The One About Apple Spirals

Apple Spirals

Once in a while I like to think about my cooking influences, and despite being an avid collector of cookbooks and food magazines (note I said collector, not do-er), the ones who’ve had major influences on my epicureal journey are few and far between. One of them is my mother.

My mother is a great cook; anyone who has met her would agree. Anyone who has been lucky enough to partake in one of her grand feasts (namely Chinese New Year and Christmas) would probably tell you it’s the best home feast they’ve ever had. For all the years that I’ve lived with my parents, I’ve been accustomed to homemade sharks fin soup, ngoh hiang, homemade fish cakes, mee siam, lovingly-brewed birds nest soup, poh piah parties and a whole host of out-of-this-world dishes. In short, everyone knows that my mother rules the kitchen in the household.

My father, on the other hand, has probably only attempted cooking us a French meal (or was it just a dessert?) ONCE in his entire life, and has never stepped into the kitchen since. Instant noodles is his specialty. I guess with my mother’s culinary prowess, there is absolutely no need for him to stick around – he’d much rather watch his golf/soccer/news. But when it comes to fruits and cutting them up at the dinner table, Dad is King and no one gets in the way.

Dinner every night always ends on a grand note with my father whipping out his fruit board and knife. Fruits of different varieties are brought out to the dining table and Dad would begin the arduous task of cutting up fruit and sometimes even peeling the skins off whatever fruit we have (e.g. my mother doesn’t like grape skins and my father would lovingly peel each and every grape for her – how’s that for being romantic?).

One of my fondest childhood memories is of him, of all things, peeling apples! Many a time after dinner we would watch in wide-mouthed wonder as Dad deftly swirls the peeler around the apple and off comes its skin in one single string! As kids, my siblings and I would cheer Dad on, though as we got older and cheekier we’d try to distract him instead so that the string of skin would break!

Anyway, the husband was making apple oat muffins tonight and I was helping him peel the apples. Without hesitation, I picked up the apple and peeler and carefully ran the blade through its skin until all I had was a long string of green apple skin. I looked at it and beamed at the husband with much pride and satisfaction, though it made me miss Dad and our dinner table fruit moments.

It’s funny how some people influence us in big and small ways, and how our little habits or idiosyncrasies begin with the most inane of events in our lives. Tonight I made two long apple skin spirals and I’m sure Dad would be really proud of me if he saw it (I think I shall email him a photo of my accomplishment). This one’s for you, Dad!

Apple Spirals 2


2 Responses to “The One About Apple Spirals”

  1. How funny… are you sure you’re not my sister??! My mum is an amazing cook – also creating memorable Chinese New Year feasts and my dad did the same with apples!

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