I looked up and saw my mom holding up an egg roll that I had just finished rolling. She picked up another one. “Now which one is yours?”
I sheepishly pointed to the lumpy, misshapen one on the left, “”Um, that one?”
Side by side, my roll looked even worse! All floppy ends and squidgy middle, faults made more obvious when compared to the tight, compact, perfect cylinder that my mom just finished.
“Well, at least it will taste good,” I offered.
“It will explode in the fryer.”
My mom is a phenomenal cook, one of those freakishly intuitive people in the kitchen who never uses a recipe and can cook as easily for an army as for one. Pan-fried dumplings from scratch? Ready in an hour, and that includes making the dough. Want fall-off-the-bone tender ribs? Go watch an episode of Project Runway and come back later. Very admirable indeed.
My mom is also a brutally honest kitchen critic. Think you can hide that crap-ass looking dumpling with the seams all askew? She’ll ferret it out from the bottom of the pile and hand it back to you. Want to get away with store-bought chicken stock? She’ll reach into the freezer for a chicken carcass and tell you not to be so lazy.
Above all, she is a great eater and a true food lover. She is my mom, and she has mad kitchen skills.