Life

A Taste of Home: How Comfort Food Connects Me to My Past and Lifts My Spirit

  This spring is an unusual spring. The long, severe winter has just passed, and even though the chill has not gone away, a lot of ice is gradually melting, and some small light-colored flowers have emerged, dotting the treetops that are not yet lifeless. Although it has not yet returned to the colorful state of flowers hanging on the branches, the momentum is slowly sprouting.
  As soon as I got off the plane, my friend asked me to go out for a bike ride. The mist dawned slightly in the morning, and a moist warmth hit my face. She wanted to take me to have breakfast. My driving skills were not very good and I lagged behind my friend. Watching her take me around the alleys with ease, I shouted: “Where is it?” As soon as I finished speaking, I saw the street There were many cars parked in front of the last small shop, and the smoke from the kitchen shrouded the name of the shop. No wonder I didn’t notice it usually. “Two eggs and meat.” It was the first time I saw so many varieties of rice rolls. The signs were all over the wall. I glanced at them and reported the most popular flavor, “No problem!” The landlady answered me in Cantonese, and I was stunned for a moment. I suddenly realized that I hadn’t heard such a natural accent in a long time. In the past, when studying in Jiangnan, it was difficult to find a few fellow students, let alone communicating in Cantonese. It can be said that he has integrated in. Every day he mixes in the northern accent with some er sounds and rising tail tones. It didn’t take long for him to sum up a set of methods to distinguish his fellow villagers. It seems like a very boring thing, but I know that even if I am used to the climate and food in the north, I always miss something in my heart, even though many times I cannot remember the details of my hometown because it has been so long.
  It’s hard to say what impressed me the most about my hometown, because she was very outstanding and left too many things to the world. Everywhere I go, people ask me where I’m from, and I say Lingnan. All I see are longing eyes and mouths that are constantly curious about Cantonese. The Hong Kong Jade Terrace I watched when I was a kid was brought up again. Along with my narration of my impressions of Hong Kong, as well as the food programs I was accustomed to, I was very proud to talk about them one by one in the eyes of others looking forward to them. When asked what my favorite local food is, my mind flashes to countless glorious restaurants, noisy food stalls late at night, private dishes hidden in the city, and the hawking in the alleys, all of which are indispensable. Steamed Vermicelli Roll.
  My affection for rice rolls is very long-lasting. It rarely appears, but every time it appears, it is an unforgettable moment. In the second year of junior high school, I played very well with a few boys in the class. They often taught me physics problems together. I always told them composition secrets, collected fallen leaves and flowers, and plotted how to secretly pick up fallen leaves and flowers in the early morning. Ordered takeout rice rolls. At that time, ordering takeout was strictly prohibited by boarding schools like ours, but as brave as we were, we borrowed our mobile phones the night before to order rice rolls for the next day, and then sneaked up and gathered in the school area in the early morning of the next day. corner. In the night before the sky turned white, the only thing shining were our nervous and expectant eyes. I suggested that I should be the cover, and after saying that, I walked ahead with the political outline. In fact, panic broke out in my heart. When the agreed time came, the group of people slipped into the crack of the unmonitored door, put a pile of white take-out boxes into a large bag to avoid being discovered, and stuffed the scattered cash into the store. Then they secretly returned to the class and opened the bags. As I opened the bag and ate, my heart was still pounding. We didn’t turn on the lights, and only the faint light from outside gave us a faint halo. I couldn’t see clearly what the rice rolls in my hands looked like. I just felt that they were still as ordinary, pink, glutinous, smooth, and tender. With a slight sweetness, this is a rice roll without any characteristics, maybe it is just a part-time job that the neighbor does near the school to earn extra money. I listened carefully to see if there was any patrolling outside the window, but there was nothing. Only the sounds of my friends “sucking” and “sucking” came to my ears one by one. I looked back at their furry heads and carefully put my hands on them. After eating the rice rolls on the plate, this is what a fourteen-year-old boy looks like. After graduation, we never met or chatted again. The era of only accepting cash has been replaced by online payment. We talked about everything and became like-minded friends in the circle of friends. That tense night seemed It was so unreal, as if I had never had this friendship, everything became hazy. After bypassing my youth, which was soaked by the downpour, and going back to the classroom with only a few people, I knew that the rice rolls would never be so delicious again.
  The third year of high school is a time of chaos, panic, and a constant feeling of drifting. Occasionally I still have to study for homework when I have the opportunity to go home. Such boring days seem pale. Only the rice roll shop I pass by on the way to make up for classes can help me regain my energy. Most of the time, I stood blankly next to the boss and watched him cook, watching him pour the rice milk into the iron grid, sprinkle the ingredients, and then push the iron grid in, repeating it over and over again with deft hands and feet until When it was pulled out, it was filled with smoke and the rice rolls had already taken shape. He couldn’t help but interrupt and ask the boss: “Don’t you find it boring to do the same actions day after day?” He didn’t even raise his head and just said briefly: “Isn’t it all for life.” What is life? I didn’t think much, took my rice rolls and ate them silently. But what is life, I still think about it, maybe it is like a rushing river, unable to turn back, moving forward towards people, maybe it is a few seagulls occasionally passing by on the calm sea, and boring moments will appear. Some color. I tasted the rice rolls. The workmanship was a little rough, and it didn’t even match the smoothness and tenderness. However, it was the only rice roll stall in this small urban village. It served as a simple but important snack among the people passing by. In the role of breakfast, perhaps taste is no longer a necessity for these office workers. For them, the word “taste” can only stay in their pure age. At that time, there was no need to consider survival issues and worldliness. However, the skinny texture of reality has shattered the ideals of abundance one by one. Now, as long as you can have a full stomach, you can fight against the boring life.
  The power of food is truly given. I often think that in those lonely moments without a warm embrace or effective relief, a bowl of steaming food in front of me is the best dopamine.
  When I first came to Jiangnan, I was not used to it. I was not used to everything that was overly sweet, so I often missed Cantonese food. Finally one day I found a restaurant called “Cantonese Rice Roll Rice Roll”, I placed my order with great interest and waited at the door waiting for its arrival. Even though I was fully mentally prepared, I was still surprised by its taste. It was not authentic after all. The intestinal powder that had not absorbed enough water was floating in the soup, like a shrunken tissue. But at least it looks like rice rolls, so it can still be given a title. I think you can’t ask for too much. Does this count as bowing to “life”?
  It is inevitable that we will face separation from others. I cannot imagine that the friend who smiles at me now and says “never be separated” will become a casual acquaintance in many years. The sad thing is that these things are happening. Looking back at their faces, they can’t find the pure and clean feeling they had when they were young. They only discuss trivial matters about “what to eat later”. However, the torrent of life is so turbulent that we are roughly pushed forward by it. When we want to turn around and look at each other, we are swallowed up by the tide. When we meet again, the two people are floating on the same sea, using But it’s not the same “lifebuoy”.
  Fortunately, food is eternal, they will not move with the waves, because it has always existed in everyone’s heart. They always have a magical power, and you have to admit that when you feel happy, they are delicious; and when you are down, they are still delicious. Even the more sad and depressed I am, the stronger the power of heat transfer becomes. Although my heart is hit and becomes empty and lonely, the reality of food is unparalleled. It reminds me all the time that “I have always existed.” From the moment my nose caught the scent, I knew that I began to reconstruct myself in pieces.
  Just like this spring, just after the long dark winter night, the dawn finally breaks.

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