Chef Nancy Reyes Lumen, known as the Adobo Queen, shared with us her 70 Life Thoughts as she turned 70 and celebrated 24 years of marriage last April 28. We like her cool demeanor as a food advocate, restaurateur, and rock & rock persona.
We talked about her reflections on this significant milestone, her battle with Covid, lessons in spirituality, grand mothering tips and advice for the next generation of Filipino Chefs. We are honored to learn from the generation ahead of us and apply them to our own situation in the post pandemic world.
Listen to our Awesome! LIVE chat with Nancy: 🔴 70 Life Thoughts with Nancy Reyes Lumen
PS. Stay tuned for our next discussion on 🔴 What’s Trending in the New Normal in USA with Chef Nancy Reyes
1. First waking hour – a reading from Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” sets my day.
2. Hubby Bob by my side.
3. Our little family: Chef Joey, wife Amor, kids: Alex and Ellie. We are in love with them.
4. Having a support group matters. Ours is our Bible group.
5. My 11 sibs and their families…now orphans, we’re closer than ever.
6. Ate Lydia Lumen– the only Filipino porcelain artist of Houston.
7. Walks in Eldridge Park, running up the hills. 10,000 steps = chocolate cake/butter icing credit.
8. My plants : rosemary, lavender, curry, lemongrass, Bayleaf, scallions, marigold, oxalis, calamansi …I talk to them..
9. Selling our townhouse 13850 to move to townhouse 13838.
10. Mourning our dead-frozen Calamansi Tree
11. Teaching Adobo/Pinoy culture to all who booked me in Cozymeal.
12. The Adobo Book. I’m proud of it despite the dozen typos.
13. My 4-legged kids: Daru and Ah-uh. Rest in peace.
14. Our Covid experience (mild / survived) – November 2020. 30 days of isolation.
15. My Mother Nena’s beautiful death – surrounded by her children, reunited with her beloved Handy, our Dad, in heaven.
16. My go-to “shop” for clothes, books, kitchen stuff – Goodwill, Wednesdays are 25% discount for seniors.
17. Chef Edith’s painting of me and Adobo
18. Daily dose of Coconut oil keeps me fit and healthy.
19. Improvised gijong moves I do daily.
20. Birds gossip-chirping, flying in formation, nesting. They’re so cute.
21. Proud of my legacy – thank you Lola Asiang.
22. Also proud of our company Commissary Kitchen .
23. Closeness to cousins / memories of our happy childhood.
24. STCQC Class ’69… we love each other. We will bury each other at age 90+
25. Prayer warriors that prove Prayer works. Thank You Jesus.
26. Book of Proverbs; read one chapter a day. There are 31 chapters for 31 days.
27. Kuya Ed Lapiz’ life lessons on video – worth sharing to one and all.
28. Rock and roll from the 40’s to the 70’s. Good times.
29. First real band I joined: Rockin’ 60s (then they kicked me out)
30. Our all-girl band: The Hot Flashes and my up close and personal look at the life of gay women.
31. Dream band that got me to sub for Uditte Cayton – The Music Making Company. Covid stopped the dream.
32. Air conditionThermostat 75 – cool.
33. All time respected Chefs : Julia Child and Jacques Pepin
34. Yakult – still the most effective digestive against hyperacidity
35. Pork Buto-buto Sinigang na ma-anghang.
35. TV cook shows , you tube, half priced cookbooks, social media — I’m back in school!!
36. Bob and I are hooked on Family Feud — and when it’s a Pinoy looking family, we get excited for them to win.
37. Other quarantine TV time were spent on Dateline, Law and Order, America’s Test Kitchen, Cooks Country, Julia Child, Martha Stewart… guess what – Filipinos are guesting in some of the TV cooking shows…feel so proud.
38. 70/24: 70 years old today and it’s also our 24th wedding anniversary. On our 1st wedding anny – we were in our birthday suits!!! Now” pajamas, thick socks, leggings, neck pillow, Vicks Vaporub – hoho
39. Best man (at our wedding) Vic Santiago (Atenean, ace realtor) calls Bob often to check how we are. If you need seriously reliable realtor tips about your property? Vic is the Best Man.
40. That dreaded snowstorm (February 2021Houston) : at first I was so excited I even ate the snow. Then after that same snow wrought havoc on our plants (some died), our grooming (dehin goli for 3 days…actually 5, nahiya lang ako – haha), our eating ( the ref finally got cleaned!)
41. Been drinking red wine often with neighbors, with Bob, with steak, with any feeble reason—Buy this cheapest best selection of California wines : Winking Owl at $2,95 per bottle. Sulit!!
42. Asian Supermarkets that provide frying service for Tilapia and latest sarap discovery Butterfish.
43. getting warm bday greetings from everyone…specially young chefs we met along our/their career paths
44. hearing good news that friends,l oved ones, even people who don’t know us but we know them have walked out of the Covid ICU beds completely cured and off the tube! Whew. Thank You Lord.
45. Live cooking/learning the right way to cook with cococream from two Bicolanas – The Tuazon sisters Tess and Evelyn. Remember: Guinatan dishes always start with the cococream being boiled. Only then can you throw in the main meats.
46. Our grandson Alex beating the drums to a Pink Floyd song. He’s got the inner beat.
47. Our granddaughter Ellie helping her Dad kneading dough. We can’t help but make yabang about them. It’s a Lola thing.
48. ZOOM – symphony…it’s a great chance to perform songs in harmony …every class should do one.
49. Ige Ramos and Felice Sta. Maria – I admire their pursuit of Philippine culinary history.
50. Edgie Polistico : imbestigador by day, extensive Filipino food researcher by night. Magaling rin siya.
51. I swam with the butandings in Donsol and will always be awed by them…these gentle giants prove there is a God who created everything.
52. Falling hair or almost no more hair: don’t shampoo with hot water, don’t anymore use a comb, just fingers, for that matter, don’t use shampoo, buy a shampoo bar soap.
53. for fallen hair – remember that’s your DNA on the floor…touch fallen hairs with finger, then swirl around and around into a ball. Catch with piece of tissue and throw at the bottom of the bin.
54. Coconut oil – other use that really works. Try it. Apply as a deodorant in armpits, singits, between toes, and even down there front and back. Coco oil kills the smelly germs. That’s Nan(cy)-sense for you. I’m a practical person, just believe.
55. A tablespoon of coco oil a day keeps constipation away. Tolerate its cloying taste. I take a spoonful and slide it straight down my throat. No covid!!
56. Selfies by classmates – I guess you know the trick by now – aim the phone higher up so the double chins are shadowed…
57. Birthdays. Do we realize how precious birthdays are in these dying times of covid? How many do we know who had their last birthday on earth during these dire times? So sad.
58. Adobo recipe: for every 500gms fresh chilled meats, try this: 2 Tbsp soy sauce + 2-4 Tbsp cider vinegar + 2 Tbsp oyster sauce + bayleaf, crushed peppercorn, crushed garlic, some but not much rock salt + olive oil. It’s the cooking method that matters. High heat, bloom the peppercorn, bayleaf and garlic but do not brown it. Then add and cook sauce and meats on high, covered ,till rolling boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer till meat is tender, sauce has thickened and vinegary smell has evaporated. Only add salt if still needed.
59. childhood exercises: jumping rope – I tried this once and almost tore a ligament. Nadala ako sa ER. Haha / baras baras – hindi ko na kaya. My arthritic hands can’t even make a tight fist. Habulan/takbuhan – kayo na lang. busy ako.
60. Friends on social media – with my dwindling memory, how can I remember all of us? Here’s how: for your bday, instead of just their greetings, ask them to send you their photos. It’s like having a virtual reunion.
61. Best reason to lose weight in covid times – you won’t fit in a small hospital bed – and that stress is what might get you sicker.
62. don’t eat beyond 4pm – I learned this from our band leader Norie Sayo. It really works, as long as you’re in bed by 9pm and you don’t sleepwalk.
63. forgetful coking: always put on the timer so that you don’t forget you’re cooking something and the heat is on. Increments of 15 minutes are good alarms.
64. Bokashi – this is the best gift you can do for Mother Earth. Buy a kit or make one and then buy the Bokashi grains to compost your kitchen waste: veggie trimmings, tiratira, even meats, oils, bones, soiled napkins…i-Google niyo.
67. Bob and me and 24 years married. Survival advise: pray together. Eat together often. Walk side by side. Join groups. Have common friends- support group.
65. Crossword puzzles – I solve them while seated on my throne. 4-5 easy ones or one difficult puzzle and my toilet is done too.
66. Grandmothering – I have two: alex is 7 and ellie is 3. I don’t baby talk them. I discuss things with them like the insects, dinosaurs, airplanes, songs, food, health anything to get them off the screen for an hour or more. Talk to them like adults – they like it, they trust you more.
68. favorite food: rib eye steak with los of fat all around, lobster (we check those that just died for half the price, taba ng alimango , taba ng bangus, nilaga buto buto with utak, paella, all kinds of adobo, inihaw na talong, crushed oven-baked over ripe tomatoes, roasted romaine lettuce , ampalaya and malunggay.
69. when was the last time you wore your lipsticks?
70. Classmates and ex-crushes – we get a good laugh on seeing our former crush “top gone” , wrinkled, hunched, and fat…I guess the guys do the same about us…
71. wives – if husbands can have their own man cave – we should have our own boudoir. At times it’s good to sleep in separate beds or bedrooms. You can visit each other to play “doctor-doctor” and it becomes more fun!
72. Pet dogs are the new “children”.
73. How to smile for photos: first heave a long breath, then release it with a smile. Smiles come easily and more naturally this way. Okay, try it. You’ll notice a big difference.
74. Today this 70 year old has to clean , mop, sweep the floors; debone the chickens; prep the sauce for the lasagna (by the way here’s a nice trick so ground beef doesn’t dry up – mix it with some bread and milk …called a panade , slice the liempo, cut up the veggies, dishwash, laundry, gardening — its for our small neighborhood party tomorrow.
75. Buti na lang there’s Yaya Nancy to do all the work.
Sa april 29 2022 ulit…mas mahaba pa ng konti. God is good.