Friday, December 4, 2009
My grandmother was most creative and kindest person. She was very giving, sensible and very pragmatic. Her heritage was Laos and Chinese. She came from a tribe call Lao Paung. She taught me how to cook when I was a child. As an oldest girl in the family, I shall learn how to cook, take care of the family and pass the skill on to my sisters. Any how the traditions stop with me. I never fulfilled the task of the oldest sister. My grandmother was the best cook and handcraft artist I know. Our family and relatives are still praising her cooking and all the dishes that always look so beautiful garnished with composition of sculpted vegetables and herbs and how she orchestrated the meal with all different flavors, spices, textures and smell. We were growing up eating like in the palace. In her spare time she would made her craft works for us like scarf, handbags, baskets, cloths and so on. She put us to sleep by singing, telling stories and reciting poem. I feel so fortunate to be her granddaughter and experienced the beautiful Thai culture and tradition before I was sent to the western world later in my teen.
My grandmother had influenced me and my life – the creativity, curiosity, pragmatic way of thinking, my cooking, my interest in people and culture. She was always very keen on using natural or home grown ingredients. She would grow herbs, vegetables and fruits on any empty patches on lawn and garden of hers, my parent, uncle and aunt.
One of my favorite cooking tip from my grandmother which I still practice till today “add a small pinch of sugar the end of cooking to boost up the flavor then you don’t need to add MSG (Monosodium glutamate)”We never cook or eat MSG at home. MSG is popularly used in Asian cooking as flavor enhancer.