We were lucky enough to get some time with Toni Tiu, one of our most consistent subscribers. She currently works at home during the community quarantine while sharing the space with her parents and her husband and son. (Her mom loved our beets, by the way!)
In part 1 of the interview, she talked to us about how her family enjoys having fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to their house in Metro Manila. Unboxing the tampipi and seeing the different produce has become a bonding moment for them.
There is the additional perk of getting produce rarely available in supermarkets like beets and tamarillo. Subscribing to community shared agriculture helps them manage costs and the toka-toka of food supply responsibilities, too.
As for picky eater kids like her son, her tip is to let kids be kids as they will grow out of it and their palette will expand eventually. For now, they usually mash the or finely chop the vegetables to hide it in pasta sauces.
Tip#1: Be open
She said subscribing to a tampipi is different from just going to the grocery and picking out what’s on your grocery list. She really loves the element of discovery and surprise.
Toni shared more tips in part 2 and part 3 of this interview, feel free to check them out!
Do you live and work at home with your partner, parents and children? Check out our recipes and ideas to help with kitchen management, assigning household responsibilities and dealing with picky eater kids.
Sign up for our vegetable delivery service in Manila for your family while helping urban poor families. Subscribe to regular delivery of our Gulay Pambahay pack when you order our Gulay Para Sa Lahat Share.
Read the transcript of part 1 of Toni’s interview
Char: Hello this is the office room that I see on Facebook, sorry on Instagram, no, yeah. We do follow your account, and I’m like “What’s she cooking now?”
Toni: Thank you, thank you.
Char: Okay yeah how do you want to do it?
Toni: I have some answers prepared according to the guidelines that you shared. Is there any particular way you want to start?
Char: Not in particular, I guess I would have just you know, whatever feels natural. If you want to go free flow, that would be great less, editing for me.
Toni: Yeah okay, okay. Just feel free to jump in any time.
Char: It’s like a conversation then.
Toni: No worries, so what you told me was to give some tips for newbie subscribers. Yes, and I was thinking about it I’ve been supporting Good Food Community for a while now and I’ve been really enjoying my experience with you guys.
And there are three things that I’ve learned that i hope can be helpful for a newbie.
That’s right so the first one is to be open. So, yeah be open because like I love the thrill of not knowing what to expect for the week.
You know it’s so different from just going to the grocery and picking out what’s on your grocery list. I really love the element of surprise.
And even if you have the gulay board, I just take a peek but I don’t plan. Just so I know what to expect but i won’t do any planning yet. Like if I see, you know, if I see eggplant, I won’t plan an eggplant dish, it’s just
like a little peak.
Because it’s a joy going through the through the tampipi so I open it and then boom! You know all the colors all the fresh fruits and the scent of it and then that’s when the ideas start rolling. “Oh, with this one, I can do this! With this or, I can do something else. Or what is this? I don’t know what vegetable this is?” And then I’d have to you know, determine “what would I do with this?” And you know, everything about it is just a joy.
So I think being open to what will be in the tampi to how you’re going to prepare it is one of the tips that i would love to share with the newbies.
Like for example, the tamarillo. I think you saw that in my feed I had no idea what it was. I thought it was a regular tomato. It was a tamarillo pala. And did I pronounce that right?
So I was not familiar with any of those at all. So ‘Google is our friend’ naman, right?
And I would when it happens when it’s like that, I would just research and I’d be surprised as to where the veggies come from, not just how to use them. Because it’s nice to see what provinces they’re from or what countries, you know, have familiar vegetables. So I’m also educated you know with the with the veggies that you share with us. So super duper thank you for that!
Now I know what a talinum is, what a tamarillo is. And I look forward to tampipis if they’ll have them again. I really enjoyed them.
Char: Oh thanks for saying that!
Toni: And then, they (my family) know say usually I’m in a meeting. So they know to wait for me before they unbox. They have to wait for me for the unboxing because i take pictures so they know that, na ready na. And then we unbox it together it’s a bonding event for our family.
Char: Wow, that’s so great to hear!
Toni: Yeah and then we discover the vegetables together like “what’s this? what’s that?” That’s why I keep repeating that it’s a joy because it really is. And to siguro, give another tip I can share on being open: I’ve never really received a veggie that I didn’t like from you guys because I eat anything, I’m super open.
But in the event for example you get a vegetable that you don’t like the look of it or the taste of it, I would just really encourage you to be open and embrace what that veggie can do for you. Okay, one way you can appreciate it is to number one prepare it a different way from how you’re usually exposed to it.
For example, if it’s usually fried when you see it, you know try roasting it and just a
simple change of cooking technique will bring about a different texture and a different flavor. And who knows might like it? Or incorporate it into a dish that you already love like adobo and who doesn’t love adobo? You know slice it up, then put it in your adobo. You may like it.
So that’s my first tip for newbies, it’s about being open.
Char: But I have questions about that, is your family as open as you are?
Toni: My, oh yeah, they are. So they’re big on healthy eating. Okay vegetables have to be a part of every meal
Okay we’re also meat eaters but we’re very very conscious to lessen the meat intake because of course for healthy reasons so there’s always a veggie dish on the table.
So when, lalo na, for example we have a beet. So when I got beets in my tampipi one time, my mom was over the moon because she doesn’t get that often from the groceries. So we had it as a salad for one day, we roasted it another day we juiced it, another day just so many ways to to use the veggies so yes the whole family is just open.
Char: And I know you have a son, noh? Even your son is open?
Toni: Not at all! No, he’s the stereotypical kid who hates vegetables. As in, it’s a struggle and it’s a pain. So, we’re still at that point now we have to grind it or mash it and mask it in spaghetti sauce. So we’re still at that point.
We enjoy it on its own you know, roasted. But for my son, you know I’m not pressuring myself about it because i know eventually, he will like it. He’s just at the picky stage of his age, he’s 11.
I used to be a very picky eater as a child but now, I eat anything. So I’m not super worried about it.
But for those things you would suggest the spaghetti sauce technique.
Char: Which is absolutely absolutely!
Toni: So it’s usually carrots that we do. So we just chop it really really finely. In fact if you have a grater, you can use the grater.
And you know, whatever technique you use for your spaghetti sauce whether it’s, you saute muna onions and garlic and then you put the spaghetti sauce you can incorporate the veggies at any time.
So what we do is the giza first, right? Garlic and then onions and a little oil. Then we put the carrots which are chopped really really finely and then, the spaghetti sauce already.
It’s okay if you if you’re more comfortable using packaged, sauces but i would encourage now you to use crushed tomatoes, the fresh ones. For example when you guys have cherry tomatoes, I turn them into pomodoro sauce. It’s uper duper simple, you just throw in the cherry tomatoes in a saucepan and mix it until they get crushed and that’s your sauce already.
Char: So, that’s how you can mask it. And your husband eats as much veggies as you do?
Toni: My husband, oh yeah he’s a fitness enthusiast. So vegetables have to be on the table.
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