I thought I had everything figured out as I approached my late twenties. I decided to move back to the SF Bay Area in order to pursue a life of normalcy. My thoughts of life in New York City for the next 5 years seemed irrationale. I could not fathom the idea of not ever owning a home w/ a backyard. This was a definite sign that my biological clock was ticking. Besides, all of my relatives live in California, so it would’ve been an easy move. Although it was comfortable living a “normal” life in the suburbs of SF, I couldn’t help, but crave walking the street of New York City again. Throughout the two years in Hayward, I became even more obsessed with anything food related. I loved various PBS shows that had such great impact on my thoughts of food, culture, and the way our world has evolved based on mass consumption. Such television series included A Chef’s Story and Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie. Other than absorbing all this knowledge via PBS, I would cook almost everyday with my aunt whom I was living with. She served up many dishes that reminded me of my childhood and there were many times when I expressed, “Oh! I haven’t had this dish since I was 6 years old!”. Whenever there was such gratitude, I would always think of my grandparents. I felt close to them once again.
Today, I walk the streets of New York City once again. This time, refreshed and a good heart in mind. Only positive transformations await.
A month after being in New York City, I started to crave home cooked meals again. During my stay in California, I made sure to take notes while my aunt stirred. As I got older, I started to realize that these home cooked meals are to be cherished years down the road. This is a part of my childhood, but more importantly, a part my culture and I don’t want to lose it.
When I started to crave home cooked meals, I would utilize my aunt’s recipes and put a twist on it. For example, this Pork and Okra recipe is a Vietnamese/Filipino fusion dish. It’s really simple.
Pork and Okra over Rice
1/2 lb of lean ground pork
4 cups of fresh okra (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
1-1/2 tbsp of Barrio Fiesta Sauteed Shrimp Paste [spice or mild] (Filipino base for the dish)
Cook ground pork over high heat until it starts to become dark brown. Add chopped okra. Last, but not least, add sauteed shrimp paste. Stir for about 5 minutes until okra is tender.
Serve over rice.