Hopping places tonight with one coming home late from school and one from at a piano lesson, I made something simple, which is also Ah Lo’s favorite – clay pot rice.

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Dinner tonight we have sweet and sour spare ribs, baby gai lan with oyster sauce and steamed garlic enoki. IMG_E1285

Mushroom rice for our meatless Monday meal. Too bad Ah Lo didn’t eat any of this scrumptious tasting rice because he doesn’t like mushrooms. Lucky for him, Dai Bee made fried rice for potluck the next day, so he got dinner. Otherwise, he’s on his own for this one.IMG_1281

For some reason, Mr. Piggy’s side of the family assigned me to deliver an eulogy at the grandpa’s funeral.  I’m honored, but couldn’t figure out why they picked me considering the family is fairly big with daughters, sons in laws, grandkids and so forth. Like me, everyone in the family is bilingual. Initially, I feel odd with their request, but later I found out it was Grandma who wishes for me to deliver the eulogy on the family’s behalf, so I accepted it.

Though I’ve never taking any public speaking classes, but speaking to a crowd comes pretty natural to me. I’ve made speeches before, several times on these occasions. Delivering the eulogy was not the problem for me, drafting one was the biggest challenge. This one has gotten to be the HARDEST eulogy to write up. I was never close to him. Perhaps the language barrier or the age gap, we were never connected. Since I knew nothing about him, I met up with with his 3 daughters (one of them being my MIL). I interviewed them in hopes that they could share memories, life lessons, conversations between them and their father. They all sat there thinking, long and hard. Then all shook their heads, and couldn’t come up with anything. Sure, given that their dad is the typical traditional Chinese old male with a few words, who lack the willingness to show compassion, still, there’s got to be something, anything? Again, nothing, which was very unfortunate. They didn’t have much to say about their dad. They simply said to me, “just be creative.”

So I spent all day coming up with something (from nothing, except the basic facts given to me). I wrote it in Chinese and read it back to them later on the evening. They were pleased and commended me for drafting the speech.

This gave me something to reflect on. Though grandpa lived up to 98, with grandkids, great grandkids, but nobody, not even the daughters are close to him (even my MIL who saw him quite often had nothing to say). I thought about my dad, who passed away much sooner, yet surrounded by so much love and fond memories. Which kind of life will you want to live? The answer was clear to me.

Always love a hot bowl of porridge for breakfast. Today, I made it porridge with black rice, red beans and minced pork. Even though the rice name suggests the color black, when it’s washed/cooked, it actually turns a deep purple color. The color comes from a plant-based pigment which is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. So this one bowl if full of health benefits, great way to start off the day.

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A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}

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Slow cook beef pot roast for dinner.

Today is a gloomy day, literally and figuratively. The boys’ great grandfather passed away. This is the luckiest man I know. His daughters and grandchildren are all well off.  He has a loving wife by his side for thirty years and took care of him until his last breath. He lived a long and healthy life for 98 years. Even at the end, he left without any pain and suffering.

His greatest accomplishment was marrying two amazing women, both helped him tremendously throughout his life. I never got a chance to meet his first wife, but heard about her from Mr. Piggy. His first wife took care of the finances which helped him lived comfortably after retirement. His second wife was his primary caregiver, who somehow managed to stay sane towards the end when his memory was fading.

I don’t know if there’s any better way to live like he lived, or any better way to die like he did. May he rest in peace. IMG_2825 copy-2

Back to the hustle and bustle with the boys’ schedule. Between sports, music and school events, it seems harder and harder to get everyone at the dinner table the same time during weekday. So I tend to just make a big batch and leave it for them to heat up whenever they get to it.

Today I made Shanghainese braised pork belly (紅燒肉), one of the boys’ favorite dishes because it has that rich savory taste. Paired it with some choy sum and snow pea stir fry. IMG_1232

Celebrating our 3 years and going of meatless Monday with my favorite vegetarian japchae!IMG_1228IMG_1229