A week before flying back to Calgary for the holidays I was asking my friends Tom and Soph, who moved out here from Calgs as well, what they were most looking forward to their Ma cookin for them. We all come from different backgrounds and after talking, we came up with a brilliant idea that we'd visit each other's houses and get our Mom's to cook for us. Haha thanks Moms.
First, my house for a snack. I'm 3rd generation Chinese and my Mom decided to whip up a batch of her fried wontons.Who else just happens to have these ingredients hangin around the house?
She can make about a hundred of these in minutes.
She's pretty particular about what goes in her filling. She grinds down the pork tenderloin herself and uses prawns, sweet Chinese pork sausage and fresh water chestnuts.
Crispy, golden brown. Instead of frying, she also cooks these in broth for her wonton soup.
Fried pork and prawn wontons with sweet chili dipping sauce.
My friend Tom is Burmese and his family came over here from Burma when he was 12 years old.I noticed this huge box of kleenex sitting on the dining room table and understood why they leave it out when I bit into one of those chili peppers. Damn HOT but sooo good. Spicy stir fried chicken and vegetables.
Spicy Beef Masala. I was hangin around the kitchen next to Tom's mom as he explained to her "Laura loves to cook Mom...that's why she's asking you all these questions". She seemed pretty pleased because no one ever asks her about her cooking and she started to pull things out of her pantry to show me. I want to know everrrything!
Crab egg drop soup.
Red onion, lime, cilantro salad which was a perfect side dish to the spicy curry.
Tom also seems to have a dozen cousins and friends who stop by like it's an open house to grab a bite to eat. Cousin Vic, Vic 1, Steve, Henry, John, I can't keep them straight.
My friend Soph is Cambodian, but was born in Thailand and her family moved to Calgary when she was 3.
Tom was asking Soph's Ma how she makes her curry and got the same reply the rest of our Mom's gave " I don't know, I don't use a recipe, I just throw things together! "
Chicken curry with eggplant and potatoes. Served with vermicelli noodles and French baguette slices to dunk in the broth.
Tom was talking away to Soph's mom about how he'd move back to Calgary for an Engineering job and how he still loves Calgary, at the same time Soph's kicking him under the table and shaking her head at him. All our Mom's would love for us to move back.
Steamed crab legs with salty vinegar dipping sauce and salad rolls stuffed with pork and prawns served with a sweet, tangy fish sauce.
Sweet coconut milk rice ball soup
Soph and her dog Moleson! Sweetest pup I've ever met. He's also the size of a donkey.
I've eaten at some of the top restaurants but have to be honest in saying these meals right here, authentic, home cooked, made by Ma with all that love and care, are the meals that taste the best and are the most memorable to me.