The steamer my grandmother got for me from Melbourne

I know this is not the most impressive looking cookware…; however, this steamer has been with me for many years. I have steamed “kuihs”, otak otak, fish, meat etc. and have enjoyed every single experience using the steamer. That is until few years ago, when she had to retire.

So while clearing the cupboard recently, I noticed the steamer and was about to say “good-bye” to this precious cookware that has been with me for many years. But somehow I was reminded of how I first got hold of this cookware, and I remembered why it was in the cupboard and not disposed of in the first place.

This precious steamer was actually a gift from my grandmother. She bought it for me while she was visiting me in Melbourne.

I took my grandma to the local Asian Grocery shop to do our grocery shopping, and she bought this steamer for me as a gift, and told me this steamer was going to be very useful in the kitchen, and it sure was! We had one similar in our Penang kitchen, and we used it quite a lot.

One thing that she said to me when she presented this steamer to me: “When you are cooking with this steamer… do remember your Ah Mah… I may not be able to visit you as often as I would like or would have passed by then … but you will have this steamer to remember me by”.

I did not take much notice at that time… I was young and busy, and my grandma was much younger then.  This is a very emotional piece I am writing… with my grandma’s photo on my desk….

My grandmother and I on her 100th birthday celebration

On 2nd December, it was the 9th year since my grandma had passed away. She was 100. There is not a single day that I do not think of her.  She was my best friend, and the one and only person I dared not cross :).

She was the source of my values, my boundaries, my barometer and everything that was reflected in my work and who I am as a person. These important elements were possible through the teaching and guidance of this amazing lady.

So when I looked at the steamer, I know it was something that I needed to discard – but the words of my grandma were refreshed in my mind… So this steamer is going to go back in the box, nicely tucked away in the cupboard.

This steamer will be a constant reminder of my roots, my upbringing and who I really am – the granddaughter of my beloved grandma and her legacy – and will be reflected through her nonya cuisine on Tok Panjang!