Over the years, my grandmother tried and tried to teach me the recipes of our family but I only can remember half the things she demonstrated. Honestly, I was better at eating then than cooking. Occasionally, when I attempt a recipe, I get it right and as I pour my steamed veggies or noodles into her old colander, I privately thank her in an internal monologue. These photos are some that took on one of my lessons. The shapes and the light were just right at the moment.
Food, is one of those things that are so important to most families and that could not be less true to our group. My cousin said it best in his eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral; regardless of whether you were visiting tomorrow or a month away, she asked what you would like to eat and made sure you would be full when you left.
One of her favorite recipes was that of fish steamed with ginger and green onions topped with sesame oil. Out of tradition, my father and his siblings gathered at her apartment one last time before her funeral and left an offering of this dish for her with a cup of tea by the window she would watch for visitors. I often conjure up a scenario in my head about what happens after they’ve left. I see her ghost watching her children pack into their cars as she eats. She then takes a stroll thru the apartment she had only lived in for a short while before she became sick. In my imagination, she returns to her perch and waits for someone to stop by for a visit, vanishing when one of her children return to clean up the meal.