It’s incredible how certain sights, sounds and fragrances/scents can transport you back to a certain time and place. The senses can bring you back to a special moment in time. I find food has a way of doing this. Every now and then, I’ll have a dish that reminds me of simpler times. I relive childhood memories where my Filipino side of the family would gather together for a meal. The kitchen would be bustling with activity. My mom and her sisters would chat away as they wrapped lumpia and siopao in an assembly line fashion.
Those memories will stay with me forever.
I love how my mom and her sisters made food prep a time of bonding. Granted, it was always very loud in the kitchen. Big, hearty laughter and in true Filipino-fashion, everyone talking at the same time! I really love the joie de vivre and being part of a culture that focuses on family, togetherness and traditions.
Having moved away from my family in Montreal and Toronto, I miss those big family get-togethers. I decided to make something that reminded me of my Tita Fely. My Tita Fely is an amazing cook! Filipino cuisine is her forte. How she has the time between being a nurse and cooking amazing food from scratch all the time is beyond my comprehension. She amazes me.
My Tita Fely has always been (in my opinion) one of the people in our family that acts like the glue to hold us all together. This is why dinners at her house have always been special. She cooks from the heart and it is so apparent. Food prepared with love always tastes the best!
Since Hubby is obsessed with Filipino Siopao, I decided to try my hand at making it. There are no Filipino or Asian restaurants or markets on Manitoulin Island, so I had no choice but to make Siopao from scratch.
What was I thinking?!
I have a little secret. I make the worst farmer’s wife because baking bread and making pastry are definitely not my strong suit! Sure, I can bake cakes and cookies, but bread dough and pie crusts have always been my nemesis. Unfortunately for me, Siopao is made with dough that needs to rise. Mine didn’t rise enough.
I’m actually quite proud of my Siopao! Though they aren’t as big and fluffy as my Tita Fely’s the filling is so flavourful! Hubby calls them “Moreish” (as in “you just want to have MORE”)!
I think I’m going to ask my Tita Fely to teach me how to make her Siopao when I visit her next.
You may also be interested in these Filipino recipes:
- Filipino Bistek
- Filipino BBQ
- My Thai version of Filipino Lumpia
- Leche flan
- Tortang Talong
- Misua Soup
- Chicken Adobo