I lost both my grandmothers this year, a most heartbreaking year. Charito and Lydia were two very special women who had three big things in common: love, faith and food.
My lolas were excellent cooks, each with her own repertoire of deliciousness—Lola Charit and her potage, relleno, paella and champorado, and Lola Lyd and her seemingly bottomless pot of adobo, morcon, lengua and spaghetti.
They both loved to feed people, Lola Lyd especially so. I continue to marvel at how she managed (and not just managed but thrived) cooking for multiple households at the age of 84, sending dishes off to relatives and friends regularly.
When they died two-and-a-half months apart, one of my many thoughts was, “Oh no! Their recipes! We need to carry them on.”
So imagine my thrill when I found among Lola Lyd’s things a big envelope with the word “Charito” written with her trademark black Pentel pen and punctuated with the hearts she likes drawing beside our names. Inside the envelope were some of Lola Charit’s beloved recipes that Lola Lyd had kept all these years.
What a gift. And it’s a gift I’d like to share with you from my grandmothers. Here are some of those recipes:
Lola Charit liked serving this pink-hued salad on Sundays, while Lola Lyd was known to make big, big batches that she kept in small containers in the fridge for snacking on anytime, any day, and for sending to people she liked.
1 kg potatoes, boiled and diced
4 pc big apples, diced
1 chicken breast, boiled and diced
¼ kg live shrimps (suahe), boiled and diced
1 pc carrot, boiled and diced
¼ kg sugar beets, boiled and diced
2 c mayonnaise
4 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp calamansi juice
A little salt
Mix the dressing first before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Sure hit itong dressing na ito, tried-and-tested ko ito!
A delicious seafood soup that was also often served on Sundays.
½ kg shrimp
6 pc alimasag1 kg clams
2 cans Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup
2 raw eggs, beaten
1 big red pepper, diced
1 big green pepper, diced
1 big onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 big carrots, diced
2 stems of leeks, chopped
2 stems of celery, chopped
1½ c Alpine evaporated milk
Boil clams in water. Remove clams and reserve the liquid. Throw away the half shell of clams.
Boil alimasag and reserve the liquid. Remove crab and cut into halves.
In a deep casserole, saute garlic and onion. Add cubed carrot, one-inch pieces of celery and leeks. Put all the reserved broth and the mushroom soup into the casserole. Add water if desired. Add evaporated milk. Add eggs. Lastly, add the seafood pieces. Thicken with cornstarch if desired.
6 cloves garlic
2 egg yolks
1 c olive oil
½ can anchovies
1 Tbsp calamansi juice
1 tsp mustard
Crispy fried bacon
Wash lettuce and dry. Set aside.
For the dressing: Use wooden bowl and spoon and mix only in one direction.
With back of spoon, crush garlic on side of bowl. Add the egg yolks and mix well. Add mustard and mix well. Little by little, add olive oil and mix. Continue mixing until olive oil is consumed and mixture has the consistency of mayonnaise. Add mashed anchovies and calamansi juice and mix well.
Add lettuce to the bowl and toss in the dressing. Add parmesan cheese, croutons and fried bacon pieces and toss again.