If Mom were alive today, I’d make her this Asparagus Rice in a bowl with eggs and vegetables. It is a wholesome, healthy and easy-to-do recipe and mom would have relished it any day of the week.
My mom, Lulu Reyes Besa passed away in 1981 before I got married. When she was around, she was a strong influence in my life and nurtured my culinary skills. As soon as I could reach the kitchen counter, mom made me cook next to her.
Sitaw or long green beans were the first vegetables I learned to wash and snip at the edges. Refrigerator cakes and fruit salads were the first desserts I learned from her. Mashing boiled tamarinds for Sinigang were hard for me then but she insisted I learned it. Placing a lettuce leaf in the middle of a fresh vegetable lumpia was always my assignment thanks to mom. Wiping clean the silverware, plates and glasses for the family meal was how I learned from mom how to set a table properly. And of course, my sweetest memory was making mango jams in the summer with mom.
We never had Mother’s Day in the Philippines when I was growing up. It is not a Philippine holiday. Mother’s Day today is a glorified and commercialized event of the Philippine retail industry mimicking the American scene. Of course, I enjoy it when my grown sons come home to celebrate it with me, with gifts, flowers and brunch. Who wouldn’t?
But to me showing love and affection to your mom should not just be one day. You don’t love your mom only for one hour at brunch or during a brief phone call. I loved my mom all my life. Even after she died, she has been in my heart forever.
Mom was weak and sickly towards the last few months before March 1981. If I could turn back the clock, I would have cooked this healthy, hearty bowl of vegetables and rice for her. This was inspired by a recipe from the “Farm to Table Asian Secrets” Vegetarian Cookbook I recently received from its author.
If your mom or parents are at the age where they are more vigilant about what they eat, this all-in-one vegetable meal in a bowl is ideal. It’s a forgiving recipe because you can add or subtract vegetables in season or of your mom’s preference. So are the other recipes I found in this Asian vegetarian cookbook which features a couple of Filipino vegetable recipes.
Give mom the gift of love and wellness not just on Mother’s Day but all year round. Cook her a healthy, luscious dish like this vegetable bowl. After all, a mother’s love is forever.