Twisting the Dagger

Mar 30

Twisting the Dagger

I called my mom over the weekend and got her voice mail, so I left a message that I wasn’t entirely convinced she would get since I seriously don’t know if she knows how to check her phone messages. On Sunday I called her again and still got no answer, so this time I hung up without leaving a message. Later that day, she called me back. Me: “Hello?” Mom: “Rebecca!” Oh crap, what’d I do? Mom always addresses me one of two ways on the phone. If she starts with “Hi honeyyyyyy!” or “Hi bay-beeeee!”, she’s in a good mood and I have not wronged her. If, on the other hand, she begins with a stoic “Rebecca,” either I’ve done something wrong or she’s pissed off for some reason. To my surprise, her stern salutation was a false alarm and she was in a good mood. I breathed a sigh of relief. Mom: “I saw you call — we were at Meijer. What you been doing?” Me: “Not much. We had Jason’s parents over for dinner last night.” Mom: “Oh really?” Me: “Yeah, we made a prime rib roast.” Mom: “Whoa, really? It turn out good?” Me: “Yeah, really good.I made some roasted potatoes and chard to go with it. Today I made some biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and Jas ate so much, he said he felt like he was gonna die.” Mom: “Ha ha ha!” Me, on a roll: “On Friday I made a beef stir fry with spicy peanut sauce and crispy noodles.” Mom: “Wow, you turning into really good cook!” Me on the other line: Mom: “…except for peppers.” Me on the other...

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Appreciating Mom

Mar 28

My cousin recently posted one of those “Repost this if you herp your derp!” messages on Facebook. You know the type — it always starts off with a schmaltzy intro and then concludes with “Post this if you love and appreciate your mailman/the troops/Count Chocula/etc.!” This particular status update went as follows: “3yrs old: “Mommy, I Love you” @10 yrs old: “Mom whatever!”@16 yrs old:”My Mom is so annoying!”@18 yrs old: “I wanna leave this house.”@25yrs old: “Mom, you were right.” @30 yrs old: “I wanna go back to my Mom’s house.” @50 yrs old: “I don’t wanna lose my Mom.” @70 yrs old:…”I would give up EVERYTHING for my Mom to be here with me.” U ONLY HAVE 1 MOM! Post this on your wall if you Appreciate your Mom!!” My brother Gene saw this message and posted an all-too-accurate response from my mother’s point of view: “Uhhhhhhh, my mom was different. 3 yrs old: “Gene, stop that!” 10 yrs old: “I wanna cut open you head and see what’s wrong with you.” 16 yrs old: “You drive like retard! You gonna die!” 18 yrs old: “No make baby. I’m serious, I kick you out.” 25 yrs old: I see you on TV with Lindsey Lohan, you look so damn mean.” [My brother works in Los Angeles] 30 yrs old:  “You’re too damn crazy, no one wanna marry you.” Yes, we only have one mom, and yes, we appreciate her despite (or maybe because of) all the strange stuff she...

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Getting Recipes from Mom (or “How to Fail at Cooking”)

Mar 21

Getting Recipes from Mom (or “How to Fail at Cooking”)

Overall, my mom is a great cook. There are some things she’s kind of sucky at (like baking — you could bounce her chocolate chip cookies off the pavement), but most of the things she makes are pretty tasty. She’s a rockstar with Korean food but also makes really good non-Asian dishes. They’re not fancy or gourmet, but they’re good comfort food, which is what your mom’s cooking should be. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to miss Mom’s dishes. Since I’m 2,300 miles away from her, it’s not exactly easy to pop over to her place for Sunday dinner. I fancy myself a decent cook (I can follow instructions, plus I have enough sense to throw random things together and have it taste fine), so I’ve tried to get recipes from my mom so that I can recreate some of the tastiest dishes she makes. The problem with this, however, is that trying to get a recipe from my mom is like an ADHD kid telling you what he learned in school today. She is all over the map, telling me half of the ingredients I need, explaining the process in non-chronological order, randomly remembering other ingredients, saying, “No, no, do this, then add that,” etc. By the time I get off the phone with her, my notes read like a Choose Your Own Adventure. It looks like I’m planning out an offensive strategy for an NFL team instead of making beef stew. So lately, I’ve been getting a hankering for my mom’s stuffed peppers. These things are like crack — they taste so damn good, and I’ve been pretty nostalgic for them. I pulled up the recipe my mom dictated to me a couple years ago, but it still didn’t seem right. I gave her a call to confirm everything. Mom: “Okay, you get half pound ground beef, half pound Bob Evans sausage.” Me: “Before you just told me to get a pound of ground beef.” Mom: “No, you buy half pound ground beef and half pound Bob Evans sausage…just buy whole pound ground beef and cut it in half.” (As if I couldn’t have figured out how to get a half pound meat from a 1-lb...

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Mom’s Sweet Tooth

Mar 18

My mom has the craziest sweet tooth ever. If you watch her prepare a cup of coffee, she’ll drench her cup with cream and then drop a spoonful of sugar into it…and then another one…and then another one…and then another one. By the time she’s done, it’s really a mug of sugar with a splash of coffee. The color is more akin to that of a chai than a cup o’ joe.

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My Mother the Hoarder

Mar 16

My Mother the Hoarder

I always half-jokingly tell my friends that my mother is a Level 2 hoarder. One time I was watching an episode of Hoarders and saw an old Asian woman in Hawaii who kept so much junk, her poor husband had to sleep in the car. She had so many of my mom’s mannerisms that it was eerie. I don’t know if it’s a common Asian trait or what, but my mom loves to hold onto random crap. Off the top of my head, here’s some random stuff that Mom always stocks up on:

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