I’ve always enjoyed cooking at home, but when the pandemic spread and the city began to shut down, homemade meals felt more necessary. Boy, was I ever glad that I knew how to cook.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mom and grandma helping where I could. It would be simple tasks like cleaning and prepping vegetables or washing dishes. I still remember when my grandma taught me how to measure the amount of water for a pot of rice using the knuckle method.
It wasn’t until after college that I really wanted to learn how to make dishes that I grew up eating. To this day, I still call my mom and ask her how to make certain things. Recently, I had to ask my mom how to make Cantonese-style poached chicken with ginger and scallion sauce. I also consulted her when I was trying to nail down the flavor profile of stir-fried ong choy.
During the first few weeks of the quarantine, I was posting pictures of my dishes on Instagram jokingly referring to my posts as new menu items at Quarantine Kitchen. But I stopped posting because I thought there were more important messages that needed to be shared there when the Black Lives Matter protests began.
I kept cooking, of course. And I kept taking photos, which I’ll share here.