Barbara Costikyan  once said that in the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom.

Well I’d like to add quite on that in my case. There’s a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot, a dad’s stories and a mom.

The whole world knows that my mom is a good cook. Blame it to her dishes and never-ending foodie experiment why I got this big tummy.

No one will dare to argue that perhaps other than my mother’s charming smile and heart-melting patience, she probably has won my father because of her lip-smacking cooking.

This scrumptious dish is a family favourite. My father Rodrigo would call this apan-apan, a dish authentic among Ilongos like him. However, the real apan-apan has shrimp-paste in it which my brother didn’t quite like. The dish he served us was more like adobo.

My parent Candelaria and Rodrigo when it comes to kitchen were like teams in the prominent cooking show Master Chef. They were both busy in the kitchen while they raise us and so were our stomachs.

The smell of vinegar simmering in a pan of river spinanch or kangkong with an ample slices of onions and garlic brings me to the days when my dad would set up a table in the front porch and pour a glass of a cold pilsen beer. He would then happily cut the kang kong stems by three inches.

My mother was not allowed to move any of his preparation because my dad wants it in a Rodrigo way- the right amount of vinegar, the mixture of seasonings. Adobong Kangkong was indeed my dad’s pride and it was his greatest reward seeing us all complete in a dining table, happily eating his special made-adobong kangkong.

Round the sound of wrestling spoons and plates were my dad’s stories and tales.

Growing up, I realized that those meal times whenever my dad would knock and call me from my room were the moments I would not trade for than any desserts in the world. Those Sunday dinners while he tells us his life stories were so far to me, the sweetest food experience. I may never indulge in that again but I can always cherish those memories so long as there’s river spinach I can cut to make an adobong kangkong-the Rodrigo way.

By: Cheng Gonzales



04/10/2014 6:56pm

reading this, i remembered the movie " ratatouille". "ANYONE can cook". I so love apan-apan...

05/29/2014 6:32pm

hahahahhha teary eyed. haist. oh papa.

10/23/2016 1:51pm

Chinese cuisine has a long history, famous all over the world. Chinese cuisine has developed and matured over the centuries, forming a rich cultural content It is characterized by fine selection of ingredients, precise processing, particular care to the amount of fire, and substantial nourishment. Local flavors and snacks, and special dishes have formed according to regions, local products, climate, historical factors, and eating habits.

11/21/2017 10:36pm

Such a delicious vegetable recipe it is, would love to try it.


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