This is a story of a girl and her mother. A week(end)ly story of an elementary school girl, the only daughter in the family: Going (involuntarily) to the traditional market with her mother.
Prior to leaving the house, she had to make sure that she wears proper outfit: a shabby 5-cm-above-the-ankle trousers and a fully-covered-shoes. This is important, as most of the ‘floor’ in traditional market was not that clean and learning from what she had experienced, there was enough muddy-footwear stepping on her little ‘innocent’ feet.
As she walked down the alley of the market, it was not surprising if her mother had gone far ahead of her, leaving her carefully walking to avoid any chances of being splashed by the ‘muddy’ floor.
And as her mother started to enter the “fresh meat products” area, she would be placed in a snacks booth owned by a very sweet Aunty. Her mother was smart enough not to take her since she wouldn’t stand the smell. And oh, don’t forget the floor 😅
No worries, because this sweet Aunty would receive an equal compensation for the temporary ‘child care’ service she has provided: having a loyal customer every weekend, a loyal little customer who usually spent quite much at her store 😉
When her mother reached her with lots of plastic bags fully filled with fresh products, she refused to make any contact with her mother’s hands since it must have been in contact with any of the meat-products. ‘Yucky’ and germophobia detected.
Yes. She was THAT freak.
Once they got home, instead of helping her mother in the kitchen to do all the cooking, she would instantly dressed herself in a set of ‘new’ outfit, completely different with the one that has been used to go to the market. And if it was necessary, she would (re)take a shower.
Afterwards, you could find her in her room, watching tv or doing some homework, listening to the radio, requesting some songs and be ready with the record ‘button’ on her radio, while waiting for the meals to be ready.
Well, what could you expect? Even when she’s an adolescent, she barely can’t distinct coriander seed with pepper seed.
Peeling carrot or onions, you say? It would take ages.
So there she was. Along with her two younger brothers. Sitting neatly at the table, ready to enjoy the homemade meals her mother had prepared.
The mother is a great ‘chef’. At least for the girl and her two younger brothers. She is a home cook.
Every single morning, the mother prepared everything while rushing herself to the office.
Everytime they went out for meals, the children always compared the meals with their mother’s. Always not good enough. Nothing compares to the homemade meals.
That’s how they define their mother. There’s no need to know the process of cooking. What’s the use?
Years gone by.
The little girl got married. Married with two academics degrees in hands, but zip about cooking, financial planning, and even worse: how to become a good wife and a mother.
In less than two years, the dependent girl had to live far away from her mother. Going abroad, accompanying her husband to continue his study. Carrying a 7 months old baby.
Early days abroad she spent with crying, literally. Before, everything was nicely prepared by her mother. Now, there’s mother no more.
Fortunately, her husband has been quite a helping hand. Not only with the baby, but also with the house. He was not hesitant to do the dishes, sweep the floor, clean the bathroom, and to go to the traditional market to buy fresh products – without even bother to wear a shabby 5-cm-above-the-ankle trousers and a fully-covered-shoes 😁
Months gone by.
This new mother always insisted to cook homemade meals for her husband and her little daughter, despite the skill she didn’t have.
Not only because she adores her mother that much that she wants to be at least a bit like her and the memories of the tradition of the family meal, but also her great concerns about a healthy non-additive-made-from-scratch meals, her love of good food, and her longing for hometown meals.
Out of many reasons, here’s the most important: Because it was a compulsory task. “Would you feed your baby nasi lemak or chicken curry?” 😅 If not, well definitely, you have to cook, then.
And by cooking, it means hours spent
making a mess at the kitchen.
From scraping out the insides of the fish belly using her own finger, peeling deveining and cleaning shrimps causing countless puncture at her fingertips, slicing and grounding a bunch of red meat using giant knife and food processor, cleaning a whole chicken covered in droplets of blood, to cleaning and washing the squids which leave her hands smell fishy for hours.
Not to mention making an international call on and on to her mother and grandmother to ask for (family) recipes, opening and closing countless food blogs, exploring various cooking tips, googling images only to make sure which one galangal is, thousand times of failing and trying new recipes, and eventually forcing herself to do the fresh-product-shopping on her own: going to the traditional market.
Stepping out of her comfort zone. Giant one.
The power of ‘kepepet‘.
At her fourth years of marriage, the (once) little girl who has transformed into a young mother, has the most favourite routine on the weekend: Going (voluntarily and happily) to the traditional market with her lovely husband and their little daughter.
While shopping, she and her husband would lively introduced their little daugher to many kinds of vegetables and fruits they encountered at the market. She has also established a quite well relation with the sellers who friendly greeted her everytime she comes, “Nak masak apa harini?”
Cooking, unexpectedly, has become her most favourite hobby. Or you may call it, a passion.
The kitchen recently has been a joyful place for the (no longer a) girl, where she could literally feels happy when she was able to successfully make a delicious and healthy meal from scratch: Being told by her two-years-old daughter that she loves the meals by showing her empty plate and called as a good cook by her loving husband – things that she could have never imagined before 🙂
No more yucky-germophobia-thingy.
It all have been substituted by a joyous feeling at the deepest part of her heart, when she was able to ‘magically’ turned any fresh ‘yucky’ products into a delicious whole-hearted meal, served beautifully on top of the table, pretty enough (at least her husband thought so) to be captured and posted in a so-called blog, being read and appreciated by hundreds of readers, with hope to spread the inspiration she gained from her mother and be beneficial for whoever reads it. At this point, she has come to a rather unexpected dream: Being remembered as a home cook by her husband and child(ren), just like her mother, while having her own healthy home catering service. Quoting Mr. Mayor, “What’s in the world better than being paid for doing your passion?” 😉
My mother is a great ‘chef’. At least for me and my two younger brothers. She is a home cook 😊
P.S. This post is written as a part of weekly Blog Challenge in Blog English Club (BEC), a community initiated by Mas Dani, Mba Nita, and Mas Ryan; mentored by the great ‘Grammar Nazi’ Mba Yoyen, Mba Mikan, Mba Eva, and Mba Nana.
This week theme is “Wildest Dream”, is my dream wild enough?😅
Any of you interested in joining the club? You’re just one click away to the registration form 😊