Food for the Gods

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Food for the gods - yum!
Food for the gods - yum!

Both of my parents grew up in the Philippines. My dad, the youngest in his family, moved to Virginia from Quezon City with his seven siblings when he was just 12 years old. He quickly learned English at school and his accent mostly dissipated (although it still emerges when speaking at home). 
My mom, on the other hand, moved to Maryland when she was in her mid-twenties and became a resident after marrying my dad. Her accent is much stronger, obviously, and I love hearing stories about her first experiences in America - like her first time trying Oreos with my dad. The rest of my extended family still lives in the Philippines today. One way we try to connect with the culture and my family's heritage is in the best way we know how: food!

My Lola (Filipino for grandmother) always used to make Food for the Gods with my mom when she was growing up. They are basically cookie bars filled with walnuts, dates, and sugar. They used to make it during Christmastime, instead of gingerbread houses or sugar cookies. My Lola inherited the recipe from her Lola, and then passed down the recipe to her own children, including my mother. I, too, have fond memories of chopping up the dates and taste-testing batches of Food for the Gods on Christmas Eve.  We would even leave them out for Santa instead of chocolate-chip cookies. (This took some convincing on her part, as I refused to believe that Santa would come for those instead). I always look forward to making these each year, as it reminds both me and my mother of home. I hope to one day pass on the recipe to my children in the future.

Place(s): Cubao, Philippines
Year: 1988

– CS.

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant