Chicken Tinola

Recently the Bay Area has been experiencing a cascade of rainy weather, stretched over days at a time. The overcast atmosphere makes me crave comforting, brothy soups like tinola, a chicken-based dish flavored with ginger, garlic, and fish sauce. Tinola is classically prepared with chayote and chili leaves, but I grew up eating it with various mixtures of … Continue reading Chicken Tinola

Hey, Fatboy

1993 – I’m at a family party on my dad’s side in Daly City. My auntie shrieks with delight when she sees me–a ripening six year old. “Hi pamangkin!” she squeals, and proceeds to pinch my cheeks. “So healthy healthy,” she remarks to my parents, referring to their youngest son, who doesn’t comprehend the euphemism. As I help myself to a plate … Continue reading Hey, Fatboy

What’s Been Cooking

Greetings, readers. You may have noticed that I’ve been on a hiatus. For good reason: at the end of the August I was offered the Seniors’ Program Manager position at the Rainbow Community Center in Concord! This opportunity couldn’t have arrived at a better time, because my prior job at In Situ was one of the most brutal, unforgiving, and triggering … Continue reading What’s Been Cooking

My Mother’s Fault

A little more than a week ago my family gathered at my brother John and his partner Peter’s place for my mom’s 68th birthday. Over time their Oakland loft has become a hub for family activity. I volunteered to prepare a kamayan-style dinner for the evening, figuring that it would be a fun way to celebrate and a chance to test … Continue reading My Mother’s Fault