I didn’t need to be in New York City until May 5th, yet I decided to come to the City a few days early.

It’s not about shopping, the night life or shows. It’s about getting a taste of homemade food. My aunt, Judy, is a great cook. She cooks eight-course meals almost every night for her family. Her daughters and their families, who either live with her or near-by, eat with my aunt and uncle every night. I envy my cousins!

She welcomed me by making my favorite dishes: chicken soup with rice liquor and sesame oil, sliced bean curd with sweet bean sauce and green onion, Chinese celery with calamari, beef stew with Chinese turnip and lightly stir-fried greens and Chinese style pumpkin soup.

It was a non-stop eating marathon from Thursday night through Monday morning including desserts such as sweet tofu pudding, rice balls, Taiwanese-style breads, Chinese pancakes, bubble milk tea and more. That’s how Chinese shower their guests with love or deal with any emotional issues: EAT! There is a kernel of truth in Ang Lee’s movie: Eat Drink Man Woman. Yum! I was in Heaven.

Actually, I was not in Heaven. I was at home. I was back in a home that no longer physically exists but has a special place in my memory.

Auntie’s homemade food evoked those happy memories of my childhood and, for a short moment, I was not a mother, a professional woman or a wife. I was a little girl again, worry free and happy. I can’t help but smile: smiling at my Aunt’s daily eight-course meal, smiling at my Auntie and smiling at that little girl inside of me.

8-course meal, Chinese Foold


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