up in Taiwan - Taiwanese Cooking
Childhood is the same everywhere,
but I grew up in Taiwan My life centered on school and home, and the most
important person in the home was my mother. She was the sweetest person
in the world. I've never seen her fight with my father. I'm fifty-three
now, and I don't think I'm going to see it. My
mother was gentle, especially if one of us wasn't feeling well. I
remember exactly how to make the pork liver soup she made when I was sick,
though mine never tastes quite as good. I guess I was never seriously sick,
because I remember that she would say that I needed
pork liver soup and we both would go to the market to shop.
I was fussy about the soup, and if I said I didn't think it tasted right,
she'd make it again! Can you imagine that? No one but a mother would put
up with that. I remember feeling sad when I went back to school because
I liked being home with her.
are devoted to rice so she also made congee
for us. Congee is a breakfast soup that has many variations. It's done
with turkey or chicken. If you have a sore throat, you eat congee with
apricot kernel powder.
favorite dish of my mother's was shrimp balls.
She boiled them to serve with sweet hoisin sauce, sometimes she fried
them, or she added them to the soup that was always on the table. No one
could make them like my mother. I think she knew from experience exactly
how thick a paste needed to be formed from the shrimp.
women stay home to care for the family, so their education is ignored.
My grandparents insisted that my mother get an education, though. She
was proud to pass it on to us, and made sure that we grew up knowing the
cultural elements of Chinese life. When I was little she would take me
to the theater in the afternoon. Those were magic moments.
of thanking my mother is by being with my daughters. They like to watch
Zena, the Warrior Princess on Saturday nights. No matter what else I have
to do, I rush to be home on time to watch that show with my daughters.
That's my thank you to my mother.
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