On weekends, I feel doubly inspired to cook for my family from breakfast to dinner and even midnight snack. I have more time to prepare an elaborate meal or a slow-cooked meal and my family has more time to enjoy it on these days. Weekend is also a time in which family members are complete and take their meals at a leisure pace. There is no rush to finish meals quickly. There is more talk, ideas and stories exchanged over meals. Weekends are also allotted for get-togethers or reunions. Glorious food brings family, relatives and friends together. When catching up with family and friends, it is usually done over food (breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or coffee, dinner and nightcap).
It has been a tradition for my family to have special meals on weekends. My mom used to cook her specialties and our favourites on these special days. I remember when I was little; our Saturdays would be all about home-cooked meals. Fried rice, sunny side-up and dried fish would be served for breakfast. Then lunch would be a pork dish like Dinuguan, Callos, Meatloaf and Pot Roast, etc. My mom would cook everything from scratch. My brother, Monch, and I would usually help her in preparing the snacks that range from guinataan (mais and halo-halo), turon, bananaque, camoteque, biko, maja blanca, halo-halo, mais con hielo, saba con hielo, arroz caldo, champorado, pansit, palabok and pizza. Dinner would be usually a beef dish – Beef Puchero, Bulalo, Kaldereta, Mechado or Kare-Kare. Every meal would be ended with a dessert. My mom would serve a fruit salad or mango tapioca or pudding or ube halaya or leche flan or ice box cake.
When I think about it, I don’t know how my mom had done it. Serving special meals on weekdays and extra special food on weekends, and taking care of a husband and five kids would exhaust any ordinary person. But I think my mom did it because she loved us so much, wanted to express her love through good food and wanted to make our family much closer. So, I imbibed this food culture and tried to continue the tradition of weekend cooking in my own family.
The food served during weekends can be anything from simple to fancy, but prepared always with much love and thoughtfulness for family members to enjoy. Weekend cooking is putting an extra care and effort to bring smiles to the faces of your loved ones.
Cheers to weekend cooking!