OR maybe call this “a journey?” This week has been filled with days of spring cleaning.
My nephew Polonggoy came up to me. “Oh, I didn’t know you could do spring cleaning in the rainy season.”
I started lecturing him about the idiom when I noticed he was smiling from ear to ear. OK, good joke.
It was no joke, however, plowing through years of treasures: Books, photographs, letters, trinkets and even stuffed toys long forgotten by now grown up me and loved ones.
A white stuffed rabbit cocked its scruffy right ear as if to ask what we, Tita Blitte, Donna and I, were doing.
I answered Peter the Stuffed Rabbit, “I’m just clearing away things we no longer need, buddy.”
“What!? After years of keeping you company, calming your fear of lightning and reassuring you that you’re never going to be alone, you will discard me just like that!?”
A feeling washed over me like a warm bath as pleasant memories returned.
Sentimental value they call it, this intangible price on objects that instantly push the replay button of Memory.
The three of us marked three boxes that simplified our choices: Keep, give away and discard. We felt that whatever we decided on, someone would be happy, even with those objects we deemed trash. It is said that someone’s trash is another’s treasure.
Peter the Stuffed Rabbit’s fate fell into the keep box because of the treasure of memories he gave me, but no harm done to the other toys. They found new homes.
It was an emotional as well as joyful exercise as we sifted through the years.
My aunt found a notebook full of recipes in her mother’s handwriting. Her mom, my Lola Awu, liked to cook and constantly collected recipes, even the basic or simple ones. They fed us well.
ALIVE AND COOKING. My aunt allowed me to share some of Awu’s recipes in hopes it would bless others and keep our grand matriarch’s memory “alive and cooking,” as my aunt put it. Here are some of them:
BANANA PASTILLAS. Have on hand six cups pureed cardava or sab-a bananas, two and a half cups refined sugar, one tablespoon flour, one tablespoon butter or margarine.
Mix the banana puree, sugar, flour and butter. Cook in medium fire until thickened. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan and cool. Slice into logs and wrap with waxed paper.
BINANGKAL. You will need three cups of all-purpose flour, two teaspoons baking powder, two egg yolks, one and a half cup sugar, two tablespoons oil, 2/3 cup evaporated milk, one teaspoon vanilla, and sesame seeds.
Mix dry ingredients, then make a well at the center. Add the liquid ingredients to make the dough.
Make two-inch balls, dredge in sesame seeds and deep fry till golden brown. Oh, tasty memories!