Some of you have been pushing me to write a cookbook. Some of you have been asking me when said cookbook will be done. Some of you have asked me straight up, can I send you some recipes.
Some of you have no idea what I am talking about.
When my mom was sick, and it was clear she wasn’t going to have much longer to live, a few things came to my mind. If I have children, they would never know their strong, beautiful grandmother, who was the best cook. Yeah, I was definitely one of those kids that thought my mom made every thing better. Even her jar spaghetti. How will my kid know the tastes of Laos? How will they know the labor and love that is traditional Lao food? That’s when I realized I needed to get all my favorite recipes from my mom before she passed. Sound selfish right? But not really.
Growing up I was always in the kitchen with her. I’d be holding the bowl while she was kneading the dough for thick rice noodles. Or tasting the papaya salad when she needed someone else to taste it after pounding it in the mortar pestle. I was the one pouring the sauces into the eggroll mixture because her hands were all meaty and gross from mixing it. I was her little sous chef as soon as she trusted me to use the knife. I prepared and cooked the sticky rice. I loved being with her in the kitchen. And I hope that my future kid will feel the same way.
In her last months, we spent our time together in the kitchen. Me, writing down and making all my favorite dishes with her in the kitchen. Her, telling me exactly how to do it. Savoring all the flavors together one last time.
Fast forward a few years. I helped a local chef with her two restaurants, submerging myself in both front of house and back of house activities and promoting the flavors of Laos. Then I had a baby. And started another blog. Then I got lazy because now there are two Lao restaurants around to fulfill my cravings, instead of putting in the effort myself. I stopped working on my mother’s recipes.
Now I am back, and ready to start writing, testing, retesting, cooking, tasting and shooting these recipes. Time to collect it all together with the found memories and make a book. Because now I have a daughter, and I’d want her to learn about her grandmother through the food. Technically it would be categorized as a cookbook, but really it’d be a journal of memories and recipes.
Wish me luck.