A GIFT FROM GRANDMA

Tonight, dinner was home-cooked meal in Korean-Japanese style.

Korean Kimchi (bought from Isetan Supermarket), Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup, and steamed rice with Japanese seaweed and white seasame seeds.
Korean Kimchi (bought from Isetan Supermarket), Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup, and steamed rice with Japanese seaweed and white seasame seeds.

It gave me great joy seeing how DS has enjoyed the dinner (especially the ginseng chicken soup) despite it being a very simple meal. The ginseng chicken soup was indeed very tasty after many hours of boiling using a slow cooker. The ingredients used were : Korean ginseng, garlic, ginger slices, red dates, chestnuts and a small amount of glutinous rice. I learned how to make this soup from a booklet that I picked up during the NATAS Fair two years ago.

Although my cooking skills are just average, I am happy that DS have enjoyed much of my cooking all these years. Given the environment where I grew up, it is no doubt that I am better off cooking Chinese food than Western meals. The kinds of food that I cook are rather limited as well because I do not deep-fry or stir-fry, given a small kitchen I have. My dream is to have a large kitchen with two separate areas, the so-called dry and wet kitchens. Such a dream will only come true in a landed property but DS never like the idea of living in a landed property. Furthermore, it will be too costly to own one in Singapore. Maintenance will also be an issue.

I have a few so-called “specialties” which DS always enjoys. Most of these are home-cooked food since my late grandma’s days. I asked DS to give me some honest scorings. Below is how I have fared, based on DS’ taste bud. Not bad, aren’t they?

  • Chinese Seafood Soup 9/10
  • Duck and salted vegetable soup 9/10
  • Szechuan chicken porridge 9/10
  • Chinese stewed chicken 9/10
  • Popiah (Chinese spring rolls) 9/10
  • Mian Xian (mee suah) soup 8/10
  • Potatos and Onions Szechuan Soup 8/10
  • Chinese stew vegetables (斋菜) 8/10
  • White sauce mushroom and ham pasta 9/10

Unlike my grandparents’ or parents’ generations, I think it is no longer important for ladies to be able to cook for her loved ones these days. Perhaps, I am on the conservative side, I find myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn how to cook during my school days, and directly from my late grandma who was a very good cook. In those days, I had to help up in the kitchen from time to time, and looking back now, that was a good training ground for me.

I would say my late grandma had in a way been instrumental in building my interest and ability in cooking. Apart from standing by her side, watching her cooking once in a while, I shall never forget how I actually received step-by-step cooking instructions from her while she was on her sick-bed. Those were very painful and unforgettable moments in my life, more so as I watched her withered away a few months later, succumbing to cancer.

More than 20 years have passed since my late grandma passed away but there are just so much fond memories of her that still remain very dear to me even up to today. I wished she had lived longer, so I had the opportunity to thank her for the positive impact she has made on me. I wished I had the opportunity to cook her a meal. I wished…..

你的人生中是不是也有令你难于忘怀的人呢? 是不是也有人在你人生中有着很大的影响呢?又是不是有你很想感谢的人呢?

昨天是清明节,每逢佳节倍思亲。已不记得有多少个日子没回家过节了。

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