When we talk to our grannies, it’s usually about food: what to eat, when to eat it, how to cook things, hot foods, cold foods, hard-to-find foods. You may be familiar with these conversations…
1. Five minutes after dinner… “How about some oranges and apples?”
2. When she buys a really sweet watermelon or papaya at the market? You MUST try some. RIGHT NOW!
3. She’s always offering you bean curd sweet soup or green bean sweet soup: “How come you’re not drinking the tong sui? It will clear the heat in your body!!!”
4. If it’s not soup, it’s lots and lots of weird soft jelly-like substances — dried fish belly, sea cucumber, bird’s nest — that are supposed to do wonders for your body but EWW.
5. Got a slight cough? Sore throat? DRINK THIS BITTER HERBAL TEA.
6. She still stocks up on that one random dish you said you really liked at a random dinner like 10 years ago.
7. She’s always pushing the latest health fads, from black garlic and ginger tea to apple vinegar and five flower herbal tea.
8. When she returns from the mainland visiting relatives, be prepared for a flood of local delicacies. Hakka tea cakes!!
9. Somehow she always has a cupboard full of festival foods. Chinese New Year cakes, zongs, fish, chicken. There’s always more…
10. But nothing beats coming home exhausted and knowing your granny has saved a warm bowl of her signature Chinese soup (老火湯) for you. Gotta love her.