Friday, September 5, 2008
Back to the good ol' play things
Got my hands on May Tobias-Papa's new children's book called Araw sa Palengke. I like it so much, because the story is simple yet insightful and the illustrations by Pepper Roxas are just so adorable!
Kids who find joy in a little lutu-lutuan (kitchenware) are the rare species nowadays. So many "high-tech" and "educational" toys out there have replaced the good old play things.
How much do parents spend on talking dolls, virtual pets and hand held games? Sometimes, the amount you spend doesn't necessarily translate to as many hours of learning and fun. While a lutu-lutuan can encourage a child to make-believe--and who knows how many recipes can come out of a little earthenware pot?
I used to play with a lutu-lutuan myself. My aunt bought me an aluminum set, in which I cooked many dishes in great amounts of imaginary salt, sugar, and meat tenderizer--plus real water. (That set must have rusted....)
There was another cookery set that was more crude in make...it was composed of a metal grill over real live coal (outside the house!). We cooked some real meat on that; we raided the spice rack and used everything that claimed it "complemented meat." I don't remember if we ate the end product. If ever we did, we didn't get stomach upsets--I would remember an event like that, ehe.
In the province with my cousins we played lutu-lutuan using assorted bowls and a mortar and pestle set. We used big flat leaves as the main dish, crushing them to a pulp and mixing them in water. Then we picked some calamansi fruit and squeezed the juice into the mix. Green sour soup, anyone?
Come to think of it, things like these are much more interesting to recount and recall. (What joy is there in recalling how you beat your highest score in Tetris?) Let kids have stories like these to tell when they grow up. Unlike high-tech toys, they don't need extra batteries, and memories they make are much more colorful.