A long awaited dinner affair

I have waited 30 years for this to finally taste my first home-cooked by my mom. I usually get funny expressions when I tell my friends that I’ve never tasted my mom’s cooking before. They would be in absolute shock, disbelief and would often laugh, assuming that it was all a joke. “No? Really?” trying to get me thinking of at least one meal my mom had cooked. My reply, “No, really. Not even a fried egg.”

While growing up, mom and dad had full time jobs and we were blessed to have a really great helper cook our meals. She was an elderly lady, about 60 years old that stayed with us, helped us with our house chores and cooked wholesome meals for us. We called her ‘Gu Poh’ and she was very much part of our family. When my brother and I entered secondary (high) school, we bid Gu Poh farewell and the chores were left to us. We catered all our dinners which came in tiffin carriers and on weekends we would explore different restaurants as a family. Now that we’re all grown up, my parents have another wonderful Indonesian helper to cook their meals.

When I first got married, I have to admit that I wasn’t very domesticated, especially not in the kitchen! I was grateful that Terence did not demand for home cooked food since his mom is a fantastic cook. One that can make a boring porridge into a dish-to-die-for! Soon enough, eating out becoming a bore and I ventured into the kitchen, an alien space and put my cooking skills and taste buds to the test. I made lots of pastas, grilled meats, veggies and stews – easy meals. The love for cooking and eating simple home cooked meals latched on. Suffice to say, I discovered my love for cooking a little later in life. It was in the flavours I tasted, the limitless ingredients found in the market and the liberty to experiment with different concoctions that I find extremely exciting.

Although mom never thought me how to cook, I’ve learned so many other priceless lessons from her. She taught me other life skills and the joy of loving people and life. Above all, she feed my soul and spirit… and this week, she feed my tummy!

She cooked us a feast when we had anticipated a simple meal. The table was laden with food – braised black bean pork ribs, lettuce spring rolls, stewed chicken, stir fry bittergourd & egg, tofu and soup. Needless to say, I was beyond amazed. I can now tick off another ‘must do’ from my bucket list of things to do before I die. Mom fulfilled her promise, we had a wonderful dinner – a full family affair with baby in tow and wrapped up the night with a slice of lemon brownie made by Rachel. (Her love and talent for baking is another amazing story in itself. When we step out of our comfort zones, we find new love, passion and talent which otherwise would be hidden from our grasp.)


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Well done. Maggie Chan- another talent “unearthed”… But I suspect that RaeC had something to do with the bitter ground n egg dish…. Love to all n missing all already.

Yeah, Rae fried the bittergourd. Her fav dish – eggs and all. Couldn’t deny her of that 🙂 Missing you too Aunty Pat… take care.

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