Welcome to my blog! What better day to start one than on Chinese New Year (which happens to coincide with Valentine's day this year; how lucky for those who celebrate both). This will be the place where I share my love of food: from what I'm cooking at home, to what I'm eating when I'm out and about.
About me: my love for food is inherent. My parents opened a Chinese restaurant when I was in gradeschool. My dad was the head cook, and my mom ran the front end. My mom was (and still is) an excellent cook, too. I spent most of my childhood there, usually hiding underneath the cash register counter, at my mother's feet full-time.
And by full-time, I don't mean 40-hour work weeks like a most people work. I mean full-time in the restaurant biz, which for us meant 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. When not in school, I was in the restaurant. During this time I was lucky enough to have really good food all of the time. I still remember preparing some of the food: pork wonton dumplings, pork and vegetable egg rolls, beef skewers, and foil-wrapped chicken, among other typical Chinese dishes.
The year I went away to college was the year my parents decided to close the restaurant for good.
It wasn't until I was a couple years into my first job as a graphic designer that I rekindled my love for food. I discovered that I'm a natural cook. I cooked for friends and coworkers, and they'd always ask for more.
I also discovered that I really missed my parent's home cooking. Shark fin soup, steamed pork, soy sauce fish, fresh veggies, rice porridge (jook!) and endless stir-frys were just out of reach. Looking back, I regret not really paying attention when my parents cooked in the kitchen. I never gave it a second thought; food just magically appeared on the table. Now, when visiting my family every year, I pay attention to what they're doing in their kitchen, in hopes that my hands can recreate their magic in my own kitchen.
Speaking of kitchens! Mine is tiny. I call it a one-butt kitchen (as in, only one person can fit in there at a time). I live in a Shoebox! The landlord calls it a studio apartment.
I could probably move into a bigger apartment with a bigger kitchen, but I choose not to. I see the small space as a challenge to live with less. I'm within walking-distance to a grocery store and a ton of local eateries I've yet to explore.
So! Join me in my kitchen (and while I'm dining out) and share your love of food with me. I'm looking forward to the gastronomic journey. Below is a photo of some jook that I made. It's a hot, comforting bowl of rice porridge seasoned with salt pork, cooked slowly with ginger, garlic, shallots, chicken broth, and of course rice. To me, this is home.
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Much prosperity to you and yours.