Who’s in the kitchen?

Who here was raised on homemade Chinese food every night?

Who here prepares homemade Chinese for for their family every night?

Uh huh. I thought so.

"Tiger in the Kitchen" by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

There’s hope for you yet. That’s the premise of Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan’s new food memoir “Tiger in the Kitchen”. A former fashion reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Tan subsisted on salad lunches (dressing on the side!) until she found herself laid-off in as a result of newspaper downsizing. Tan makes lemonade, by spending a year travelling back and forth to Singapore — where she learns the secrets of Teochew Chinese cooking from her aunties and grandmother. Check the new online magazine, Talking Writing , this spring for my full review of the book.  Bay Area folks can also catch Tan’s San Francisco appearance.

The book has gotten me thinking about how I…

  • grew up with a working mother who still managed to cook homemade — albeit simple — dinners every night
  • ate what was on my plate (fish eye balls, eggplant, and pig’s feet)
  • only complained about foods (cilantro, shitake mushrooms, liver) that were truly unpalateable.

And about how my own children…

  • won’t eat chicken on the bone, sandwiches with mayonnaise, most vegetables,
  • expect to go to restaurants several times a week
  • are largely out of touch with the food traditions of my culture.

Something’s gotta change. And I’ve got a few ideas. Stay tuned for more, coming soon on…

HapaMama Food !

What are your food memories and traditions?

How are you passing them on to your children?

Could you use a little help?

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