Monday, August 8, 2011

Cooking With Mom

In my earlier post, I said that Mom's talent was her cooking ability. This is without a doubt the truth as I know it.

The thing is when Mom was a young woman, she loved baking. She would bake all sorts of desserts, from cookies to cakes to tiny muffins and delicious meringues. She learned all sorts of baking delights. From western desserts to more traditional Malay kuih (desserts).

As Mom went from being a carefree young woman to a wife and mother, she still cooks her desserts but she added to her repertoire daily dishes which one needs to eat on a day to day basis.

Even at preparing daily meals Mom excelled.

What I want to talk about today is Mom's recipe for kuih semperit. A favorite cookie of ours, semperit were usually made only for the Eid celebration. This once a year treat is especially dear to my sister.

It would be the only cookie from Mom's full repertoire that Along learned from Mom.

Today as Along was making the cookie, I can't help but feel hollow inside, remembering all those baking hours with mom that we will never get to experience again.

My fondest memory of Mom's baking triumph happened the year I was six. I so wanted Mom to bake a cake and decorate it with icing and pretty little flowers. What Mom didn't say was, "Listen kid, I don't know how to ice a cake so it's a no." What mom did instead was figured out the best way she knew how and created me an iced cake.

Till today I think that cake mom made me when I was 6 was the most gorgeous creation I've ever seen. Of course to my consternation, a friend I brought home to share in this wondrous creation had the cheek to tell me the cake was ugly.

I don't even remember that friend anymore, but I still remember how angry I was when she said Mom's cake was anything but wonderful.

As the years passed Mom never attempted to ice a cake again and I never asked her to do it after that one time. I don't really know why. Maybe I was afraid another friend would denounce another cake and hurt my pride in Mom's cooking abilities again.

From being Mom's kitchen helper since I was old enough to really be of help in the kitchen, I've learned a lot from Mom about culinary things. But alas, I discovered after Mom passed away, that there are still many recipes and tricks of the trade that I didn't get to learn from Mom.

I guess now I have to continue this journey into the culinary world on my own.

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