(I apologize because this post will definitely make you HUNGRY)
True to her word, when my mother arrived this morning she brought along with her some key limes and some kahel from Nueva Vizcaya (sadly, not the Perantes which I've been craving for since they've become quite rare already). We were stuck at the office until 9pm; as there was a party at the building's lobby my officemates and I decided it would be too pathetic to order food in, so we just whipped up some instant pancit canton with egg.
On my way home I decided to forgo dinner and just sleep. But upon arriving, what do I see, in the dutch oven on the table, but my mother's beloved laoya. Pork hocks, simmered patiently until fork tender, with pechay and gabi. The broth made from rice-wash and drizzled with just the right amount of vinegar to cut through the gelatinous richness of the pork, garnished with lots of peppercorns and garlic. How could one resist? With the cold weather, and weariness from the day's work, just how could one turn one's back on the prospect of sipping hot soup, pouring that same soup onto rice before spooning into one's mouth, to be followed by meat dipped in a mixture of bagoong, hot sauce, and a good squirt of dayap? This is nice, not having to cook by and for yourself.