Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Good day fellow bloggers and readers:
Welcome to my foodie blog!
Ideas for blogging:
- recipe testing
- specialty dishes from home
- foodie movie reviews
- the best food of the 4 seasons
- holiday-themed meals
- restaurant reviews/happy hour specials
- foodie heaven vacation hot spots
- foodie game reviews
My mother have told me that I have developed a good sense of taste since I was 4, when she accidentally gave me spicy curry squid at a dim sum restaurant...and I liked it. While growing up, my parents took me and my sister to many Chinese restaurants for yum cha and dinners, whether it be for a family member's birthday or just because. My parents also took us to vacations where we got to enjoy the specialities of other places, such as fresh lobster in Boston and yummy buffets in Reno and Las Vegas. Moreover, my mother enjoys bringing me along to sample other ethnic cuisines at different restaurants, as she knows that I'm willing to try just about everything on my plate.
For the majority of my childhood, my house was home to more than just my family - my grandma, then grandpa, then two aunts all on my mother's side. My grandma is a great cook, so none of the others needed to cook dinner. As my mother and her two sisters didn't need to learn how to cook while they were growing up, my sister and I didn't need to either. In fact, my parents strongly discouraged us from cooking, dishwashing, and other chores. They didn't want us to accidentally hurt ourselves in the kitchen, and like typical Asian parents, wanted us to focus in getting good grades at school.
Unfortunately, my mother's family eventually left to their own homes in a nearby city. My parents were left alone to cook. The first couple years were definitely not easy, but my mother consulted with my grandma on how to make soups and certain dishes. It also helped that my mother developed a strong food background, as she learned how Chinese food was made by waitressing in many Chinese restaurants around the Bay Area and she learned how American food was made by working in a Safeway deli. Soon, both of my parents learned how to cook and came out with their own signature dishes.
Soon enough, it was time for me to go to college at UC Davis. For the first time, I was away from the homemade meals and ate meals at the nearby dining commons. Moving into my apartment the following year, I realized that I didn't know how to cook to feed myself. Sure, I can make simple things - but could I cook well enough to survive? Thankfully, my mother helped me out by packing up some dishes for me to bring back to my apartment. However, I felt that there was a need for me to learn how to cook as a survival skill. At the end of my freshman year, I researched the student clubs and found my answer: Cooking Club. Perfect! I e-mailed the contactperson about the club details...only to learn that the past president and members already graduated and if I was interested, I could start it over. Me? I don't have any past presidential experience. I messaged everyone in the Facebook group to see if anyone was interested in reviving the club with me, and only received one enthusiastic response. With the encouragement of some friends, I was able to turn in the paperwork to start the club during my junior year.
I really enjoyed the challenge of setting a new foundation for the club. The previous club members didn't leave any account or anything to help us, so it was starting a club from scratch. With our limited budget, we were able to pull off food demos, potlucks, recipe exchange, bbqs, a campfire, and an Iron Chef competition. One of my successes was bringing Martin Yan from "Yan Can Cook" to our bake sale table on Picnic Day 2008, where he wrote "Yan Can Cook, so can you" on our "Cooking Club" banner. We were part of a video he was filming for some future pilot. He gave more spirit to my club members, so I am very thankful for that.
The club encouraged me to experiment in cooking, such as doing some pasta dishes for the club and some cakes for my family. I hope to continue my cooking and food experiences post-graduation, and this foodie blog will document my new food adventures.