Sweet Abundance: Food for the Stomach and Soul
By Kay Habana
As a real lover of different cuisines authentic to their origin, I have always loved Italian spaghetti. The thought of this pasta cooked al dente, lightly coated with tomato-y marinara sauce, excites me. Oh, even just olive oil will do. This– when I’m feeling oh-so European and fancying a glass of red wine with it, too.
But, I am Filipino. My taste palette stays true to my roots. This tongue yearns for sweet spaghetti, and I feel warm and cozy as my thought bubble displays the picture of my late Auntie June’s perfect recipe of sweet spaghetti.
It all started when I was a very young kid in the Philippines. Auntie would visit home from the city, often on weekends. She’d stay over for 2 days so my sister and I got to enjoy precious time with cousins. Two girls against four boys, but we all had fun. She practically lived in the kitchen every time she was around. She’d whisk up new recipes that everyone always ended up loving. But I just craved her sweet spaghetti: that red, thick, and sweet sauce that was home to big lumps of ground beef and giant-size hotdogs. Glorious, I thought.
Befittingly, my Sweethabana clients have been craving just the same. So, lately, I find myself preparing this dish a whole lot. I have cooked it repeatedly over the course of 2 weeks that I believe I can do it with my eyes closed (ha ha). On a more serious note, it truly feels wonderful when clients come back for more. Not only do I consider them loyal backers of my homespun creations, but that they sincerely love my cooking.
A friend of mine who co-owns a restaurant in NYC told me that as soon as he saw the picture on my Facebook wall, he asked his wife if she could cook it for him the next day. I took that as a compliment. I also took it as a challenge to better my craft in the kitchen. I can’t just rely on what I already know. I have to learn new things— recipes, techniques, tricks-of-the-trade, what have you. Catering is a tough and competitive market. And my business stems from, first and foremost, my love for cooking. But, pair passion with perseverance, hard work with vision, and nothing is impossible. So, the next time you think of something sweet, consider Sweethabana spaghetti (wink).
While on the “sweet” note, my son just turned 11 last October 3rd. Oh, time, where have you gone? We celebrated it quietly with what else– his favorite spaghetti. Spiderman also did a little bit of cameo in the form of ice cream cake. We’re still planning on a few more get together with family and friends. I take that it will be a month-long celebration. And why not?! A good kid with extraordinary grades deserves a real treat!
For now, sweet and marvelous week to y’all!
About the Writer:
Kay Habana is a classical singer and a great cook rolled into one. But she is a writer too. Kay lives in New York City and can very well sing and cater delectable dishes for you on special events and occasions.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Facebook.com/sweethabanacatering.