I RECENTLY took a trip to Tubod, Lanao del Norte for a culinary show. It is about three hours drive from Cagayan de Oro going east, about an hour or so from Iligan City. Passing through several coconut, mango and nipa plantation, “siriguelas” trees, and the pristine beaches along the way, it was a smooth and exciting drive.

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It was my very first trip to Tubod and my very first culinary demonstration to be held at one of the buildings of the huge, modern and spacious Mindanao Civic Center. Though I never got the chance to “tour” the grounds, I was amazed at the place. I am sure it would be bustling with activities during the week but since the culinary show was held on a Sunday, last February 28, we had the entire place practically to ourselves!

Students from Iligan Medical Center College (IMCC) accompanied by their instructor Aiza Abatayo, Misamis University (MU) accompanied by their instructors Melitza Martinez and Apple Paraiso, Medina College (MC) accompanied by Dean Janet de Leon, North Central Mindanao Colleges (NCMC) accompanied by Elmer Salimbangon and several baking and restaurant owners were present. I got to meet some participants from my previous culinary show in Ozamis City and it was so really nice to see them again.

Most of the recipes I demonstrated used chocolate (who doesn’t like chocolate, anyway?) and apples (they are everywhere!) as main ingredients because I felt that using these two ingredients, it is sure to put a smile in everyone’s face! Plus the fact that the recipes presented can be used as future business endeavors. Finished products were tasted and enjoyed by the participants. Simple plating technique was also highlighted. Recipes showcased includes: Chocolate Cream, Apple Nut Bars, Apple Crepe Cake, Apple Cinnamon Muffins, Hot Fudge Sundae Cake, and many others.

Intermission numbers were presented by selected students and towards the end, a bartending showdown was held to the delight of everyone. The “bartenders” showed their smooth movements and skill and if I may say so, given a few more months or years, they can very well compete with the very best there is in the entire country or even the world!

Driving home was an entirely different scenario because I just have to stop & buy some pasalubong. It is always fresh crabs, shrimps and, “Dayok”, “Amahong”, at Mucas, where the port is located if one is to travel to Ozamiz City. Then it was time to buy some fresh fruits at Laguindingan. It is always “sirguelas” (good thing it is in season now!), caimito (star apple), banana, watermelon and other tropical fruits. Looking back, I always wonder why the drive seems to be longer when we are going to a new place but seem to be shorter when coming back? Maybe because we are excited and tend to spend more time looking at our watches when going to our new place of destination? Or is it because we tend to relax and feel relaxed that we have all the time in the world when coming home?

Many thanks to AEJR Productions for making the show possible, Nature Spring Water, to Julius (our official “driver and videographer”), Breezy, and most especially to Jonas, who assisted me during my entire demonstration, my staff and everyone who have helped in one way or the other in making this activity a success.

I am also sharing some of the recipes I demonstrated in Tubod for our beloved readers and baking enthusiast to try.

* Apple Cinnamon Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup peotraco caster sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsps. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 pc egg

1/3 cup milk

2 cups apples, peeled and chopped

* Chocolate cream brulee

3 cups all-purpose cream

1/3 cup peotraco caster sugar

225 gms selbourn chocolate, finely chopped

6 pcs egg yolks

* Cup peotraco caster sugar, for caramelizing

Culinary Classes are available at Pots & Pans Home Bake & Coffee Shop. Visit us at Don Apolinar Velez St corner Hayes St., Cagayan de Oro City. Tel Number: 858-4209. Email: potsnpans1976@yahoo.com website: www.potsnpans1976.multiply.com