A grateful food

This morning while eating breakfast, I heard a companion commented on the way I spoon-feed with my left palm on the cheek.

In Tagalog: “Parang may utang na loob pa sa’yo ang pagkain, ah? Kulang na lang sabihin niyan (yung kanin), ‘Salamat ah, kinain mo ako’.”

In English: “It seems the food should be grateful that you’re eating it, huh? It (the rice) could have said, ‘Thanks! You’ve eaten me’.”

Oh, this makes me smile until now. 😂

The champorado experience: Is a child capable of contemplation?

What is your favorite childhood meal? Mine is a sweet porridge we call champorado. What is it made of? We cook it with rice and chocolate and if you like, put some milk and more sugar if you like your meal sweeter. My mother cooks it during our merienda in the afternoon. Mother’s champorado serves for all the family members, particularly us children. Since Philippines is a tropical country, it’s best to eat it during rainy season. In summertime, our cousins even join us inside our house and Mama makes sure that she cooks extra servings for them.

But there’s one memorable “champorado experience”. One time, Mama used wheat instead of rice in our champorado. I just came from school and it was raining that time. It was so good  was sharing it with my cousin. Even my uncle know how good it by just seeing us eating when he exclaimed “Uy, trigo.” As I recall this specific porridge, I realize that even as a child, I am already capable of contemplation. Or maybe it’s just that my mother’s cooking is enough to elicit such reaction. Yes it’s mundane but all I can share you is the emotion I felt that time. It’s not even served during important occasions but champorado makes my meal special.

Since I’m not a child anymore, I don’t eat it more often as I used to. Months ago, I was in Mindanao when I last had a champorado. I made one for myself. I used oats, put some hot water, and mix it with Milo and brown sugar. It’s still one of my favorite meal and every time I eat, I eat it mindfully, savoring every scoop. With champorado, I can bring in my inner child.

Do you have a “champorado experience” worth remembering?

Writing Prompt: Writing 101—Happy Celebration! (Assignment Ten)