Food Memories Of My Father
After this last trip I still find myself still recalling some of the things my father said to me about France. I continue to be amazed at how my childhood perceptions was so wrong! Here are some food memories of my father.
We went to La Papilles for luncheon (see Jenn’s write-up and delicious food photos of our meal in the last blog). As the waiter brought the main entree to our table, and we were all admiring how it was plated, a memory appeared. The waiter was explaining to us how the beef was slow cooked in wine for 7 hours, and I suddenly remembered my father telling me: “The French just throw everything in a pot – meat, potatoes, vegetables, add a little wine and let the meal cook for many hours”. At the time, I was around 8 years old, and my mother did just about all the cooking. I watched her painstakingly wash the rice and cook it in one pot. Then, I watched her wash the vegetables and cut them. And, lastly, she sliced the meat to stir fry into the vegetables. So, when my father told me the “French” way of cooking, I just thought he was too lazy to do what my mother did everyday, so he made up a story to rationalize throwing everything into a pot!
After all these years, I finally came to realize that he was telling the truth all along! It fascinates me how a child’s mind works when things aren’t explained. The child comes up with his/her own explanation, so being the psychotherapist that I was, I do wonder how accurate our memories really are of our parents.
The other tidbit that I realized on this trip was that he got his love for cheese from living in France. I guess it never occurred to me that his taste for cheese came from France because Americans ate cheese also. The interesting thing is that Chinese hate cheese, especially the stinky kind of blue cheese that smelled up our whole fridge. It didn’t occur to me to wonder why he loved cheese when every other Chinese we knew had such an aversion to it. Even my mother! In my mind’s eye, I can see her opening the refrigerator and holding her nose, commenting about how our fridge smelled like garbage.
Evidently, that didn’t stop my father from filling it with his beloved blue cheese!
Gayook (Liou) Wong