Writing 101, Day Ten: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)!
Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.
Free free to focus on any aspect of the meal, from the food you ate to the people who were there to the event it marked.
Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.
Not just any dumpling, there is one specific dish that has been a tradition (sort-of) in our family. The (famous) “Mayonnaise Prawn”. It looks simple but is by far the only dish which no one could resist, seriously, none.
My mom never learned cooking until she was married, she was married to my dad at the age of 17. She used to think cooking was obligatory because her times were tough, cook your own food apparently costs less than eating out or take away or delivery. Today she’s the best home-cook in our long hierarchical family tree.
That dish is very special because it was a privilege and used to be served only in selected Chinese restaurants in town. Even until today, my Mom would only cook it for special occasions. Birthdays and Chinese New Years are two occasions that never fail to see it coming. We still keep it as a tradition to remind ourselves that our family is a loving one. Every single time that dish is served at the table, all of the family members would gather.
It’s not just the taste, it’s the secret ingredient which can only be duplicated by her. Families or not, everyone always vouches that this is her best dish ever. Not even a 5-star restaurant can match the taste. The warm feeling when the mayonnaise melts with prawns in your mouth is just truly-amazingly-awesomely-crazily-incredibly-marvelously (there is a long list, but i’ll stop here) special. I would inadvertently close my eyes to savor the sweet yet salty taste every time I take that first bite. Normally followed by a deep breath. Usually there is around 8 to 9 type of dishes served and this is the first dish that is never going to see the light of tomorrow. It is a tradition when celebrating Chinese New Years that plethora of food is served at the table so that left-overs will be carried through tomorrow (it marks that the following year will also prosper).
Damn! Now I really wanna taste it again. I think I’m gonna bother my mom to cook it. Wanna try some?
PS : Maybe I should learn how to cook this so I continue her legacy.
PSS: Do I sound like a little boy?