Memories on The Table
I’ve always found it most fascinating how I’m jolted to various memories simply from the sight, or even mere mention, of certain foods. Give me beef stew and I think about my childhood days frolicking in the backyard of my home in Brunei, my grandfather hunched over the stove cooking his one-pot beef stew. Pass me cherries and I’ll be immediately wistful about our family’s vacation in a Spanish cherry farm, my children picking punnets of cherries and popping these gems fresh and sweet into their mouths. Chopsticks that have chipped at the tips. Plates that are scratched with knife-marks. Pots that are browned with use. All these make my heart ache a little with the longing for the moments that are long past.
Growing up, I was blessed with a big family. We stayed in a kampong in my Brunei hometown. The backyard was my playground. I climbed trees, foraged for ferns in the nearby woods, grew vegetables and herbs and eventually, learned to cook competently with them. My family also ran a coffeeshop and Chinese restaurant, and it was there that I learned the ropes of running a food establishment.
More importantly, my childhood days have taught me to appreciate the significance of supporting local and sustainable produce, to be a good steward of our scarce resources, and to be creative in using these resources God has blessed us with. Jamie Oliver says, “Comfort food is all about really good food that’s just so. Done in a particular way.” And I cannot agree more. Somewhere, sometime, we have built reference points in our lives. We remember how comforting some food, some memories are. And these reference points will provide the foundation for future creations. It isn’t about producing haute cuisine. Rather, I believe that something homecooked and humble goes a longer way in creating special memories and inspires us to treasure the present moments just that little more.
This month, we pay homage to our growing-up years, bringing back the nostalgia of family routines and meals, memories made and kept on the dining table. The Souper Inspirations are shaped by my own journey of nostalgia, infused with influences from all over the world. We invite you to go back in time with us and revisit old favourites with refreshed love. Welcome to Memories On The Table.
Soup Up to Goodness