Dad has a bit more free time now that he's retired. He's always been the one who does all the cooking in the house. Mainly because mom's not well, and sometimes because I've got shift work and cannot work out a steady schedule, but mostly because bro and I take it for granted because he's always done it.
A few nights ago, after finishing a 6L pot of vegetable soup (because I've mentioned veggies, veggies, and more veggies in passing), my dad asks me, "What kind of soup should I make tomorrow?".
I replied in Chinese, "Fun kot tong". (Fun kot = kudzu root. Best description I could find of this soup could be found at this link).
I say random things all the time without meaning any of it. I didn't actually want 'fun kot'. It was actually just the most unusual and random Chinese vegetable I could think of on the spot. We rarely have 'fun kot' soup, but we've made it a few times before. It's been a while. I decided to pull it out of thin air to be amusing. Only to myself of course.
When I came home the next day, low and behold, there was a pot of 'fun kot tong' simmering on the stove.
"You made it?!?!?", I said with surprise. I'm not really sure why it's still shocking to me that my dad would do something like that.
Yesterday night, I was watching my dad make homemade wontons. "I figured this would be cheaper. You only get fifty wontons for $10 if you buy it outside! I can get at least double that if I make it at home," he tells me. After using up all the filling he prepared, he had a stack of wonton wrappers left over, so he asked me what he should do with the remaining.
Again, without much thought, I said, "fry them." Again, speaking the first words that come to mind. Not even shifting my eyes off my computer screen while I was busily editing photos.
Today, when I came home after work, the table was already set for dinner. Among dishes of vegetables and fish, there was a plate of deep-fried wonton wrappers alongside some homemade sweet and sour sauce. We never make anything deep-fried. And we've certainly never had deep-fried wonton wrappers with sweet and sour sauce. My brother was just as astounded at why we were having deep-fried wonton wrappers for dinner... so I told him that I may have merely suggested that he fried the leftover wrappers last night.
My brother then goes, "Gosh, whatever you say, he does. Let me try." He shouts over to my dad in the kitchen, "Hey DAD! Can you make me something tomorrow??". (Cannot remember what he requested).
Dad shouts back from the kitchen, "Go make it yourself!".
My brother looks over at me, "See."
(Dad would have done it for him. He just knew we were talking about him.)
I offered to do the dishes. The least I could do for dad making deep-fried wonton wrappers that I didn't actually want to eat. But I appreciate them and love them like ya wouldn't believe.
The extent of a parents' love cannot be measured. But I'm lucky that with my dad... I feel it. Everyday.
(On days of frustration and anger at home, I want to be able to have a post like this to go back to and think on, and be reminded that it isn't always so bad).