Foodie Musings

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I believe 2 things influence the way I cook for my family and myself. Unang-una, Ilocano at Batanguena ang mga magulang ko. That fact triggers different kinds of comments from ridiculous to outrageous and hilarious. So just imagine the way I cook. Hahaha go figure.

Seriously, both of them are wonderful cooks in their own special way. Dad, an accountant, is kind of meticulous while Mom is more adventurous with ingredients. They managed a carinderia for years, more of a hobby than an income-generating business venture. Don’t get surprised; there were times when I did the cooking.

Having lived abroad independently since my early 20s is also a major factor. That means no maid, no cook and exposure to cultural diversity through food. Youth may be synonymous with fun but, looking back, it was never about cooking for survival. It was being responsible with what gets into your system and enjoying it at the same time. That also included being able to adapt and appreciate prevailing food culture.

I don’t think I have strong preference for a particular food. We all have certain recipes – our comfort food and some may call specialty which we make over and over again. But the reality is that they are never enough. There is always room for learning and improvement. And I am one that isn’t afraid to try new things and experiment.

I wrote the above hoping I could win some goodies from Munchkin Mommy.
Joke! But as the saying goes, jokes are half meant. Hahaha!

ISKAndals wishes Cafe Munchkin a happy birthday!

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

2 thoughts on “Foodie Musings

  1. iska! thanks for joining my little palaro! haha! :) like you, living abroad put me in a position where i had no choice but to cook. and i realized that i liked it! :) but you are way ahead of me kasi you started cooking since your mom and dad started a karinderia. what an interesting combination of influences ha…ilokano and batangeno cooking! :)

    good luck, iska! again, thank you for joining! :)

    Munchkin Mommy´s last blog post..Tuna and Cream Cheese Maki

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