I made Bak Kut Teh (a Chinese pork bones soup with herbs) with thick udon noodles, tofu and vegetables for my family.
It was absolutely, mouth-wateringly delicious, if I do say so myself. My inner Chinese Mother smiled deeply with satisfaction.
I set up the table all nicely, 5 place mats, 5 pairs of chopsticks, 5 spoons and 5 bowls… full of noodles, soup and all the yummy stuff piled on top.
When my kids sat down at the dinner table and saw my set up, they buzzed in delight and amusement… and announced that I should open a Chinese restaurant!!
Haha I must admit that I beamed with pride.
They had tickled on one of my (many) secret career fantasies… to open an uber-cool, inner city, unfussy, cheap and cheerful cafe-restaurant, with cuisine based on my favorite mixed-up South-East Asian/Western recipes of all the women in my big family.
In my dream, my eating house becomes an institution for people of all ages. Artists paint murals on the walls. Celebrities line up to get in. It inspires songs and poems. I launch a world-wide franchise, and become a famous TV chef.
The world finally accepts that Sambal belacan, gado gado and spaghetti bolognese on the same yellow plastic plate is a legitimate, vibrant form of cuisine. Ha!
I didn’t confess this to my kids, of course. I am much too shy to talk about it with anybody (except YOU!). But I was happy to listen to their hilarious design of my imaginary restaurant.
And they decided that the restaurant should be called, Crazy Momma Cheng’s.
Ho ho ho.
I laughed and laughed.
(But that could work, right?)