There were many reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent community quarantine. While many griped about the situation and the government, there are still many who made noise with the productive things they did. One of them is Mommy Cleth — a homecooking mom from Bacolod. Her deliciously homemade kare-kare is making waves in Bacolod City. She is marketing it under the brand, Raphael’s Savor, after her only son’s name.
What Her Homemade Kare-Kare is Made Of
Mommy Cleth of Bacolod City is a CPA by profession and a passionate wife, mom, and homecook.
Last June 10, 2020, a week after her resignation, she cooked the first batch of her special Homemade Kare-Kare. Since then, she had been blessed to receive positive reviews from her customers.
She recounts that up to the fourth batch, orders were from family and friends. That got her confident enough to join Bacolod food groups and market her homemade kare-kare. From her fifth batch onwards, her customer have been people who ordered online. Facebook has definitely widened her market.
We all know that authentic kare-kare has peanut butter as the base of its sauce. Mommy Cleth makes her own homemade peanut butter for this purpose. “I buy raw peanuts from the market, roast them at home, peel them, and grind them until its own butter comes out.”
So her peanut butter is in its purest form—no additives, not even sugar, salt, or oil. “This is how I achieve the perfect peanut sauce,” she enthuses. Mommy Cleth said that they also tried using local peanut butter sold in the market. However, it did not go well with her special savory mix. “My sauce gets too greasy and sweet,” she laments.
No self-respecting kare-kare is without bagoong (shrimp paste). It is called guinamos in Hiligaynon. Mommy Cleth and hubby make their own bagoong, too.
They source their guinamos blocks from local vendors in the market. When they get home, they mash the shrimp paste to make sure there are no impurities.
“My husband is the guinamos master so he cooks it with vinegar, oil, brown sugar, garlic, pork, and chili. We also tried buying locally prepared bagoong but the cost made our kare-kare too expensive.”
Mommy Cleth says that the advantage of making their own bagoong is they can season it to perfectly match their special Kare-kare sauce. “We can make it as spicy as can be if our customers prefer it. But most of all, we can give an extra serving to our customers without thinking of the cost!”
“We make sure our meat is perfectly tender,” Mommy Cleth says. Since they do not have a pressure cooker, she boils and tenderizes the ox tripe for three hours over charcoal. Meanwhile, she cooks the pork pata for an hour.”
She then uses the pork pata stock to bring more flavor to the kare-kare sauce.
The vegetables used for their kare-kare are blanched following strict timing. The string beans are tougher so they take longer to cook than the leaves and eggplants.
Afterwards, they are soaked in ice cold water to prevent them from cooking further.
Much Love and Effort
Mommy Cleth thinks that the effort that she puts in cooking her special homemade kKare-kare is OA. “But, I’m happy doing it,” she enthuses. The kind words I receive from my customers fuel my passion to continue cooking with the same fervor since day 1.
She and her husband would then deliver the orders to their customers around the city.
In order to take care of her family and to give the best in her cooking, Mommy Cleth only sets 2-3 days per week to cook her specialty. It’s usually every Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. She does accommodate orders for Sundays, if a special occasion calls for it.
“My goal is to cook quality Kare-kare that families will enjoy, as much as my family does. Cooking is my favorite expression of love,” she says.
For now, orders for Mommy Cleth’s homemade kare-kare are on hold because of the surge of new Covid-19 cases in Bacolod City. People are now being advised to stay at home and only go out when it’s necessary.
Since she does her marketing at the wet market, Mommy Cleth decided to suspend her home operations. When things are better, she will resume accepting orders for her homemade kare-kare.
Raphael’s Savor Homemade Kare-Kare by Mommy Cleth comes in three sizes. She usually schedules making it three times a week but you can place special orders. You may search for Cleth Dizon-Bulaong on Facebook.
- Solo order: P150
- Half serve: P250 (good for 2-3 pax)
- Full serve: P500 (good for 4-5 pax)
Motherhood Over Career
A CPA by profession, Mommy Cleth was the Finance and Admin Mananger in Bagosphere (a social enterprise) until May 31, 2020. Additionally, she is handling the accounting systems of a Cebu-based hauling company on the side.
- Related: Raising Einsteins: Bacolod Intervention and Tutorial Center for Children with Special Needs
She resigned because last May 5, a developmental paediatrician diagnosed her son Raphael Angelo, now 3 years old, with Developmental Speech Delay.
That news of her son’s diagnosis shook Mommy Cleth’s world. She felt that she needed to invest more time on her son so she left her lucrative career in finance. Without second thought, she tendered her resignation.
It was just timely that the ECQ was lifted at that time so she used her free time to cook her specialty—her homemade kare-kare. She is now making extra money with her hobby while being able to personally take care of her son.
Meanwhile, her husband Oliver continues to work as a Senior Accounting staff at Vallacar Transit, Inc. This is the company behind the Ceres bus liner.
With a stable regular income from hubby and sideline from mommy, this family continues to thrive in the pandemic. The family budget is secure. And Mommy Cleth continues to serve her homemade kare-kare with love to Bacolod families.
Other Covid-19 stories
Meanwhile, here are other stories related to Covid-19 in this blog:
- Stages of Dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic
- Continuous Wearing of Face Masks and Frequent Hand Washing Fight Covid-19
- 3-Ingredient DIY Slime Recipe | Activity for Kids
- Createe Kit: Design Your Own Shirt for Emotional Intelligence
- Using Covilyzer UV Sterilization Lamp Against Covid-19 and Dust Mites
- Getting a Dental Checkup During the New Normal
- Homemade Garlic Corned Beef Recipe by Mommy Sigrid
- Healthy Home Habits from SM Home