lined up in front of our green gate at mariano marcos in san juan as early as 5am hoping to come into our enclave and partake of refreshments, each one scrubbed clean in worn and hand me down clothes, but eager to be inside the "Nichols" residence. as the crowds grew, so did the fare, cake, soft drinks, balloons, games. Then there was Anamite hosting, followed by JB, Bambi and Migay, and this time, the kids from when we started were still there but with their own kids. I can imagine the sense of loss of tradition they felt when mom left Manila for good. Gone was the thrill of having a once a year festivity most specially for these kids who had nothing the whole year and looked forward to a Rolling Pin cake and the toys and games we provided.
So for our US born Kylie, and those who have been added to our growing family, this is why January 1st is important to me and Patty.
As we eat ourselves indecently gluttonously each January 1st, is is really part of the ritual asking for plenty on the table for the whole year. Prayers are said and thank yous and what we look forward tos are verbalized (but we passed this year because it is a private family matter and there were others there and we would have felt like goldfish in a bowl with them cooing "how cute" and listening to our deepest thoughts and petitions)
new year's day looks back at the past, and looks forward to the new year and what it may bring, in hopes that good health and prosperity for all is our most important prayer, we remember our lost loved ones with a moment of silence and then the new year's feasting begins. as i swing back and forth with various verbal tenses, i realize the errors and know my teachers would be rolling their eyes, but hey, this is rambling from my mind's kitchen.

About Me

My photo
wife, mother of 5, lola(grandma)of 5,joined facebook and still wonder why friend, cook, baker, decorator,daughter,sister, Mrs.A'sCupcakes&Cookies Virgo Year of the Snake St. John's Academy 1970 University of the Philippines BSHRA I'm afraid to admit this, but oh well, Jack of all Trades, master of some. Football fan. Totally. Mrs. A's Cupcakes & Cookies, my latest venture.

another year and patty

another year and patty

Trendsetter at 8

Trendsetter at 8
Cooking on live TV with Nora Daza, the Philippines' Julia Child


All Mine!!!

All Mine!!!
Taylor, Maddie, Daniel, Hunter & Lynn

GY Nichols and Grandkids

GY Nichols and Grandkids
looks like lola's birthday

simple elegance

simple elegance

wedding cakes and me

wedding cakes and me
finishing touches


pure joy, returnable at the end of the day

Summa Cum Laude Bambi Bell

Summa Cum Laude Bambi Bell

patty and me

patty and me
another holiday has come and gone

Daniel's 1st Birthday Cake

Daniel's 1st Birthday Cake
labor of love following tradition, merry-go-round