My parents come from Laos, the land of condiments. Every bottle, every jar reminds me of them.
When mum made Pho, you could smell the broth while it simmered all morning. Then at lunch you would gleefully season your own bowl. A little soy, a little sugar, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of Heinz tomato sauce and pepper. Then mum would taste it to make sure it was just right.
When mum made me eggs with Maggi sauce sprinkled on top to eat with sticky rice. When dad made me Jeow, (a Lao sweet and salty dipping sauce) with chillis and herbs freshly pick from the garden with Healthy Boy Brand Soy sauce.
I may not always understand my parents or Lao culture which I often feel dissconnected from. But when I make Lao food for them, for my husband and a few special friends. I hope my parents see that I watched them as I was growing up and I learnt and remembered. That I am appreciative and grateful.
– Mechelle Bounpraseuth