Kamayan Style Christmas Dinner
For a multicultural household, holidays are always a combination of traditions. Since we had turkey for Thanksgiving, I wanted to incorporate more Filipino traditions for Christmas. As a 1.5 generation Filipino American, I definitely have nostalgic memories associated with food. For example, making leche flan and bibingka for Christmas because this is what we did in the Philippines. My daughter Isabelle will not have “simbang gabi” or midnight mass associated with bibingka, but I still want her to associate it with Christmas. This collective memory is something we can share every holiday. My mom’s side of the family where farmers, “kamay” or to eat with hands is actually a lifestyle. “Mas masarap kumain kapag nagkakamay.” Its more enjoyable to eat if you eat with your hands. Especially when you’re eating regional foods like “alimango” (crabs), where you are forced to use your hands to “himay” or pick and eat the crabmeat. For this pandemic Christmas, even though it was just the 3 of us, I still wanted to make an event of it. Christmas is not cancelled in our house, we still dressed up even though we had nowhere to go. We still set the table and used real napkins because I find comfort and joy in eating together. We still had “manituan” or secret santa via @elfster and zoom, to have some semblance of tradition and normalcy in our family. I hope you find moments of joy during this pandemic, its key to staying resilient. Maligayang Pasko from my family to yours!
We used @wholefoods and @seafoodcity curbside pick up for our Filipino kamayan style meal.
My 3 year old is in the phase where she likes to keep her hands clean, so she just watched me eat with my hands. I did not want to force her to eat without utensils, maybe next year she can join in the fun,
Kamayan is a communal style of eating a Filipino feast, served on banana leaves and eaten with your hands. It is an intimate sensory experience, where you feast with your sense of sight, smell, taste and touch.