October 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
After my last post, I still wanted to write more about eating with family and loving through food. Like I said, my mom cooks dinner every night for my family. She or my grandmother also used to cook me breakfast every morning before school. Most often, it would be steamed egg custard, 鸡蛋羹 (jīdàn gēng). Well, I guess this food is traditionally supposed to be steamed, but I would get the microwave version, since I was living in the future already, at that point. The egg custard isn’t sweet as its name seems to imply; it’s salty and savory and garnished with green onion. The way my mom made it, she would beat an egg in a ceramic bowl with a little less than equal volume of water. Then she would put it in the microwave until the custard was at this miraculous point of being just barely firm and drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil over it. Oh man! I would try to make it myself sometimes and always add the wrong amount of water, or microwave it for the wrong amount of time, or accidentally pour in way too much soy sauce. To my kid mind, this was magic every morning.
I rarely cook for my family because they always want to cook for me, and I’m afraid the food I cook is too not-Chinese for their taste. It’s a really silly fear because I know that they feel the same way about eating food with family as I do. A week ago, I cooked them a super simple meal. Just butternut squash soup with bread and salad. The bread was braided because I LOVE BRAIDING BREAD. (look at this video on a one strand braid!) And guess what! My mom came back home, looked at the bread baking in the oven and exclaimed to me, “BRAIDED BREAD IS MY FAVORITE!” She, my dad and my sister all kept commenting on how the soup tasted better than chicken broth and how my salad dressing was so much better than store bought salad dressing. And I kept thinking, hehehe.