The new school year has started
IN MY BASKET - Lydia D. Castillo (The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2018 - 12:00am

While school cafeterias offer snacks and meals, there are children who prefer home-cooked food.

And so has the usual chore of preparing baon, food for the young graders to take to school. Uniforms, shoes, bags, books and notebooks, pens and pencils are all ready. Yet there is one thing that must be prepared daily, in time for the schooler to take to class – the baon in a lunch box. While school cafeterias offer snacks and meals, there are children who prefer home-cooked food. Snacks usually consist of some chichirias, but it is best to give substantial food stuff. We suggest a banana or apple be included in the baon.

There are a few home-based suppliers of ready-to-bring and ready-to-eat food. Thankfully most of them are available by cell phone, an effective marketing tool now efficiently employed by enterprising homemakers. They even maintain a list of friends and neighbors who need their help, considering they know it is not very easy to plan on a daily basis. While the bakeshops are good sources for baon food, these new women entrepreneurs do not require a drive to a selling place. They deliver.

In our village, there is this Japanese lady, Yumiko, who makes a variety of breads and who sends messages to stay-at-home moms and yayas with a list of her daily products. Orders are normally delivered at 3 p.m. We have become a regular customer not only for baon bread but for our breakfast food as well. She has a different selection every day. We particularly like those that have fillings of egg salad, garlic and tomato, ham and cheese. Prices range from P35 to P45 each. She also produces different flavored pan de sal from P75 to P120 a pack of 12. Check your neighborhood. In all probability there is one such lady living in your area.

Our price watch revealed that the cost of native garlic has not gone down. It is still sold at P310 a kilo. The Taiwanese import is now tagged at P110 a kilo. Actually, the local produce has more ‘kick,’ so we still use it for dishes that require strong flavor, like adobo. We had a cook who would add sugar to adobo. This to us is not wise because sugar takes away the blended taste of vinegar and soy or salt. Now our new cook adds beaten egg to sarsiado, a Bicol version. Again, this is not acceptable.

There are different mixes for a variety of dishes in the market. Recently we found one for ginataang gulay, which was good for sitao (string beans) and kalabasa (squash). Actually, food manufacturers that produce mixes have been a great help to home cooks.

All that is needed is to open a packet and voila! a tasty dish comes out! We still go for Mama Sita’s kare-kare mix.

Yet there is nothing like preparing food from scratch, which brings out the best in a home cook.

Cook a good meal today!

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