I mentioned a few weeks ago that one of my best friends in high school was from the Philippines. Well, her sister lives about 5 houses down from us now, and I teach the sister’s daughter drum lessons. She’s very good, for just starting her second year with me. But, then again, she does come by “the groove” naturally.
So, thinking about my friend from high school, and being pregnant and thinking about food, I had a brilliant idea: drum lessons in exchange for cooking lessons! I went over to help tune my student’s drum set and I mentioned to her parents (her mom’s Philipino and her dad’s Chinese) that I’d love it if they’d teach me how to cook Philipino for free drum lessons. They said “no”. They’d still pay me. It would be their pleasure to teach me! (What’s with the generosity of non North Americans — at least when it comes to food?!)
Last week was my first lesson: Chicken Adobo. And this week it was a pork/shrimp/noodle stir fry type thing, called Pansit. Oh man! I love Philipino food! I don’t know what we’re learning next week, but it’s sure to be good. And I think I’m going to learn some Chinese cooking, too. (Those links are to online recipes that are somewhat similar to, but not exactly, how I was taught. I’ll probably post my recipes someday when I have energy.)
Watching someone, in person, cook these things makes it a lot less intimidating. Because I know that these people are just like me with the same grocery stores as me, but they cook these good things everyday simply because they have the right ingredients and spices in their house. So, I can do it too, if I just go out and buy some Maggi — the cross-cultural seasoning!
So, we prepare and cook the food and then I take a big bowl-full home for the family to try out. After all that free food, I’ve got to give their daughter some free drum lessons. And Marc is going to teach their son some beginner guitar. What a good trade! All they’re doing is cooking supper, and all I’m doing is writing up and teaching a 1/2 hour drum lesson — but we both learn and gain so much, at so little personal expense. I like it!