Last Christmas, during our annual lunch with my grandmother, Honeybun and I got to taste one of her specialties, mechado (which tastes like kaldereta LOLers), and discovered after just a couple of bites that there was no more left for our hungry selves. My lola then promised she’d make it again for our annual New Year’s lunch.

So I spent my December 31st (and even most of my December 30th) daydreaming about plates and plates of mechado—with rice, of course.

Our annual New Year’s lunch came and I came prepared with an empty stomach, which before long got full with the much-anticipated mechado (with rice, of course), the best potato salad ever, arroz, chicken asado, mango cake and chocolate cupcakes from Dolce, maja mais, and leche flan.

After playing kill-kill with Ikoy, and introducing everyone to my cookies and cream pastillyums (which was thankfully a hit), I once again headed to the dining table for a second round of everything I had. While digesting, I brought out my plastic containers and filled them with potato salad, arroz, and maja mais for taking home. Unfortunately, we ran out of mechado already—sadness. Oh well. There’s Ikoy’s birthday pretty soon anyway, or Tito Eric’s despedida.

The best food, awesome people, lotsa fun and laughter—I started my New Year with those. You know what they say about how you start your New Year…