You Have No Idea

Everyday I come home and find new mysteries in the fridge like this. A ziploc bag full of corn silk. Sheesh. I hope she is going to boil it for stock or something, and we won't be eating it for a side dish tomorrow night. Tonight, we had a side of sauteed squash leaves. They were wierd. Very wierd. Steven says she put some red pepper sauce on it that made it even wierder.

We think--now that we have a nearly $30,000 kitchen--that JingXia is learning, after 3 half years with us, that we like to cook too. She's being a good sport about asking before she cooks, especially on the weekend (when we both, she thinks, like most to cook). And she has pared her preferred 8-12 dishes per meal down to 4 or 5 now.

I miss coming home and cooking a thirty minute (non Rachel Ray) meal. There is something about cooking everyday that I really need somehow. It's not about creativity, really. More like memory and ritual, being in touch with the earth, and rememberance of things passed. It's indoor gardening, really, and somehow it cultivates the mind. Going through the days events while chopping or deglazing or washing.

Chatting while cooking too, that's a nice thing. I suppose if we could talk to one another she would let me do some of it, but that's not going to happen. When Steven works from home during the week, he can if he has time. But usually, I don't think she really lets him ever help either.

We all have dishes we prepare that remind us of that time or that visit or that party. A way of marking time? 3,589 Oatmeal Cookies so far! 342 Roast Chickens! A Brazillion grains of Rice! The last time we had xx was when xx and xx came over.

In the first year, i was relegated to just being the desert cook, since neither JingXia--nor any Chinese grandma for that matter--would cook a desert. Not even with a ten foot spoon.

I think back often to the day--more than 2 years ago now--when Debbie said "You're such a good son-in-law, Sam!" I am trying.


Steven said...

We realize that it is not easy to change the way of living. Kitchen for Chinese is treated more as functional than entertaining. I always think that my aesthetic sense comes more from Chinese culture and tradition. Or actually more fusion of east and west. My mom definitely adapts to western food fast than I did. She make beautiful sofa cover. Actually Janet just asked if she can pay my mom to make sofa cover for her. I told her that she will love to do it without paying.

You are the best son-in-law she can ask for even though we both are bit Nazi about how thing should be. We do not realize it until my mom is here since we are highly in sync most of time.

Debbie said...

It's true, you are a good son-in-law. Don't forget to tell us what the corn silk was for.

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