A foodie's diary of her mother's cooking and life at east-west crossroads...
To my Hong Kong-born friends, I was their little bamboo friend. Curious, I went home and asked mom what that meant. She told me it is a made-up name in reference to the idea that as a Canadian-born Chinese, (first generation at that), I am Asian on the outside but hollow on the inside in terms of knowing and understanding Chinese traditions, culture and ideas. I didn't take offence, though I must set the record straight, I am very Chinese in the foods I like and as all-too-often run-ins with my sisters have proven, probably too traditional in my thinking. I must also say that being regarded as a 'bamboo girl' sounded far better than 'banana girl' which has a much more racial connotation and I'm not going to go there.
And thus, the creation of this blog, 'Bamboo Girl' where I wish to share my mother's cooking and some of the trials and tributions of trying to combine the best of two worlds...So in-sync at times
and yet so polar in others. I may be biased but I have to say my mom's cooking is simply delicious. If the expression 'You are What You Eat' holds any truth, then this first generation Chinese Canadian is truly quite Chinese...Though why my sisters ended up the other way is a mystery (too many McDonalds meals in between mom's meals?).
Sisters they say, are your BFFs, the go-to-person when your heart is broken, the ones you conspire with when attempting to steal cookies or the get sticky fingers into a sugar jar to satisfy a sugar craving. My response to those thoughts is that I have serious doubts that those are their real biological siblings...REAL ones fight with you, argue with you, steal your clean clothes and hog the phone. But they are your truest critics and the ones who would therefore challenge you to become the best you can. While the focus of this blog will be on celebrating mom's cooking (which I haven't mastered to any degree), the smells and tastes of various dishes elicit childhood memories and so this is also a memoir about three Chinese pig-tailed girls growing up in Toronto.