Some of my first memories of food were shaped during a family vacation in the Philippines when I was 6. One sunny afternoon at my grandparents’ home, I was outside watching the chicks and ducklings play when I saw my grandmother walk outside in her quiet demeanor.
Without thinking, Lola Salud gripped a chicken by its shoulders and walked towards the house. She squatted on the step that led into the kitchen where a saucer and small knife was placed. After comfortably ringing the chicken’s neck, she gently drained its blood. My mom said they’d use it to make a sauce.
What seemed to be only a few hours later, we ate deep fried chicken with steamy white rice, and ketchup. I remember thinking that it was the best chicken I’d eaten in my whole six-and-a-half years of life. Til this day, it seems I still remember that afternoon, continuously attempting to chase or recreate that same feeling of completeness.