Now, I don't know about your popo, but mine, being of Chinese descendant, is the epitome of mega-supercook. No measuring cup, no weighing scale, no labeled teaspoons, and no recipe books (which isn't really a good thing now that I think back). But her masterpieces were just amazing. In fact, I can't recall a single dish that came out of her kitchen as anything short of perfect. Except perhaps the Three-layer Pork dish that everyone tried to force down my throat. I'm just not that kind of layered pork person, in case you haven't noticed..
But other than that, everything else was perfect. Even when she served me cold durian flesh with rice, I gobbled the whole thing up like a 5-year old kid. No, wait a minute, I was a 5-year old kid. And I LOVE her White Sugar Cake, yes, I'm amazed too I didn't grow out of my mini mini sized pjs, but let's not get there.
I have on several occasions, not without a threatening edge to my tone, pleaded popo to teach me a signature dish or two, or twenty four; sweet/ savoury Glutinous Rice Dumplings, Oatmeal Prawns, Stirfry sliced liver with ginger and shallot, Angkoo Kuih, Homemade bouncy Fishballs, Yoong Taufu, Curry Fish Head, assorted Mooncakes, you know I can go on forever, right?, Mee Siam, Sweet Sauce Steamed Fish, Yam Cake, Smooth Beancurd with honeyed Brown Sugar Glaze, and how can I forget the sweets and cookies during Chinese New Year? Yes, all single-handedly made.
You could be thinking if my popo is THAT good, why do I still fail to whip up a simple fare for two?
Well, if you must know, popo never did teach me any of her secrets, or anything much for that matter. She said, "If I must impart, then it is your Mum who
Over the years, I never thought much about how important cooking skills are for a woman. But now, I know. And I'm filled with regret. I hope it's not too late.
As a form of self-encouragement, I want to attempt aforementioned dishes marked in bold. I won't lie, it's gonna take a long, long while. But, I will one day browse around and remember this pledge I made, on a quiet day when I really missed popo.