I lost my inspiration
I realize that this may sound like a click bait title, but, bear with me for a moment. If perhaps you’re wondering why I didn’t post to my blog last week, there is no easy way to say it. My dad passed away just after midnight last Thursday morning. It was fast, it was peaceful, and my family and I were with him as he took his last breath. I’m not sure why, but I thought he would live longer. He chose on his own to go to palliative care on April 1st and in the last week of his life, he was much more tired, much weaker and generally not doing very well.
I didn’t get the chance to show him my channel, and to be honest, I don’t really regret that. The time I spent with him at his bedside was all about him and making the best of the time he had left. We listened to music, we did crossword puzzles together, we looked at old photographs and remembered happy times. We shared a glass of wine.
So, when I say that I lost my inspiration, what I mean is that I lost my dad. If you’ve been following, you will know that I owe my interest in cooking to my dad. He did everything from scratch. My earliest memories of cooking with him involve slicing olives to make pizza. He loved tapioca pudding and he used to set me in front of the stove on a stool to stir it for 20 minutes. I realize now it’s because he didn’t want to stand there and do it himself, but those little lessons set the foundation of what I’m doing now.
I remember when we were young, my dad cooked dinner because he finished work earlier than my mom. He wasn’t very good at first. He often cooked bangers & mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) and chicken cacciatore which was very runny. We had shepherd’s pie on Monday after a roast on Sunday. I imagine that this food was based on the recipes his grandmother made.
At family dinners, my dad made a signature winter soup that everyone came to expect at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Over time, he got really into making chili. He probably made chili 200 times. He ground his own spices and improved his recipe over many iterations. He did the same with curry. My after-school snacks were pears and brie, apples with cheddar or grapes with Parmesan. He introduced me to a wide variety of food from a young age.
But this isn’t a big surprise. My dad lived a very interesting life. In the late 60s, he left his hometown to drive across Canada, down to San Francisco where he got on a two-week boat ride to Asia. There, he lived and traveled all over Korea, Japan, South East Asia, and Hawaii, probably even more I don’t know about. My parents met in Japan, but that’s a whole other story.
Growing up, if we ate out it was often Chinese food, dim sum, sushi, Malaysian food, basically anything and everything. We also liked to try new things together like Ethiopian and Hungarian restaurants. Luckily, we live in a very ethnically diverse city where most types of food are available either at a restaurant or at a market.
Anyway, I could honestly go on forever with stories about my dad. I recently described him to my husband as a human jump potion, where being around him meant getting an experience boost in life. I grew up feeling like my dad was the only person in the world that was like me and later I realized he felt the same way about me. We had an unspoken bond and I missed him the moment he died.
So, I guess what I really mean is that I lost the person who inspired me. But I haven’t lost the lessons he taught me, his advice, wisdom or the feeling of calm quiet support and love I felt when he looked at me and smiled.