The COVID-19 pandemic and community quarantine have indeed affected many lives and families. Despite this, many of us can still be considered lucky as they get to stay in the comfort of their own homes and make a living to feed their families.
This is why many individuals these days take the initiative to spend time with their loved ones and show how grateful they are for being safe and healthy. (LOOK: Andi Eigenmann Has These Tips to Making Your Kids Eat Vegetables)
For Chef Jackie Ang-Po, the best way to spend time with her husband and two kids is through food. The celebrity chef, endorser, and café owner shares with My Pope her stories of how she makes sure to create dishes that her family loves, how her kids are trying their hand in the kitchen with her, and how she makes sure to have a family meal every day.
Do you think it’s important to eat together as a family?
Yes! I insist on my husband and kids that we have dinner together every night, despite our different schedules and activities. Eating at the dinner table is the only time we can discuss things and just have conversations about anything.
Do you involve your children in planning and cooking?
Yes, most of our food is centered on what Kylie and Joaquin like. At home, we have the usual Filipino fare of adobo, fried chicken, and sinigang. (Read: Adobo Challenge: Fun Twists to an All-Time Filipino Favorite) On days when I have more time, we get to prepare more elaborate food. And on days when time is lacking, we turn to easy stews like beef stew or dishes with soup. We usually go for one-pot food on really busy days.
How do you feel when cooking for loved ones?
I feel excited. It is a learning process for my children to love food and to appreciate that what we have is always more than what other people have on their tables. And that especially since their mom is a chef, they even get to eat gourmet food at home. (Read: Cardinal Tagle’s Favorite: Nanay Mila’s Pinangat na Sapsap Recipe)
Food is very important to our family. It really binds all of us together. Once, my children requested for Chinese beef tenderloin, so I learned that immediately for them. Sometimes, we even prepare a Korean hotpot with all the works at home because they craved for it. Our family activities at home and when we are on vacation always revolve around food.
Is cooking for other people an act of love?
Of course! Cooking is an act of love because you are concerned with the health of those who eat. You always want to give them the best-tasting food using the most natural food products. If you cook your own food, you know what goes inside the body of your family. It is also a form of bonding! Your kids can discuss if they like the food. Like sometimes, my son tells me, “Mommy, it’s not so yummy. Nice try. I still love you.” And I absolutely appreciate that.