This post is to mark the beginning of a never-ending journey through kitchens. Everyone’s kitchen. But mostly the kitchens that never get seen in magazines or in the Home & Style section of the newspaper, and kitchens that rarely present dishes that look like those in Martha Stewart Living. This is a journey to document traditions, culinary techniques and cuisine that is passed through generations by oral history and that is fast becoming extinct. As wonderful as they are, I’m not interested in the Bobby Flay’s or Gordon Ramsey’s, I’m interested in learning how to cook the dishes I ate while growing up in my Chinese home. How to wrap zongzi, concoct mysterious medicinal soups and use a wok. What do we eat during summer and winter solstice and how to make these dishes? I’m interested in the original teachers of our lives. Our parents and grandparents. My current goal is to develop an intergenerational community kitchen program, and from the people I’ve spoken to, there’s definitely interest.
Lately, in my efforts of getting connected to Chinese seniors, I came across a biweekly luncheon program at the Strathcona Community Centre where a group of Chinese senior women cook for 80-100 other seniors. I’ve been going to help, chat and learn from them. Here’s what the kitchen looked like in it’s frenzy and some of the delicious food that was made.