The first episode of my journey through time takes place in my grandparent’s garden. When I was growing up, my grandparents took care of me when my parents were at work. Who needs daycare when your own grandparents can take of you? My Lola and Lolo had this beautiful garden. My grandparent’s garden was their mini secret garden, similar to what you see in movies. They treated their garden as if it was their third child. I remember Lola saving egg shells for the garden and always asking me to crush them and place them in a plastic container. The fact that I was given permission to crush something was already a thrill on it’s own. Honestly, at that age I didn’t know why I had to crush egg shells. As a child, I had thought it was used for aesthetic purposes. Come to find out, it’s an organic pest repellent for slugs and deers.
She would then take me out to the garden and she would sprinkle eggshells all over the garden before the flowers started to bloom. So it just looked egg shells over dirt, nothing pretty. I remember this job didn’t last long for me so she gave me this toy leaf blower to keep me busy and looking at the photo, I also seemed to use it as a prop when she conducted photo shoots. To be honest, the only thing I liked about the toy leaf blower was the sound it made.
The recipe that connects to my memories in the garden is pancit canton. “Pancit” translated from Filipino into English is noodle. Apparently, this is a noodle dish that you would have for special occasions like birthdays. However, I had this dish regularly for dinner growing up. Pancit canton is closely related to lo mein. This dish is full with mix vegetables, chicken, and chinese sausage. Basically panict canton is lo mein from the take-out restaurant on steroids to the fifth degree.
You might be wondering how I got from talking about my memories of the garden to a noodle dish. Well, when I first made the dish, it didn’t look pretty at first. I cooked everything separately and on it’s own it didn’t look appetizing, but when I combined it all together, the dish came to life and has a character of its own. Our life is like a garden. When preparing a garden, it may not look attractive, with eggshells scattered everywhere. The beginning of a garden is just like when we have plans for ourselves, when it may not look great at first. Sometimes the chaos in our life muddles our garden, causing our plans (or flowers) not to bloom. More importantly, we have plans bigger than ourselves that we don’t fully see, but when we are patient our plans will blossom into a beautiful garden.
Until the next chapter…