Food magic

I’m convinced more and more that food is magic. The way we select ingredients, the intention in preparing them, the connections we build—yes, food is magic.

Do you ever prepare food when you’re upset? You make something you’ve made countless times before. All of the ingredients are the same—you use the same proportions, cookware, the same procedures—but something is clearly off. It tastes different. And not only that, but it feels different. It’s why even though I followed my dad’s recipe to a tee, it still doesn’t taste quite the same. Yes, food is magic.

And when you prepare something with love, isn’t it noticeable? As soon as I have that first taste, a tingle of celebration and content sparkles in my taste buds. There’s also something unmistakably healing and soothing about food. Yes, food is magic.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s a privilege to be able to work with fresh ingredients. I was invited to pick lemons from my aunt’s backyard:

She is not my biological aunt, but in my culture, anyone in my parents’ generation would be considered an auntie.

Determined to celebrate these gifts, I decided to bake a lemon treat. I ran a Google search of all things lemon and stumbled upon this recipe for Meyer lemon pudding cake.

I had never known true labor in cooking until I whisked egg whites by hand! Is it time to invest in a copper bowl and hand mixer?

To be honest, I’d never baked a cake from scratch before, nor whipped egg whites. Growing up, the oven was used mostly for storing other cookware. But I was determined to bake my heart out, and the result was—yes—magical.

Virtual community

With Los Angeles facing rising cases of COVID and COVID-related deaths, I’ve taken precautions by physically isolating more strictly. I felt the mental and emotional strain of being away from family and community during the holidays. I’m still feeling it. Virtual dance parties have been great, but do you ever just need a hug sometimes? A big, tight hug?

I ended up on the best side of the internet. I have found my people. See below:

Moments like this is what the internet is for.

I’m going to be singing this jingle for a while because now I can’t get it out of my head. To my neighbors—I’m sorry.