A month ago, when I read Noemi’s entry about finding THE ONE, two things came to mind. First was an old, old entry by Batjay that says if you can pick your nose in the presence of a girl and she doesn’t mind, then, you have found the one. The second is a batch of cheese cookies I baked a long time ago that I surprised Speedy with. I already mentioned it in a previous entry and he’s been threatening to write about the whole story so I might as well publish my version first. Hehehe
I’ve always openly admitted that I’m no baker. I’m learning and getting better at it but I’m still not that good. If I’m still not that good now, imagine how I was before Speedy and I were married. But even during that time, I was already a pretty good cook. In fact, the few times we went on picnics in Tagaytay, I brought home-cooked food (Speedy brought the wine) and he was impressed with my cooking. So, he thought I could cook anything… until the night of the cheese cookies. Why does that sound like The Night of the Living Dead?
The summer that Speedy and I started going together, I was in between jobs. I sent out application letters to a few law firms and, during the waiting time, there wasn’t much to do. So, one time, I noticed some queso de bola (edam cheese) in the freezer. I don’t eat queso de bola. My brother and my mother weren’t too fond of it either. So, it was summer and we had queso de bola from Christmas still sitting in the freezer. I remembered a recipe for cheese cookies from an old high school Home Economics textbook and I set out to work. So much cheese and the result was A LOT of cheese cookies.
When my brother came home from the office, he saw them and started munching. HE LIKED IT, I thought, and I felt encouraged. Of course, I didn’t think it was relevant that during a period when I was ill and in and out of the hospital, my brother would pass by the hospital from UP Law before going home everyday so he could eat my hospital food WITH GUSTO and be saved from the chore of cooking for himself. He was THAT uncomplaining about food. In fact, he was my guinea pig when I was learning to cook from grade school through high school.
I felt so encouraged with the speed by which he ate the cheese cookies that I set aside two dozens or so that I could give Speedy. We talked on the phone that night and arranged to meet the following day.
We had dinner at his house with his family then went out. I had no idea that it was the day he planned on giving me a ring. We were sitting in the car in front of McDonald’s along Quezon Avenue and chatting. I took out the bag of cheese cookies and told him to try them. He ate one, gulped down half of a LARGE orange juice and said he was full. We chatted some more (no, we weren’t making out — we were in front of McDonald’s, for goodness’ sakes!), then, he gave me the ring.
Weeks later, I found the bag of cookies in his bedroom — with molds galore. I asked why he never ate them. I felt hurt, okay? Why didn’t he eat them; my brother did! I don’t remember anymore how that episode ended but, years later, when he recounted the incident to Sam and Alex (and, to this day, he likes to repeat the story over and over), he said, See, I love Mommy so much that even when she almost poisoned me with her cheese cookies, I still gave her a ring that same night. I suppose that if anyone asks Speedy how he knew I was THE ONE, he would answer in pretty much the same way.
Now, what about pancit lomi? He hates pancit lomi. In the past, whenever his mother cooked pancit lomi, there would be a plate of hotdogs for Speedy. When I’m pissed with him, I always threaten to cook pancit lomi for dinner and send him a text message telling him as much. And he would text back with We’re working late or We’re going out after work both of which mean the same thing — he won’t be having dinner at home.