Allow me to introduce myself and tell you a little about me, and how this blog came about. My name is Ana, a Filipina, living in Manila, Philippines – a home cook and baker. As a young girl, I was more interested in cooking than playing with dolls or coloring books. I believe my love for it started when I was in the second grade. I discovered a “bahay kubo” in one of the smaller gardens of our school campus.
The play house really piqued my curiosity as I have never seen one before. I vividly recall seeing another girl playing inside, and I patiently waited a few feet away, pretending to be interested in the surrounding garden. I was so excited to see what was in that house! Soon after, the girl playing inside left, and I dashed in to begin my exploration. As I entered, I saw that it had a small kitchen with claypots called “palayok(s)”, and I spent the rest of recess break inside that “bahay kubo”. I found myself coming back everyday, visiting that kitchen doing the same thing – pretending to cook. Eventually, I came home and asked my parents if I could have a “palayok” of my own, as I really wanted to try cooking real food in them. I don’t know how they did it, but I was surely the happiest girl seeing so many in our kitchen soon after. My dream of cooking with those claypots came true! Sadly, after a few attempts, I realized that my imagination was far greater than my skill level. They probably all ended up in a place where a group of men would come and pick up bags in front of your house in a big truck in the wee hours of each morning.
Christmas was coming soon, and I found myself writing Santa to give me an “Easy Bake Oven”. I needed to make sure I would get one after the “palayok” incident. A big box under the Christmas tree had my name and my excitement grew! The size and shape of that box surely told me it was the oven that I wanted! It couldn’t be anything else. But just to be sure, I secretly nipped out a portion of the wrapper at the bottom part of the box. (A side story – The apple really does not fall far from the tree, as I saw some gifts that had rips on the sides as well when it was my turn to be a mom!) My tiny cakes were a hit! It was loved by everyone at home, including all our helpers. Every weekend was a real treat for me as I would be able to get more of those prepared packets to bake. The simple process of combining water to the pre-mixed powder was the only procedure needed to be done before pouring the batter in a pan that came with the baking set. It was then cooked using the heat of a lightbulb in a plastic oven. It guaranteed the user no burns, (either on the cake or one’s skin), therefore, very child-friendly. If there was such a thing as knowing how to feel like a three-star Michelin Chef then, that’s how I felt preparing and serving those mini cakes!