I cannot fathom the impact of my father’s death in my life. I am inherently sentimental. However, when he died I cannot even explain the intensity of how my being such has duplicated a million folds over. I look at one corner of our house, and it is him that I remember. That is all him. My father… in my heart and soul… a memory. A wonderful memory. And all the small things make me cry.
Dried fish (bulad in our native language).
To you it is an article of food that you can eat with rice. Dipping it with an overly fermented vinegar a.k.a. super sour, makes it more extra. To me? It brings me down memory lane. When my father was strong, funny, calm, vibrant, and alive. When he cannot stifle his boisterous laughter. I do not know how many times he told us about this particular food associating it with a foreign nationality (that I will not mention). It is not a bad story or something to qualify as cultural appropriation. Please do not get me wrong.
My father loved bulad paired with hot chocolate (tsokola-te) made from pure tablea with steamy hot rice or bahaw. Some would pour the hot tsokolate into their rice. Papang would just takes swigs inbetween munching on rice and bulad, until he gets another cup. I can still imagine the looks of him while he indugles the whole set of food on his plate and his cup. He ate like it was his last.
He would then tell us a story. A story that makes me more miss him not only everytime I eat bulad but just every single day. It makes me realize how a single story connects people specially parents and their children.
His story: He was a cook on a cargo ship. He was about to fry the dried fish for the officers when one officer said, ‘No, already cooked by the sun.’ They would then eat it with their soup. He did not have a hard time preparing food for this particular set people because they are not meticulous and demanding.
It is devoid of depth. I know. The story is just simple. However, thinking about it reminds me of when my father was still alive. It was a connection he unconciously made with me, that I will forever cherish.
Now, dried fish is not only something that I will partake. But it will constantly remind me of the life my father lived.
Omelet is beaten eggs cooked without stirring and served folded (Merriam Webster online dictionary). It is cooked in a frying pan until firm, often with a filling added while cooking (Google dictionary). What makes it rolled? While it is not rocket science to guess, it is very tedious to make. It is easy to watch, but when I tried making it, I completely failed at all of my attempts. Please find below exhibit A. It is better than the previous ones I made, at least.
To the rest of the world, maybe an omelet or a rolled omelet is a breakfast or to solid egg fanatics, it is a staple or to Korean food enthusiasts, it is the ultimate side-dish, but to me, it carries a lot of memories. It links me to my childhood, the extra happiness it would bring whenever my father comes home from a long sojourn abroad. Before I start my semi-sob story, I want to share the photos below: (These might help those who are in a calorie deficit)
These information pertain to the regular plain omelet. If you are going to add fillings (or feelings, if you love puns hahaha), the nutrition count will surely vary. In most of the video tutorials I watched they use green onions, carrots, red bell pepper, etc… I love mine with canned tuna (that’s an additional omega-3s etc…) or cabbages (fiber, vitamin k, vitamin c, folate, manganese, etc…) or tomatoes (lycopene, beta carotene, naringenin, etc…). I also love adding milk to the beaten eggs for extra fluffiness. (sources will be indicated at the bottom of the page)
You can add anything you like. Just be careful with the amount as it might overcrowd the mixture and change the texture of the eggs and once you start cooking it, you will have a hard time rolling it. Trust me, I have tried and tested it just a few days ago. I just forgot to snap a photo. It was a major failure. I guess it is true that we learn from our mistakes, because I did in mine.
Rolled omelet catapults me to when I was little and my father comes home for a few months after months and months (if not a year-long) stint aboard a ship as a chief cook. He would cook it, every morning. He knew that at that time I could not stand onions or any other food articles that taste vegetable or herb in my food so he would cook a plain one and prepare something else to pair it with, like cooked ham, or hotdogs. I remember the day he told me what the dish is called. I knew that somehow, he was trying to impress me (to make up for the lost time) by introducing me to the food he knew I could not have because of my mother’s limited cooking skills. I did not bother about the name or the process, then. I did not have to do the cooking, anyway. All I ever had to do was eat. Do not get me wrong, I had a great relationship with my father even if he was away most of the time. He made sure that I felt his presence despite the distance and absence. All I am saying is, as a young girl who loved eating (not young anymore now, but still loves eating just the same), I had to focus on how delicious the food is, instead of knowing its name. I kid. I kid. I remember asking a friend what she ate for breakfast so that if she asked me back, I could tell her that I had rolled omelet and she would wonder what it was. Tryna be sowsyal! Yah knaw! LOL
Fast forward to maybe two years ago from today (I cannot remember exactly when), I cooked a rolled tuna omelet for him and my mother, and he said that it was already perfect even if it looked nothing like what I was trying to make. That was the last time I cooked a rolled omelet for him because he already succumbed to CA August of 2020.
Even before he died, during the time I was away from them, whenever I eat a rolled omelet, wherever, I would remember him. The dish reminds me of him.
Now, even if he is not with me anymore, through rolled omelet, I could easily go back to; when he was still young, alive, and strong, when I would count the days of when he was coming home when he would laugh at his own silly jokes, when we were happy and when he would cook rolled omelets for me. It makes me forget that he is gone. It keeps him alive.
My only goal is to finally make a perfect one, as one of my ways to commemorate his wonderful life.
McGrane, K. MS, RD (2020, November 6). Is Canned Tuna Good for You, or Bad?. Healthline. Accessed 29 January 2022 <https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-canned-tuna-healthy>
Kubala, J. MS, RD (2017, November 4). 9 Impressive Health Benefits of Cabbage. Healthline. Accessed 29 January 2022 <https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cabbage>
Bjarnadottir, A. MS, RD (2019, March 25). Tomatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Healthline. Accessed 29 January 2022 < https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/tomatoes>
(Imported from my Tumblr account. Originally posted on 16th of April 2021; 7:27 p.m.)
I have been trying to find the kind of focus and fervor to finally start writing
(and hopefully, get the chance to pitch it to the world). I used to start up a blog and eventually be halted by some internal forces I couldn’t even resist (I used to think that they are external). I had to end even if I have not even started yet. This pandemic and the one-after-another virtual job rejections, and all the other lessons in the past that I haven’t thought of before but my plight has made me remember, have finally made me realize that blogging isn’t about being perfect in terms of grammar or organization of content or all other things that may entail appeal on aesthetics, but the courage to still find the beauty in all of my imperfections and express it through writing. I have finally decided to focus on myself and how I would like to express it regardless of how I would be perceived by the rest of the world. I am going to write until my mind runs out of words to speak through my capering fingertips. From now on, I am going to let loose of the shackles that I’ve inflicted myself from and start enjoying my liberty in coming up with even the weirdest of ideas. After all, life is too short to dwell on chasing perfection that is non-extant.
On a different note…
I used to think that Stephanie Meyer’s claim of dreaming of something and conveying the same through, no less, the book Twilight, is a publicity stunt they plotted for the gains. Well, guess what? I am retracting that because dreams could be the best source of ideas; creative factory. I have been having weird dreams where a concept for a book could be derived from. Just with enough inspiration and hardwork who knows, I could turn all of those dreams into one best-selling book (dream on! LOL). Thanks to Stephanie for sharing her story.
My journey to the freelance world is not a joke. I spent seven months of ardent submission of applications, constant rejections, and earnest prayers before I finally landed a job. It pays well. It may not be like the other freelance jobs, but it pays better than my previous jobs. Plus, having a kind and understanding Manager makes it more worth the wait. However, as I slowly settled into the niche, I realized that I had to do more and be more. Not to sound too ambitious or anything, but I want to learn new things, and if luck permits, it could bring a whole new level of excitement to my journey and a constant burst of opportunities from all around the Philippines and the world. Can I say, in the universe? Uh, that’s too much. LOL
I tried looking for a part-time job that will (or might) catapult me into the realm that I want to explore, but yes, you guessed it right, rejections after rejections. Honestly, I have no skills that could catch the attention of employers. I know that I am great, and I could be great at anything, but selling myself is another story. Long story short, nobody wants to open a door for me. What will one do if the odds aren’t in her favor? Sulk and wallow in misery and desperation? Or open her door? I chose the latter.
I have decided to learn Content Marketing to widen my horizons. Aside from believing how important it is to grow and learn, I also need to make ends meet. I need to improve our cash flow. I need to give my family the life that they deserve. Sometimes, the evil would lure me into thinking that I am too old for this, but this site is the living proof that I have successfully rebuked the bad guy. Nothing can stop me now.