Leche Flan and the Death of a Simple Childhood
My daughter loves Minecraft. It’s no surprise really. She is as curious and creative as I am, if not more so. She is artistic and incredibly talented. She also has my stubborn streak. So as I’ve tried to push books into her hands and peel the iPad away from hers, it hasn’t always gone smoothly. This made me reflect on my own childhood. I remember spending hours watching Disney VHS tapes. As an 80’s kid, I was caught right on the cusp of technology and the internet without being overly-saturated by it.
I played outside with the neighborhood kids when I was really young, but still loved my Saturday morning cartoons. Long car trips included handheld Nintendo Game Boys and eventually a Sega Game Gear. (Do you remember those?). Yet, I also spent hours playing with my dolls and creating an entire imaginary world with Barbie, Ken, and Skipper. By the time I was an adolescent everything had changed. “I’ll email you” became the new norm for talking with friends. Passing notes was so “old school”. Now, you had to have an email to be considered “cool”. My first email was on Juno. Does that still even exist?! I don’t know.
And so here I am at 31, a wife, mother, and blogger, and I find myself hating how much technology there is in the world. I have to physically stop myself from reading too much news, or else I feel sad afterward. I have to actively try and re-train my brain to not care about everyone’s tweets and Facebook posts. And so far, I’m doing a pretty good job. But I have to tell you, there are a few things from the past that I miss:
- I miss the smell and feel of a newspaper. I remember picking out the Sunday comics from the newspaper as my family divided the sections among themselves. (Well, the comics… and Dear Abby. Both were great).
- I miss books being the norm. Thankfully this isn’t gone yet. I love books. Real books. Like hold-in-my-hand books! I will never want to totally convert to an e-reader… ever.
- I miss loaning music to a friend. This meant loaning your favorite CD for a few days so they could finally hear that new song. Now we have music at our fingertips, and yes, Youtube is great. But sometimes… I don’t want to be on the computer to listen to music. Sometimes I miss having a boombox!
- I miss banana bicycle seats. If you’re sitting there going, “What is that?!” you’re probably not alone. But trust me when I say they are the most comfortable bicycle seat in the world! It didn’t matter what shape or size your tush was, you could pedal for HOURS and feel like you were sitting on a cloud.
- I miss having neighbors. You know… like neighbors you actually knew. How many of us can honest-to-God raise their hand and say they know who their neighbor is and would even consider them a friend?
- I miss the world being a safer place. Or at least feeling safer. Some argue that the violence level is the same, we just get the news faster. I don’t have the answer to that question, but all I know is that the world feels like a much more violent and unstable place than when I was a kid.
- I miss answering machines and landline phones. At times I look at my husband and say, “what did we do before cell phones?”. I feel like cell phones killed the feeling of being “out of the house” and disconnected from it all. Now we have articles reminding us to turn off our cell phones and “get away” from it all. I wish you could just “leave me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible”. Beep.
- I miss family drives. Did you know that “taking a drive” used to be a thing? We weren’t always going somewhere and doing something. Back then, we loaded up in the car to drive for the feel of the wind in our face, the sun on our skin, and to enjoy the scenery. Try it sometime… it’s pretty amazing.
- I miss “dating”. While this doesn’t apply to me, (happily married! ❤ ), I fear for my daughter when she begins to take an interest in boys. I miss how boys would need to come to the house and get to know the parents first before being allowed to go on a date. I miss having group dates before solo dates. I miss having to actually talk to the opposite sex instead of all this “text lingo” that apparently parents are supposed to be wary of now. I could go on and on… but you get the idea.
- I miss get-together’s. Whether it was a birthday, community event, or holiday, there was a reason for people to get together. And your invitation? That came in the mail or by word of mouth. There was a reason to talk. A reason to communicate. We didn’t need a hashtag to connect with each other.
Like my fond, fading memories this leche flan is a classic Filipino dessert. Gifted from Spain to the Philippines, it is one of the first memories I have when I think of my in-laws. My Tito Romy can make an amazing leche flan, and makes batches of five or six at a time! While I don’t think mine are as good as his, I’ve got this recipe almost down-pat to where it is nearly perfect. Enjoy this delicious, creamy, cold dessert everyone and keep on cooking! ❤
Classic Leche Flan
- 10 egg yolks (save whites for another recipe or scramble them!)
- 1 small can condensed milk
- 1 cup fresh milk (or evaporated milk)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Using all the eggs, separate the yolk from the egg white (only egg yolks will be used).
- Place the egg yolks in a big bowl then beat them using a fork or an egg beater
- Add the condensed milk and mix thoroughly
- Pour-in the fresh milk and Vanilla. Mix well
- Put the mold (llanera) on top of the stove and heat using low fire
- Put-in the granulated sugar on the mold and mix thoroughly until the solid sugar turns into liquid (caramel) having a light brown color. Note: Sometimes it is hard to find a Llanera (Traditional flan mold) depending on your location. I find it more convenient to use individual Round Pans in making leche flan.
- Spread the caramel (liquid sugar) evenly on the flat side of the mold
- Wait for 5 minutes then pour the egg yolk and milk mixture on the mold
- Cover the top of the mold using an Aluminum foil
- Steam the mold with egg and milk mixture for 30 to 35 minutes.
- After steaming, let the temperature cool down then refrigerate
- Serve for dessert. Share and Enjoy!