Every Filipino family holds an heirloom recipe passed from one generation to another. These recipes have brought blessings to the family who can keep, treasure, and share it.
These heirloom recipes are products of the labor of love of people who discovered something with a deep longing to serve a kind of food that will bring so much joy to their loved one.
A lot of stories have been written about successful restaurants run by families who earned great fortune because of heirloom recipes.
I am not a food expert but a daughter who loved to watch my mother’s cooking from simple blanched veggies, adobong pata, tinolang manok and even adobong palaka caught from our farm in the town of Narra, Palawan.
My curiosity about food and my silent passion about it became apparent when I had to squeeze my brain cells on how to create something to satisfy my children while they were growing up. Thanks to my mother and my Tita Mayette Flotildes who taught me kitchen skills.
My mother taught me the creativity of making something new from usual. My aunt, on the other hand, taught me kitchen management- making meal plans, and the right way to cut shallots, tomatoes, and garlic.
I grew up in a poor family in Narra. My father was a farmer and my mother was a plain housewife. I was so blessed with loving parents who, despite our being poor, did their best to make us feel okay and rich ( because richness is a matter of mindset).
One of the recipes that my mother taught me is native chicken dinuguan. We had a lot of native chickens roaming all over our place in the past. Because of their abundance, we usually cook tinola or adobo. We like the taste of chicken meat. Each of us in the family even had our favorite part. I like the wings and liver, my father loved the feet and breast, my brother particularly liked the thighs and my youngest sibling, the picho.
We were surprised one day when my mother served us dinuguan na native chicken. It was very delicious and full of flavors. From then on, this recipe has become the center of every special occasion. My fondest memory was when we kept it from guests because what we had was very limited.
Growing up, this recipe is always in our hearts. We will treasure this because it was my mother who labored to create something for us. We will pass this on to our children and family.
Do you have heirloom recipes? Share it with us and we are willing to go to your place and publish it here at Tara, Luto Tayo!