Creating memories together through food

While watching Master Chef, one of the contestants mentioned about connecting through food. They said that one of the many ways to connect with her parents overseas is through food. They would communicate through Facetime or Skype each other and discuss ingredients, techniques etc.

So my thoughts today are: if you have not been in contact with your family for a while, and you are physically too far away to connect with them, wouldn’t it be nice to try to reconnect through a food conversation?

If you do not have the habit of talking freely with your dad for example, and would really like to have a conversation with him, how would you go about it? Is there something in common between you and your dad that could potentially lead to a pleasant conversation?

Or would you just call up and say, “Hey, would you like to come over for dinner this weekend?” or “Have you tried this new restaurant? I heard it is good. Would you like to meet up and try that new place?” or “I have just had a promotion – let’s celebrate, 7pm at my place”…

What do you think your dad would say?

However, if you are living in another part of the world, what would you do?

The other day I rang home (in Penang) to ask my mum about the recipe for a otak otak using curry kapitan paste.  My mum was out and my dad was home alone. So I mentioned to him my intention and told him that I will call home later.

To my surprised, he started talking about the story of when he was young. They (he and his siblings) were told to help with peeling and pounding (not sure whether I heard it correctly) the fish when the family was preparing otak otak dish… and he shared other stories as well during the conversation.

I said I was surprised, because my dad was not one that talks a lot, normally I would talk to my mum more than my dad. So through the conversation of food, we had a nice and pleasant conversation, and as a result, he forgot to mention my call to my mum.

Why do you think FOOD is such a powerful magnet for connections?

I believe that when we celebrate happy occasions such as birthdays, births, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, as well as sad occasions such as funerals and sickness, food is always the centre of it all, right?  So we tend to associate food as a “comforter” of those sad times as well as “celebratory” memories during the happy occasions.

It is about preparing the food together and having meal times together as a family. We share our daily experiences, our love and our memories from our dining tables, so naturally it is an integral part of growing up and making memories together.

On top of that, we always hear that food is cooked with love. Therefore when you are served dishes  that are cooked with passion and love, you will definitely feel the love there.

So whenever you taste a dish that triggers the taste bud of those memories, you will automatically reconnect the food to your loved ones, especially when they live far away or when they are no longer around to share your memories.

I would put it like this – your favourite dishes that you grew up with are basically your memories wrapped with love. When you connect with your loved ones through food, especially the ones that you were wrapped with love with, it will reconnect your relationships with them no matter where you are in the world.

So if you are thinking of someone today, pick up the phone and ask for the recipe, even if you know how to cook the dish already… you will never know where the conversation will lead.

Have a wonderful day and happy cooking!

>> Curry Kapitan recipe with readymade paste