“Cecilia wooed me under false pretenses. When I was in the Peace Corps, I got sick and had to be hospitalized in Cebu, Philippines. Cecilia and her friends visited me, and they had a platter with leche flan, and she led me to believe that she made it. It was the best leche flan I ever had and I couldn’t stop thinking about it even when I returned to California…”
It was Pete who informed us that Lauren was in the hospital. “What happened? What happened?” we gushed. Pete said something about surgery on his leg. Then we started to feel sorry for this young American, away from his home, alone in the hospital, waiting for surgery.
Years later, when we were married and living in San Francisco where he was a law student, he kept badgering me to make leche flan. We were young and poor and lived in an apartment house directly across the Levi Strauss factory in the Mission District. He attended Hastings School of Law, and I worked as an Executive Secretary at McCormick-Schilling Corporation on Montgomery Street. “I can’t; I don’t have the leche flan mold,” I said, excusing myself. The truth is that beyond frying hamburgers, I could barely cook — I don’t know why he had not noticed that and still nurtured the belief that I could actually make leche flan. I never cooked when I lived in the Philippines; our cooks did all of that.
When we had a son and I brought him to the Philippines for a visit, he reminded me, “Be sure and find the flan mold.”
I held up the Magnolia ice cream metal can.
Cooking with Cecilia Brainard - Quiche
Cooking with Cecilia Brainard - Linguine with Clams
Cooking Lengua Estofada
Food Essay - Fried Chicken Caribbean-style
How I Learned to Make Leche Flan (or How I Met my Husband)
Cooking with Cecilia - Leche Flan (Vietnamese Style)
Recipe of Balbacua Cebuana from Louie Nacorda
Easy Filipino Recipes from Maryknollers
Cooking with Cecilia - Beef Bourguignon
Cooking with Cecilia - Chicken Soup for my Bad Cold
The Rats and James Dean's Porsche
The Schools I attended, Part 1, St.Theresa's College
The Schools I attended, Part 2, UP & Maryknoll
The Schools I attended, Part 3, UCLA
Saying Goodbye to Papa
Where the Daydreaming Came From
Death of a Carnival Queen