I know there are just certain things that people are bias to — like, your kid being the smartest and the cutest and the most behaved; and your mom being the best cook ever… only, my mom really is the best cook ever (in my eyes anyway).
There’s no restaurant or food in the world that can compare to my mom’s cooking; her cooking is one of the things that I look forward to when I’m home. Besides from the dinner shopping that I tag along with her in Chinatown for (usually consisting of some sort of fish/seafood, vegetables, and fruit), she also grows her own vegetables and herbs in her garden in the back of the house.
My mom has such a green thumb! She grew up in a rural village in China, where the livelihood of the villagers was farming. My mom said we use to own dogs, cats, fishes in a pond, hogs, chickens, etc. (I imagine she grew up in a place that’s probably like Iowa! — but how I grew up would be comparable to a place like Hong Kong instead). Anyway, she grows Chinese vegetables in the backyard — things like chives/scallions, cilantro, winter melon, green beans, and other things that I don’t even know what their names are. She has an abundance of vegetables and herbs, so much that she is always giving some to my aunts and uncles, to my sister-in-law’s mom, to extended family and friends, basically to anyone. It’s also a part of the communal sharing that is exhibited, especially in the past in rural areas of China under Communist influences for crop sharing (before what historians now term as the evolution of “modern China”).
My mom cooks everything (except for soups) in a wok. Seriously, whether stir-fried or steamed, it is cooked in a wok. It’s crazy because I hardly know how to use one! You’d think since I grew up seeing one every day of my life I’d know what I was doing with the thing! I don’t know what the best type to buy is, and I don’t know how to properly clean it so that it doesn’t rust. I’ve never seen my mother doing anything other than washing it like you would normally wash any other cookware; but online they have instructions on how to “properly” wash a wok — things like “seasoning” it by coating it with oil and rubbing it down and cleaning it up with paper towels. The funny part is, all of these instructions are usually from a white person! I mean, would anyone seriously listen to a Chinese person giving cooking instructions for Italian cooking? I supposed she’s never had to do any of that because the wok is constantly in use, so there’s never a concern for it rusting because it would never be “put away” in the cabinets.