On my first day at kindergarten, I overheard my parents talk about me. Mom was bringing me to school. Dad said “no matter what happens, if she cries, do not bring her home before school is over; leave her in class.”
I wondered why they would think I would cry on my first day of school.
An hour later, I knew why.
My first day at kindergarten was daunting. I had never been to a large school before that day.
My teacher, a tall Catholic nun of German descent with a heavy accent bent down to ask me:
“When is your bers-day?” she said with her thick voice. I didn’t know what she meant was “when is your birthday?” I was 5 and I was scared. Tears welled up in my eyes and a lump formed in my throat. Worse, my classmates beat me to the nice crayons.
I wanted the red crayons but I was too scared to move from my seat so others got the good crayons first. I didn’t know then, that in life the same holds true. Opportunities, like the good colored crayons, pass you by if you don’t seize the moment. It took a lot of strength, to get up from my little chair and grab the sparse amount of crayons left in the large bin. Only the white and pink colored crayons remained. I sat and stared at my blank sheet of paper. I began to color, first with the white then the pink. The drawing looked promising.
Now I know why dad wanted me to stick it out and not give in to tears on my first day at kindergarten. He taught me to be strong. He knew that strength of mind and heart would get me through anything. And so it did. I have been through much in life. I moved halfway across the world, from my roots to another country and built a life and a home, making the most of what I was blessed with.
So maybe I didn’t always get the red crayons of life, but I did get other glorious colors in different shades and hues — the light and the dark, the long and the short. I knew how to be strong and seize every moment. Thanks to my dad, Gualberto Besa. Yes dad, no matter what happens, even if I cry, I have to stay and see it through.
Today is my birthday or my ‘bers-day” as my kindergarten teacher would have said. It is also the birthday of this blog, my son’s birthday week and Fathers Day on Sunday. It’s been a wonderful life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. With strength, I knew how to have hope, faith and love what I was blessed with.
And to celebrate, let’s all sit and have some Pancit!
Pancit Bihon and Canton
- 2 whole Chinese sausages (lap cheong) for garnish
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil divided, use 1 T. for scrambled eggs, the rest for pancit noodle dish
- 1 whole egg for scrambled eggs
- 4 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 whole onion chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 pound sliced in strips of 1/2 inch pork shoulder
- 1 and 1/2 cup organic chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce or patis
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cup sliced in thin slivers carrot
- 2 cups snow peas edges trimmed
- 225 gm pancit bihon dry noodles from Asian markets (Chinese rice noodles)
- 225 gm pancit canton dry noodles from Asian markets (Chinese dried noodles)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon juice from a fresh lemon
- Place Chinese sausages on a microwave-safe plate. Cover and steam in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Check sausages to see if they're soft and shiny. Remove from microwave, slice sausages and set aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add a tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Pour the beaten egg and scramble it for 1 to 2 minutes. Once egg has firmed up, remove from skillet and set aside. Cut in small squares. Set aside.
- Using the same skillet, over medium high heat, pour the rest of the vegetable oil. Add the garlic, onions and celery. Saute these quickly for 1 to 2 minutes till onions become translucent.
- Add the pork slivers. When meat turns from pink to a brown color after about 8 minutes, add the broth and fish sauce.
- Blend well and add the soy sauce. Mix in the carrots. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to soften. Then add the snow peas, which will take 2 minutes to cook.
- At this point, broth should be bubbling. Slowly add in the noodles in two or three batches. Add the bihon (rice noodles) first. Then when the bihon noodles are soft, add the canton (Chinese dried noodles). Coat the noodles with the sautéed vegetables-meat-broth mixture. Keep turning the ingredients around the skillet till the bihon-rice noodles turn from a fair white color to a golden hue from the soy-fish sauce.
- Season with salt and black pepper powder. Sprinkle lemon juice all over noodle dish.
- Garnish with the sliced Chinese sausages, scrambled eggs.
- Cook's comments : Feel free to use chicken or shrimps instead of pork slices. Also add more vegetables like bok choy, green beans, cabbage, chayote if desired.
- Hello, Friends! All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos and recipe content I wrote, on your website without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe or content on another website or news article, please ASK my permission, re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]