The prompt from Across the Bored’s TCTC is: “How do you cook?”
My dad is a Chinese cook who enjoys preparing a feast for every meal Growing up, it was the norm to have a minimum of nine dishes on the table. I thought everyone ate like this for every meal. But, it wasn’t until I started to sleep over at a friend’s house that I saw that others didn’t eat the same way as I did at home. My dad some how creates magic with his stainless steel wok. Occasionally, when we have parties, even now in his late 80’s, he can still whip up 10 – 15 dishes in a couple of hours. The time it takes to prepare all the ingredients is very time-consuming. Once, I asked my dad why he does it, and he told me that he loves to feed others. Every time I see my dad, even if it is for a quick visit, he always asks, “Have you eaten?” When I was younger I thought it was so annoying for him to ask me this over and over again. In college, I took a Chinese language class where the professor explained that during the time of war, there was very little food available. So when friends saw one another, they would always greet one another with, “Have you eaten?” I guess missing a meal or two in a day was very common during the time of war. I sometimes wonder what my dad and his family may have experienced during that time.
I have not learned to master the skill of cooking. I wish I could flavor my dishes as nicely as my dad does when he cooks, but for some reason it is always missing something. As my mom says, one of the secret ingredients my dad puts into his cooking is his love and desire to fill someone’s belly with yummy food. I guess I need to be as passionate about cooking as my dad, in order to have my dishes taste as great.