Yesterday I attempted to make one of Mummy’s favourite dishes, and one my late Poh Poh’s specialties. When I called Mummy to let her know I was bringing over some Yam Abacus, she had to pause to interpret what I was saying... “Ooohh, you mean Oo Li Pan!” Mummy is Hakka, and that’s what she knows it as. She doesn’t know how to spell it phonetically, and when Google suggested ‘O Liban’, it took me to the website of a Lebanese restaurant in Belgium. 😅 So it’s Oo Li Pan for now! I never liked chewy, starchy foods as a kid, so although I’m too late to join Poh Poh’s Abacus Party, I’m glad my palate has finally come around to keep her legacy going in my own kitchen.
Mummy has taught me all I know about what it means to express love through food. From packed school lunches to cartoon-time snacks to family dinners, everything was freshly and elaborately made from scratch. I don’t think she even had time to marvel at her own work, which laid the foundation for the careers in food which my brother and I now have. Hopefully, through our own successes, she finally does.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas, foster mamas, godmamas, furparents and those who devote their lives to birthing and nurturing beautiful ideas into the world.