Last week, I realized how the Internet could bring me closer to home.

I’ve written before about how I am saddened by the fact that cooking traditions have not passed down from my mom to me.  It’s my own fault.  I’m always afraid that the food will never turn out the way mom made it, so I try to just avoid the disappointment altogether, and stick to my own cooking comfort zone.

But last week, I was craving curry.  Not Indian curry.  Not Thai curry.  I was craving the Chinese curry my mom used to make.  Rich, hearty, with just a small amount of heat, and with that yellow curry aroma that I find intoxicating.  I don’t know why it never occurred to me to Google a recipe.  I’m guessing I’m just too old for that to be instinctive!  And, I also love cookbooks, so those tend to be the first thing I reach for when looking for recipe ideas.  But I don’t own a cookbook of my mom’s recipes. 

I found a few recipes online that seemed like they could replicate my mom’s, based on the ingredients and the cooking method.  I chose one, posted by a Chinese recipe blogger, figuring that had to make it truly authentic!  It turned out amazing. Totally brought me back to my days at home, eating curry on a cold winter’s night.  I was so thrilled that I started searching for a bunch of other recipes for traditional Chinese comfort food – aka peasant or village food!

I know you’re all asking: why didn’t you just ask your mother for the recipe?  My mom – like most moms of her generation – doesn’t cook with measurements.  I, on the other hand, can only cook if I have specific measurements, with the exception of a handful of recipes that come naturally to me.  Her idea of a teaspoon usually turns out to be a true tablespoon.  That kind of variation can really muck up a recipe!  That is invariably why I end up being disappointed with any of the recipes she’s given me.  And let’s not forget the hearty dose of love that she puts into it!

We read almost daily about how the advent of the Internet and today’s social media have changed our way of living.  There are plenty of ways they have negatively impacted the way we relate to each other – we don’t have to look far for examples of cyber bullying.  But in this instance, it gave me a chance to re-discover a part of my culture and be reminded of my time growing up.  Information is power, as they say, and the way the Internet has harnessed it for good use paid off for me in a delicious way!

What comfort food from your youth do you often crave?  Can you make it like Mom (or Dad) did?

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