The pandemic has given families ample time to spend together, but it has also made busy moms even busier. For a single mom like me, the struggle is real.
It has been a real juggling act for me to do my daily work, assist my son with his online classes and, of course, get a good, healthy meal on the table three times a day.
Meals, however, are more than just fuel for me and my 10-year-old son Nathaniel. Meals are our bonding time, our time to connect, to catch up, talk about the new games he tried, the new books he finished, and have lengthy conversations which mostly start with “Mama, did you know” or “My teacher said.”
So with the pandemic making my normal routine even busier, I went for my trusted recipes, and they work all the time. I even encouraged my son to help me with dessert on certain occasions.
Here are a couple of recipes you may want to try when you are pressed for time:
Crispy Pork Adobo, Bisaya-style
1 kg pork belly
½ c vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 c water
1 pinch black pepper
1 tsp seasoning
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 pc dried bay leaf
½ c cooking oil
Vegetables on the side, like cabbage or slices of carrots or tomatoes
In a pan, mix together all the ingredients. Bring to a boil and let it simmer. Stir occasionally. When the liquid is close to drying out, transfer the pork on a platter and pour the cooking oil on the now empty pan.
Once the cooking oil is hot enough, start frying the pork until all the pieces are golden brown. Make sure you deep-fry the pork so you can get that crispy pork skin texture.
Use long tongs to flip the pork and make sure you cover the pot with a splatter screen.
Once the pork is golden brown and crispy, remove from the pan and arrange in a plate lined with paper towels. Let the pork cool down to room temperature and transfer it to another platter with vegetables on the side.
Serve with soy sauce and lemon or calamansi.
Our meals are never complete without dessert and here’s one Nathan and I make together: blueberry cheesecake. Blueberry cheesecake is one of his favorite desserts and, last year, I was too scared of buying at a café or asking someone else to make it for us, so we had to learn.
After a few tries, we went with this recipe:
No-bake Blueberry Cheesecake
1 c melted butter
2½ c crushed graham crackers
1 can Nestlé cream or any all-purpose cream
1 can condensed milk
1 block American Heritage
Traditional cream cheese (You can use your preferred brand, but after trying several cream cheeses, we found we like this brand the best.)
Melt butter and mix it with the crushed graham crackers. Add 2 tsp of condensed milk. Set aside.
Mix the cream, condensed milk and cream cheese until smooth.
In a container, layer the graham cracker-butter-condensed milk mixture then add the cream cheese mixture. Chill in the refrigerator. Add blueberries on top before serving.
The author is a journalist.
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