Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mama's cooking

While in Dallas over the weekend, I got to enjoy some of my wife's mama's cooking. Whenever we visit her, she always sends us home with at least 3 dishes. Though the leftovers are delicious, there's nothing like enjoying home-cooking fresh of the heat.

So here are some of the dishes we got to stuff in our face. The fotos are only of those dishes prepared by my mother-in-law. Sdaly, I forgot to take fotos of my mama's dishes for posting. Thank goodness she doesn't have internet otherwise her feelings might be hurt.

Sea Bass Congee
This was congee, which is a type of rice porridge. This one was made with sea bass and garnished with green onions. Congee, like ramen, provides a bottom-less bowl of possibilities. You could have congee with poultry, beef, pork, eggs, veggies, tofu, SPAM, anything.

Thit Kho & Rau
The next meal consisted of stewed pork and hard-boiled eggs served with stir-fried spinach. This is similary to the recipe I used on beef shanks recently. At first, the thought of pork and hard-boiled eggs seem odd for a stew, but it's just as good of a pairing as bacon and eggs.

And for dessert, simply strawberries. These were some of the most beautiful strawberries I'd ever seen. Their near perfect red complexion almost seemed to have been painted on by a team of food artists, but yet, they had merely been rinsed under the faucet and served. These morsels of mother nature were very sweet and juicy and completely satisfied my sweet tooth, which sometimes seems insatiable.

Though my mother-in-law's cooking is difference than my mama's, it's just as yummy. One thing the two mamas have in common is they both are compelled to make much more food than necessary. Though I've tried to explain that exceeding expectations isn't always necessary, it never sticks. What makes their food so great is the passion with which they cook. They spend a significant part of the day cooking. As if the act of cooking wasn't time consuming enough, they spend plenty of brain power planning the meals, determing the courses, shopping for ingredients and taking no shortcuts when it comes to cook time. For the longest time, I couldn't understand why sometimes it feels they're only a few seconds away from force-feeding us. But now I realize that this is their way of loving us. My wife and I are no longer little children for them to hug and pinch our cheeks. To get around that, they make us pinch our bellies. The time they spend cooking for us would be enough for them to throw a Martha Stewart-style party. But instead, it's all for us. And though we tell them we love them, it's no substitute for us eating everything they serve us.

In light of approaching Hurricane Ike, we'll be visiting Dallas again this weekend for more gluttony. Unlike our last visit, I'll remember to bring the camera to my mom's house too.

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