Christmas Cookies

A chef’s Christmas chaos

The “Ber” months are always hectic for most of us. As a chef and writer, these are the months that I really look forward to. Physically, I already started exercising vigorously since the start of the year in preparation for all the food that I will cook, parties that I have to attend and events that I have to cover. There’s always something happening during these months.

And now that December’s here, I feel so sluggish already from all the Christmas parties that I’ve attended. One added pressure is the fact that one of my family’s traditions is for me to cook something to give away as presents to our friends and relatives. My mom wants a “personal touch” when giving gifts. But honestly, my personal touch is getting a bit worn out. Maybe I should just suggest we buy them something pretty in the store instead? Besides, there are so many good items available in the malls that are perfect for gift giving. What do you think?

Yesterday, I was the designated driver of my mom. She “forced” me and my sister to do our own grocery shopping na for the Noche Buena. Yes. My mom gets a little bit excited sometimes with stuff like these. So we obliged and went to SM supermarket and then to S&R.

For this Christmas’ Noche Buena, we’re preparing an all-Filipino feast. We’ve been doing a lot of pasta and Mexican dishes for the past few years, and my sister suggested that we should stick with Filipino this year. I was so relieved because half of what we planned on cooking are all mom’s recipes. So, she can help me in the kitchen.

As a Kapampangan, of course we’ll have dinuguan and puto. There will also be nilagang native na manok. We have chickens at the farm. I’m hoping that one of them will be old enough to cook by the 24th. I’m sure there will also be kalamay na ube. I don’t cook that, my mom gets it somewhere else. Ang hirap kaya magluto noon! It takes a long while to cook it and you have to constantly stir it, and it gets heavier as it cooks.

Fruits are a staple in the dining table, so as all kinds of pastries and candies. It’s our way of giving thanks for a very prosperous year. And besides, we’re celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, so it’s our own way of throwing him a partey-partey!!!

As for me, what’s important is that I’m always thankful for everything that I have and I share it with everyone else. Now, for my own Christmas shopping, maybe I can ask my friends to give me at least until the Chinese New Year before I can give them their presents.

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