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Cooking with Mama


She get it from her mama!

She get it from her mama!

My mama always said that when you cook with a happy heart, then your food will make others happy.  She must have always been happy because I love her food!  Some of the happiest times I’ve had in the kitchen were with my mother- well, except for those times she’d let the crabs loose on the kitchen floor!  For Mother’s Day, reflect on the times that you’ve shared in the kitchen together and plan for some quality time for you to do some cooking with mama.

The first time I can ever remember cooking was with my mom, of course.  I was about 5 years old and I was sitting at the dinner table helping to prepare lumpia.  We had other female family members around rolling the eggrolls, including my grandma and my aunt.  We spent hours together making my favorite dish that would later be devoured in minutes.  I felt it was a privilege to be helping out with such a task.  They showed me the proper way to place the filling and roll it up, then seal it up like an envelope, which was my favorite part.  My lumpia looked nothing like my mom’s; hers were rolled up perfectly and mine looked like floppy mess.  Yet, she still encouraged me to continue, putting my rolls to the side so she can fry them separately from the rest.  It was my own special batch of lumpia.

The other night, I called my daughter over to the dinner table to help me prepare lumpia.  Coincidentally, it’s also her favorite dish.  But just how my mother showed me how to roll the perfect lumpia, I also want to teach my daughter so that she knows the time and effort that goes into making each piece.  I love spending quality time in the kitchen with her.

When my daughter was just a baby, she’d sit in her high chair while I made eggs for her.  Then during her toddler years, I’d let her loose in the bottom cupboards where she’d find new uses for pots, pans, and Tupperware.  The music that she made with those pot lids might have been an earache for most people, but for me, it meant that she was there with me in the kitchen, watching me make my magic.  Now, I try to get her to help me in any way that she can, from making rice, to washing veggies, to rolling sushi.  Thankfully, she’s now at that age when she can wash dishes!

Cooking with mama, or other motherly figures, can provide the most important lessons learned in life.  I’ll always know how much water to add to rice because of her!  Everyone should learn how to cook somewhere, and what is better than learning from the woman who first fed you?  If you didn’t have the time together in the kitchen as a child, it’s never too late to start now.  And if you haven’t done it in awhile, tell your mother that you’d like to prepare your favorite dish together.  It could be some great bonding time that starts with happy hearts and ends with happy stomachs.

Some mamas aren’t quite the chef, or, she might not cook in ways that match with your current diet.  For instance, my mom used to cook with MSG, and now she’s MSG-free because I schooled her on the negative effects of the additive.   Your mom can learn something from you too!  If you’re in need of recipes, M.I.S.S. GDK shares some wholesome homestyle Italian dishes that she learned from her mama in the appropriately titled M.I.S.S. column, Mama’s Kitchen.

Check out these recipes from her mama’s kitchen.  We’ve got you covered from sauces, to pasta, to dessert!

I could definitely show my mom how to make Italian spaghetti because she’s been doing it the same way for years: Filipino-style with sugar and hot dogs!

What do you cook with your mom?

Oh, and I can’t forget, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there!

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One Response to “Cooking with Mama”

  1. YES on so much of this! I know exactly how much water for rice to add (was so proud when I could eyeball it) and I never was patient enough to roll lumpia just right, but it was those moments in the kitchen that count.

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