recipes that made me, well, ME

[This is a response to the Weekly Challenge of DailyPost <http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/weekly-writing-challenge-recipe/>.  I’m very new at this.  Will appreciate feedbacks.  Thanks!]

2 tsp instant coffee

a pitcher of hot water

sugar, if available

During my pre-school years, I had no idea that kids should drink milk.  Milk is for babies!  And it doesn’t even taste good, anyway.  I grew up in the province drinking coffee every morning, sharing a pitcher with my parents and five siblings.  You must imagine how bland it was.  Every drop tasted like hot water with a hint of bitter and sweet.  But it was normal for me then.  So now, twenty years later, whenever I put too little coffee and too much sugar in my cup while rushing things at the office, I still think of home.  And of how it feels to be fully content.

a cup of rice

and nothing else

When I was in grade school, I started living permanently with my grandmother and my aunt, in a house ten meters away from my family’s.  My aunt is an old maid.  And so in time, she treated me as her own child.

There were times when we had nothing to eat but rice.  My aunt would usually tell me to go to my parents for lunch.  I always declined.  That’s embarrassing!  I mean, how would you feel going to your neighbour for meals?  My aunt would laugh at me and say, “But they’re your family.”  I never had the courage to say, “You’re my family, too.”

And I often ended up looking for soy sauce to match the cup of rice.  Yum!

1 scrambled egg

an imaginary birthday cake

and an overflowing cup of mother’s love

I’ve never had a birthday cake until I was 21.  That’s right. Twenty-one.  (Special thanks to a special girl – but that’s another story.)  Cakes were just not part of my rural life.  Or my birthdays.  As far I can recall, “Happy birthday” greetings had always been enough for me, especially because our family is not an expressive bunch.  We don’t say cheesy things like “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” to one another.  Hugs are awkward for us when you’re past the age of five.

My birthday usually falls on the first week of classes.  That’s why I love books – because they seem like a part of me.  And that’s also why I never had a party, because all the money my parents earned (or borrowed from merciful lenders – bless them!) was spent on school supplies.

On days like that, my mother would prepare my comfort food. Scrambled eggs!  And I can have it all by myself.  No need to share.  Good days, good days…

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