On the 24th of December, all the big pots and pans comme out of the shelf. My father starts cooking our traditional yearly cooked dried ham (jambon cru type). I can still remember, he'll cut the feet part and put aside to make a big pot of
Here how he prepares and cooks it:
1. He scrapes off the white particles of the ham, cut the feet part and set aside.
2. In a very big wok type pan "kawa" he'll put the ham and fill with water and about 2 liters of pineapple juice and 50 cl of gin or rum, a tablespoon of black pepper, bouquet garni (oregano, thyme and bay leaves). He'll let it cooked for about 2 hours. At the end of the cooking he'll let it dry and the final touches my sister's and younger brother love to observe him how he'll caramelized sugar that he topped on the ham. At that time we do not have the conventional oven, so he'll heat up the cleaned electric iron and pass through the sugar topped ham.
My brothers and sisters help with the small task in the kitchen, and here is how learned the basic of cooking. Most of the time i accompanied my mother to go to the market, what i hate about it is the moment when we almost finish the shopping. The fact that our two hands will get loaded of all those foodstuffs. What i love most when we go to the market is that in between our shopping we stopped and have our traditional "merienda" (gouter) of Philippines delicacies which is most of the time made out of glutinous rice "riz gluant" and some tropical rootcrops and bananas. You'll find this kind of local fastfoods in all the public markets and that i find much fun on marketing days. Of course my mother knows her regular merchants and so most often than never we can get stock for about some minutes doing "blah blah blahs".
So each day before christmas we were all busy for the preparation of all the foods to be served for the "Noche Buena".