This article has absolutely nothing to do with a couple per se but everything to do with my family history. Certain things have a way of travelling full circle in our lives without us ever realising it until several decades have passed. Take the case of my parents’ rattan furniture and acacia table that they acquired when they were newly married in 1966. Daddy lovingly chose each and every single bamboo stalk that went into the making of that sturdy living room set that have been a part of my whole life.
The acacia table used to be the dining table of a priest in Bugo, Cagayan de Oro. It is a slab from the trunk of one of the many trees that were chopped down when the new highway was built around the church. There was no way of saving them so the priest did the next best thing and converted some into furniture. When my parents got married, this table became their wedding present from the priest, and Daddy had the legs shortened to become the center table.
These items embarked on their worldwide journey in 1970 when we moved to Kenya and around Mexico. They have had their fair share of packers, ships, upholsterers, and what not over the years. When I took over the furniture in 2006, they went on another trip around Asia, but finally returned home to my parents last month. The timing is uncanny because they have been reunited with each other on the year of their Golden Wedding anniversary, right back to where they started.
The circle closes.
In a similar manner, my mother bought a pair of cast iron pans in Irapuato, Mexico some time around 1974 and they became a permanent fixture in her kitchen. We often joked that they were so darn heavy that they doubled as weapons as well, just like in the cartoons! When I first moved to Germany in 1993 I forgot to pack those pans and regretted it ever since. There is nothing quite like cooking in a cast iron pan and I can’t really explain it, but things are just different. I completely forgot them again when moving from Manila to Delhi in 2010 and by then Mommy had no idea anymore where she had hidden them.
When I packed up my parents household last year and moved them to a smaller place, the pans resurfaced, much to my delight. Since I got an induction stove for my mother for security reasons, all her old pots and pans had to be replaced, but I refused to give the cast iron pans away. Taking them to Bangkok in my suitcase was likely to get me arrested at the airport, so I squirrelled them away in my mother’s kitchen. She of course had no idea she still had them, let alone where they were, until today.
I recently inherited a one-burner induction stove from a dear friend, and have been re-learning how to cook with only one burner and one pan… This evening I was in the mood to make pancakes but needed to borrow a pan from Mommy downstairs when I suddenly remembered the cast iron ones. A quick research online informed me that they are perfectly compatible with induction stoves, so I wanted to test the information. Out came the pans and in went the batter. It was like being transported back to 1974, when Mommy made pancakes in these very same pans. The pancakes were totally different as compared to the ones you make with a teflon-coated pan. You just need to fiddle with the temperature of the induction stove a bit but I quickly got the hang of it. The pans have come out of hibernation (retirement?) and almost seem grateful to be in use again.
The circle closes.