Thursday, December 11, 2014

Introduction to my book Remembered Recipes--by Kyi May Kaung

Introduction to Remembered Recipes--by Kyi May Kaung--

When I first reconnected with my favorite Aunty A after a gap of about a dozen years in upstate New York, she came out on the front driveway of her son, my cousin Mongoose's house.

She was really happy and the first thing she said as I got out of the car was "You look so like old U Kaung,"  (my father).

I was at the age when he died, in his early 50s, and wearing the round black-rimmed style of glasses he used to have.

"You are exactly like him in your interests too."

"And your mother, does she still recycle leftovers?"

Aunty forgot I had not seen my mother for the same length of time also.

I promise, in this book, there won't be too much recycling of leftovers.

As my maternal grandparents were tai pan in Moulmein, over the years, Uncle and Aunty and I had many food memories in common, Uncle and I once in a duck-deboning contest which Uncle won hands down.

He and I also tried to reconstruct a Chinese pastry with see jone and yay jone--dough made with oil and dough made with water, but we were not successful as Uncle did not remember the proportions from his childhood.  And we had no cookbook/s to consult.

Now I have a Chinese dim sum cookbook and many other cookbooks.

Some of the food memories were mixed in with the economic situation and the stress of family fights, usually me fighting with mother, husband, etc.

Some are mixed in with sneers from the former in laws--

But I believe people who fight, or fight back, which is more true in my case, have a legitimate reason for doing so.

I have never been in a fight that I instigated myself.

I NEVER instigate fights.

I am a peaceful person who wants peace and quiet and time to think.

In this book, family recipes, remembered and reconstructed, will be combined with memories going back to as far as pre-World War II in Burma.

How did I know?

Well, when we meet, and this also includes family friends, we not only cook and eat, we also tell stories, and this oral tradition has been going on a long time.

So here, for your entertainment, with imprecise recipes, are some of those happy and not so happy times and foods.


Copyright KMKaung

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