Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My little chef and my granddad

There are a few dishes that always remind me of my granddad. Baked beans with mince pork, Cantonese-styled pork and potato/carrot soup, and black-sauce pork. He used to be cook in a restaurant, and he would whip up the most delicious meal every Sunday as that's when everyone -- my uncles, aunts, cousins, and us -- would gather to catch up. Attendance was compulsory.

After I got married and moved out, I asked my mum how to make black-sauce pork. It is so easy; throw dark soya sauce and light soya sauce over the pork pieces together with some crushed garlic cloves and a few pieces of rock sugar. Every time I smell the wonderful aroma of the sauce cooking with the garlic, I would always, always think of my granddad. How he pottered around the kitchen, said hello to us, and retreated to his room when dinner was over. He was a man of few words.

Today, as I was preparing the ingredients (and thinking about my granddad again), my 6yo asked if he could help me prepare dinner. Sure, why not. I had decided to add carrots to the recipe because Kit LOVES carrots. So Kai peeled the carrot and, with my help, chopped the carrots. I showed him the ingredients and he poured the sauce in for me, threw in the crushed garlic, carrots, and the rock sugar, and stirred them around and around.

It was the best black-sauce pork we've ever had together. I don't what it was. Maybe because it was made with love. Maybe because it is now a recipe passed down through four generations. Suddenly, I miss my granddad. But because of this dish, now my son knows a little bit about his great granddad. How bitter sweet.

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