Connecting to who you are can be any form; however, reconnecting through food can be one of the more pleasurable.

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting two guests from my home town, Penang in Malaysia. The wife (who I call ‘Aunty’) is my late mother-in-law’s very good friend from their childhood days. Aunty is the “queen” for making local cakes. We were really thrilled that she would be spending one week with us and would be cooking several types of cakes for us. The cakes  were those that we could see every day in the local markets inMalaysia, but very rarely here in Australia. So naturally we were all very excited and looking forward to tasting the food.

When we went shopping for the ingredients, I was introduced to ingredients that I did not know existed. I watched Aunty prepare all the ingredients and watched the way the food was cooked. A few of the cakes literally took a whole day to prepare and cook, but they tasted so good. 

After leaving my hometown 25 years ago, I felt so refreshed and connected with the whole process. Even though the process  was quite tiring, as some cakes literally took a whole day to prepare and cook, it was well worth the time and energy.

What have I benefited from this experience? I have not only had the pleasure of tasting the most delicious cakes that I used to have in my childhood, I’ve also reconnected to who I really am through tradtional home-made food.

We have arranged for a similar re-union next year; but we will have some of my friends and their children over to learn some of the traditional dishes and, most importantly, learn how to actually prepare the cakes, step by step.

So I urge all parents, if you have not done so, make some time to re-connect to your roots. If your Mum or relatives live close by, or if you have any relatives visiting from overseas, make some time for your children and yourself to have the pleasure of re-connecting to some traditional home cooked dishes.  Introduce your children to the food that you used to have when you were a child. It is not only just the food; it is the way the food is prepared and made….it can be so refreshing and it connects to who you really are.

The experience will also give your child a chance to better understand who you are…..your childhood, the food that you used to love etc. It is very refreshing!