I have always been an insomniac and not very good at early mornings. Growing up, I was always the last one to get up, the last one to finish getting dressed, the one who ended up eating breakfast in the car on the way to school. I was also the last one to go to bed and the one who read under the covers past midnight.
A lot of those nights were spent reading but some of them were also spent in the kitchen concocting a late-night snack. Some of my most vivid food memories are midnight snacks – toast slathered with peanut butter, salty Sky Flakes crackers and Gina mango juice, Horlicks and hot milk. Later on, those midnight snacks were mostly eaten out after late nights with friends, ending up at the 24 hour diner for bacon and eggs or stopping at the tap-si-log (an acronym of these three things: tapa = cured beef, sinangag = garlic fried rice, itlog = fried egg) food trucks in Makati before heading home.
It’s been ages since I’ve had a proper midnight snack. Yesterday evening, I was all set to go to bed early and read a bit. Many chapters later, I was still wide awake. I went to the kitchen and dug around the fridge for some options – a sandwich of leftover roast pork with mango chutney, a slice of cheesecake, a toasted bagel or some thick granary toast. The cheesecake wasn’t cold enough to slice into and the roast pork sandwich was too much. So it was a toss-up between the bagel and toast. I ended up with some peanut butter toast. Sitting at the kitchen table late at night with the house all quiet and dark and everyone else asleep, I savored my simple snack and the memories that each bite brought back.