Jar Of Salt evolved from my first blog, I Super Love Life, a personal journal of things that piqued my interest. It just so happens that I always find myself constantly making food, talking about food and around people who know food. Because of this, it has inevitably evolved into an artful food blog and thus the Jar of Salt was born.
Oh, why Jar of Salt? I collect sea salts for cooking from different countries and of different sea origins.
Early on, I learned to appreciate all forms of food, thanks to a spinster grand-aunt and my mom who consider cooking not as a chore or hobby, but just a way of life. And my life right now is in Singapore.
WHEN I BEGAN COOKING
It was spaghetti day when mother and daughter had a fierce argument over choice of shoes for school, leaving me in tears. Because of this, I was told my choice dish wouldn’t be prepared anymore as punishment. Hungry but persevering, I decided to cook it myself without my mom’s knowledge (and to her bewilderment). And this was when I started cooking detailed dishes (as I only knew french fries and scrambled eggs using chopsticks prior to this!).
I was in 4th grade.
1. En Su Tinta (boiled squid in ink) was a favorite when I was 5. I enjoyed regional Filipino dishes like cohol sa gata (snails in coconut milk), lettuce salads in vinaigrette and tasted my first maguro maki at 8.
2. Dressed awkwardly in my mom’s suit, I went to my first cocktails and ate a variety of sushi and sashimi in Tokyo when I was 10.
3. I reverted to preparing dishes the old-fashioned way (no MSG, no artificial mixes) experimenting with different cuisines, ingredients (Singapore has an expansive selection of both Western and Asian stuff!!!), flavors and vegetarian recipes from friends of different parts of the globe.
4. I stopped using a microwave in 1996 (when ours conked out), the only canned things in my cupboard are milk, olives and tuna and I was able to cook all sorts of stuff for several years using only one knife and one pan.
5. Also, I would like a bottle of magic solution to obliterate all the mold and mildew on earth.
Oh, by the way — I am not a chef! All I am is an artist and writer made of generations of culinary family traditions. That’s it. Food, in my opinion, consists in this:
Celebrating the people and sincerity behind the dish, creating memories, upholding food traditions and old-fashioned ingredients that bring us back to a happy time and place with every whiff, every bite.