Tao of Food Preparation Recipes

Tao of Food Preparation Recipes
'Living' E-book

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Femininity Part 4 Nurture


When I was young, my mother studied in the city to finish her degree in accounting, so I lived with 1 aunt and 3 uncles in my grandmother's house. Their task was to help my mother while she studied. They took care of me.  I particularly bonded with my grandmother and my aunt. They were females and I know I was a female because they said so. Whenever they can, they reminded me of my feminine role in our culture. 

One thing that I learned when I was young living with them is the saying 'women nurture the family members'. My grandmother fits this role perfectly. She nurtured all of us when we were sick and provided food on the table daily. 

She was a dress maker. She made clothes for people and made sure we all ate 3 x a day. 

It was an extended family where everyone took care of everyone. 

During night time, I helped prepare the bed including putting her 'night granny potty' next to her bed.
We all slept in one part of the house without a dividing wall. My grandmother's house was made of bamboo, so before we sleep I helped lay down the mat plus blankets and hang the mosquito net on top of it, so mosquitoes will not come inside.

My childhood was filled with play, housework and school work. But when I get sick with fever, my grandmother was there to take care of me. 

Since I did not have appetite to eat when I had a fever, my grandmother used to feed me by munching on this cookie called 'aglipay' in her mouth and she used to feed it to me through my mouth. It was warm in my mouth. I was uncaring whether or not it tasted good, or whether it is sanitary or not. I was a kid who did what I was told to do by people who nurtured me and fed me, so I did what I was told to do. 

I know that my grandmother did what she knew best. So, bringing this memory back here makes me smile.

She used to drench the hand towel with a little bit of water and vinegar.  After she rung the extra water and vinegar from the hand towel, she folds it in a rectangular shape and puts it on my forehead. I was instructed to leave it there while I slept or while I relaxed in bed.  

She believed that this will take care of the fever and will make me feel better. 

After a few days, my fever would subside. So, I believed that whatever she did worked. I believed what she believed - that this was the best cure for fever. I did not question where she learnt this and why this worked. I merely accepted it as my grandmother's way of helping me out when I was sick.

Another food she used to give me when I was sick was porridge. It was made of rice, water and salt. That's it. Since I did not have appetite to eat, this also worked. It was soft and easy to swallow.

After she cooked the porridge, she would sit beside me and feed me using a spoon.


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