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Why Does Mom's Food Taste Better Than Mine?

Updated on August 11, 2008

One Part Shrimp And Two Parts Love

I love food. For three simple words it sure means a lot doesn' it? It shows a lot about a person's personality especially in mine. Food dictates my schedule believe it or not and I am so proud to say so. Let me give you an example.

I do not live anywhere near the city but my mother does. Most of my customers are located near my mother and I love my mother's cooking. So before I schedule a meeting or run my rounds I would call my mother up to see when she is free to cook lunch. Yes I call my mother to confirm before I even get in touch with my customers.

It always works out perfectly that she is home and my customers agree to a meeting. Otherwise I would not even consider going to the city at all because it's a three hour drive from where I Iive and New York traffic is notorious for congestion during the work week rush hour.

If you knew or tasted my mother's food you would know and understand why I do what I do. I tried cooking the same food my mother cooks for me many times before and many times over it never taste the same as hers. For the life of me I just can't figure out why.

For example she makes the greatest Wontons in the world and I am not exaggerating this nor am I being biased because she is my mother.

She taught me what ingredients she uses and how to prepare and cook and even which pot she uses. I know a cooking pots a cooking pot but I had to know her secrets right? And like a fervent scientest I took notes of every step she took to the point I started annoying her.

Ahah I knew I must have hit some sort of nerve. Because since I was watching her so intently she must not be able to put in a secret ingredient that she was keeing from me. Was she holding back on me? I asked her and she said no. She said I was being a real pain in the ass.

Fifteen minutes later of me imitating a watchful hawk, my mother started plating some steaming ivory colored dumplings filled with goodness into a wonderful bowl of chicken broth. I dug in as usual ignoring the fire alarm in my mouth as I shoveled a mouthful of hot wontons.

Mmm soft minced pork mixed with chunks of sweet tender shrimp and tid bits of chinese mushroom wrapped in a silky smooth pasta. What a dream combination.

You know the feeling of euphoria when you eat good food. It's when you have to sit down or else your knees buckle from the food high. It's when your worries about going home and hitting traffic seem to fade away.

When I finish I look at my mother the same way I did when I was just a kid as tall as the same table I eat on. She is still cooking and preparing some of my younger siblings favorite foods when they come home from school. And you can see she is smiling and glowing and you wonder what she is thinking as she slices and dices pieces of chicken.

And I think maybe it's not in so much as the ingredients she uses and what pots or pans or what temperature is hot enough for me to release the wontons into the pot of chicken broth. Those are just material thoughts and I tried to make it scientific. And I finally realized what the missing ingredient is.

The missing ingredient is something I could never buy in a grocery store. And if you go ahead and ask for it in a store, well they'll call security and throw you out. It is an ingredient that you can never measure or quantity. But you can observe it.

So as silly as I am at the bottom of my newly acquired wonton recipe I added the final ingredient right below ginger. Love.


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