Of mums and vegetables

IMG_2107You know how they say girls will start becoming like their mothers as they grow older. Now I’m beginning to believe that too. Browsing the stalls at the fresh market in my neighbourhood today, I came upon stacks of phak kwaang tung* (ผักกวางตุ้ง), whose vibrantly green stalks adorned with bright yellow flowers called out to me. “Hmm, these vegetables are too lovely for me to pass them up,” I thought to myself. Even though I had already planned the night’s dinner, I couldn’t resist buying two stalks of phak kwaang tung — and for a song too at 20 baht — to cook them the following night. This gesture so reminded me of my mum, I mused as I trotted home with bags laden with other purchases from the market. When I was still living at home with my parents in Singapore, the vegetables we ate were dependent on what caught my mum’s eye at the market that particular day. Often, when she came back from her marketing, she would declare, “The cai xin looks so fresh and pretty today, so I bought them to cook for dinner tonight.” And the scary amusing thing, I realise, is that vegetable shopping isn’t the only aspect that I’ve picked up from my mum…

*Interestingly, choy sum/cai xin is known as phak kwaang tung in Thai, which means “Cantonese vegetable”, a name probably derived from its Southern Chinese origins.

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