How many times has Neil bragged about his mom’s baking and cooking skills? He couldn’t tell – this has always left me amusedly smiling. This year’s holy week ended with his mom’s cake baking tutorial – a tradition I finally got the chance to join.
As Neil was showing the cake-making process, he asked me to read out loud each ingredient along with the right serving. I didn’t have a photocopying machine or an active eidetic memory at that time so I can’t give you a copy of Tita Joy’s perfect chocolate cake recipe. You can try your luck persuading Neil but I’m not quite sure he’ll share a family trade secret.
Ate Remy, Neil’s eldest sister, confirmed that they all know how to bake that signature chocolate cake and they profitably earn from this hobby. Awesome, isn’t it?
Let me briefly tell you my impression of Neil’s family.
Sweet, confident, and charming Twinks was the only person in Neil’s family who kissed me (ahem, other than Neil of course). Pearl was accommodating and warm – she was always smiling with sparkling eyes. Ate Remy told me many interesting stories – if I was just fluent in her tongue, we would have been very close. Eden was pensive but had ready smiles when someone says something witty or funny. Nods and smiles were enough for Benjo and Ojie. Men are action-oriented, so they say.
Neil’s father was different from most fathers I know -even my own. Have you ever seen a man washing dishes? I was sure he did it out of love for his wife, Tita Joy, who had been busy all day preparing food for us and her regular customers. I felt a pang of guilt for asking her assistance to bake the chocolate cake but I realized she had enjoyed it the way Neil and I did. Tita Joy sent me home that night with a taste of sweetness that still lingers.