#HAWMC Day 10
We’re not all 5 star chefs, but we all need to eat! Tell your readers how to make your favorite dish. Does the recipe hold a good memory for you? Is it the act of cooking itself that brings you joy, or the people that come together to eat it?
It began in med school, the Baon gang. Baon means food from home. At lunch break in the Basic Science Lecture Room (BSL
R), the medical students would either leave to eat outside or if you were from the Baon gang, take out your lunch box and start eating. My family was of modest means so I could not afford to eat out. Soon, this group of people sharing food in the BSLR became good friends.
I don’t recall whose idea it was, but we began holding get-togethers where each had to bring food that he/she prepared and share the recipe. I remember Henry brought pasta with white sauce. The recipe called for making a roux. Bechamel sauce is made from a roux (butter and flour) and milk.
Here’s how it’s done, as Wikipedia describes it –
Béchamel is traditionally made by melting a quantity of butter, and adding an equal part of flour to make a roux, which is cooked under gentle heat while stirring with a whisk. As it is a white sauce, care must be taken not to brown the roux. Then heated milk is gradually whisked in, and the sauce is cooked until thickened and smooth. The proportion of roux and milk determines the thickness of the sauce, typically one to three tablespoons each of flour and butter per cup of milk.
It takes some doing. Eventually I decided as advised by someone (I don’t remember anymore who said it), to use Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup instead of the roux. So here’s my version of the pasta sauce, the proportions are just guesstimates 🙂 –
- 2 small cans of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
- 3/4 can of water – to dissolve the remnants of the soup in the can
- 2 small tetra packs of Nestle cream
- a dash or two of McCormick basil
- a tablespoon of cooking oil
- 2 or 3 small cans of Century tuna flakes in oil, drained
- 1 small can of sliced button mushrooms
- Parmesan cheese shavings, optional
I start with the basil and oil until the basil becomes fragrant. Mix in the tuna flakes then the mushrooms. Then add the canned soup, water and cream. Sometimes I would melt in some Parmesan cheese.
Here’s a picture of some members of the Baon gang in 2009. We’ve all grown healthier!
Soon, I began cooking this for family gatherings. Everyone was always polite enough to say it was good. 🙂
When I got married, I would cook this tuna spaghetti for my husband on special occasions. When I had children and as my clinic practice grew, I cooked rarely. My mother cooked for the household, except on the weekends when we often ate out or ordered pizza or Chinese food. But every so often, my husband would ask for my tuna spaghetti. Whenever I cook this, he comes to the kitchen to kiss and hug me. My youngest son loves pasta with white sauce! He and my husband would dig in with much enthusiasm. My oldest son is a fan of red sauce. I always tease and ask him if he likes his mother’s cooking. Of course, he always politely says yes.
So yes, for me at least, it’s not the act of cooking that brings joy. Joy comes from the people who eat what I’ve cooked!