by Karen Castro

May 22, 2020

Food is part of our daily lives, family customs, and cultural identities. It’s a sensory experience deeply connected to our memories. It’s also a wonderful tradition at St. Margaret’s, and I can’t recall any service or celebration where food hasn’t been part of the event. Our core value of providing nourishment is even reflected in our ministry at Charlie’s Place. Food is an important part of who we are as a people and as a church community.

When we celebrated African-American History Month with food shares during coffee hour, we came together to learn about each other, share stories, and enjoy favorite dishes. Although we can’t be in the same physical space during our Asian-American celebrations, I hope that this food reflection and next week’s watch party will continue the tradition at St. Margaret’s.

Adobo is a classic dish in the Philippines reflecting both historical and regional influences. It’s a very simple stew, served with rice, made from a few ingredients: chicken and/or pork, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper. Like many who cook at home, I don’t follow a recipe but adjust the ingredients according to personal preference. For extra flavor, I often sear the meat first before adding it to the braising liquid. My own hybrid versions have included wine, fresh thyme, cinnamon, or coconut milk. Sometimes, I make it with more sauce; other times, I prefer it simmered dry. It can be slightly tangy with more vinegar or saltier with more soy sauce. I’ve even substituted tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian option. Although my version is different from those made by my grandmothers, I’m always reminded of their love and care when I smell the sweet and pungent aroma and take that first, delicious bite.

If you’re curious about Filipino food, I encourage you to try Purple Patch, a wonderful restaurant located in Mt. Pleasant. Purple Patch remains open during the pandemic and has adapted to become a market, providing fresh pastries, coffee, grab & go specials, and even flowers from a local florist. The dinner menu is available Monday through Sunday, 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. There are multiple types of adobo on the dinner menu, including one made with eggplant for vegetarians.

Watch Party!
As part of our Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration at St. Margaret’s, we’re planning a watch party for next Friday, May 29, at 8:00 p.m. At the time of publication this week, we’re still working to figure out the best technology solution to make this work, so please save the date for now. The watch party isn’t intended to be a serious meeting, but a way for us to be together in a relaxed and fun way. Hope to ‘see’ you there!

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