A Mother’s Day Post: The Ability to Cook is a Gift that Keeps Giving


There’s so many reasons why I continue to have a passion for and a close relationship to creating good food.

One of those reasons, a very important one, is my parents!  In 1980, as a family of five, my father bravely imported our family to the US from my beloved Burma.  Our first home in the US was a small two bedroom apartment (although we lived in my Dad’s sister’s home for a while).  Then we moved into a two bedroom trailer with a very small kitchen. From humble beginnings, this is where all the childhood cooking started.

As a thirteen-year old eldest of three,  my brother (twelve at the time) and I were responsible for dinner and dishes after school.  Our youngest brother was only three at the time.  The two of us older siblings probably fought a lot as I’m sure most teenagers do, but we had responsibilities. Growing up I probably resented the fact that I had to cook and clean, when I could have been watching our 19″ TV or something grand like that.

However, today and for a long time as an adult, without a doubt, I realized that my love for food and my love to create food extends back to those days when my parents taught us crucial survival skills.  They taught us to not only enjoy good food, but to not lose our appreciation for Burmese food and the Burmese culture.  They also taught us to be self-sufficient. Those sneaky parents.

I believe that being able to craft a meal for one’s family is truly a Gift!  I am thankful for this Gift.  It is the Gift that keeps Giving because just like my maternal grandmother and my mother, I love to create dishes and share them with the people in our lives.

I found myself doing this throughout the entire nine months that we lived in Chiang Mai.

While in Chiang Mai, we started a standing lunch meeting tradition on every Friday at noon to support a local not-for-profit cafe where my husband and I both volunteered, We made a ritual and visited the Friday Morning Market every week and brought a ton of food to share to the lunch meetings.  I usually make salads to share with everyone including the staff at the cafe. There was a lot of sharing going on!

Although we’re back in Texas for the summer, I will continue to make delicious dishes and share them with you.  When we return to Chiang Mai, we have big plans to do more good. And if you’re so inclined, stop by and visit with us in Chiang Mai.  You never know, you might score a smoothie or a Burmese salad in our GotPassport Home!

It’s Mother’s day weekend in the US.  I dedicate this entire blog to my parents as they are responsible for my madness for food, especially Asian food, but particularly, Burmese food! I certainly hope I can pass on the same kind of appreciation to our daughter!

Let the sharing continue for as long as I can and am able.

And remember to always add Chili ~ Lime ~ Garlic to your groceries list.  Let your taste buds come alive with every bite by having Chili ~ Lime ~ Garlic in your life.

Oh by the way, I have to warn you!  I don’t cook with exact recipes.  For the sake of this blog, I’ll try my best to have approximate measurements.  I love to experiment with existing Burmese dishes although, some dishes are just best made the way they are supposed to be made.  However,  in the spirit of creativity, I’ll share the recipes as the way I make them and mention how others might make them, if applicable.

Kay Zu A Myar Gyi Tin Ba Tae Shin! (That’s thank you very much in Burmese!)

Thanks so much for reading and cooking with my recipes.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there.

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8 thoughts on “A Mother’s Day Post: The Ability to Cook is a Gift that Keeps Giving

  1. That motherly touch of cooking is truly one of the finest flavors… worldwide, no matter the cuisine. My mother also brought me up appreciating fine Asian food and that’s one of the contributing reasons for my existing food obsession. Not only am I looking forward to sharing some Burmese salads with you guys sometimes, but also a Durian smoothie!

  2. Mingalaba “Aunty” Avril, or is it “Ma” Avril? 🙂

    Thank you for your delightful entry on cooking. As the eldest of three, I too share similar story growing up in California. I was born and raised in the former Burmese capital, Rangoon. Anyway, I don’t call myself a cook, but I share your pride in cooking and preparing a fresh meal and serving your friends and/or family is a blessing.

    Bon appetit,

    Ronald Nyein Zaw Tan

  3. My mother and father didn’t cook, and I am their only child. Recently, I’ve overcome my fear and loathing of cooking — dashed into the kitchen and am teaching myself to cook. My daughter and son are my inspiration. Their father, my ex-husband was a wonderful cook, but he smoked and ate all the wrong things. He passed away at age 70 from smoking-related causes in 2006. He and his wife were both overweight at the time. I married another man (another non-cook) in 1973 and have been struggling with meal preparation since then. Recently, I discovered the wonders of Asian cooking, primarily from Thailand. Now, I go to one local restaurant and sometimes take care of the owners’ daughter, age 8. In exchange, they prepare wonderful food for me. It’s a very good relationship. Avril, it’s nice to meet you on-line. Peace, love and happiness, Ellen Kimball, Portland, Oregon

  4. Thanks gentlemen for your kind comments. I hope to share my passion for food and feed as many people as I can along the way.

    I also hope that both of you will have a chance to taste my cooking during your visit to Chiang Mai! Cheers!

  5. I love your passion for food. Great to have parents who cook at home – apparently it is becoming less so.

    When I was growing up in Australia we never had Chili ~ Lime ~ Garlic, but we always got a home cooked meal every night with fresh meat and veg. I’m glad to have lived in a generation when this was normal, rather than opting for take out food.

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