Food, lovingly prepared by hand figures prominently in Michelle Zauner’s memoir, Crying in H Mart. From shopping with her mother to learning from her and other Korean relatives how to prepare traditional dishes to nurturing her mother through serious illness Zauner illustrates the power of food to nourish and sustain us. So recently, when suffering through a bad bout of the flu, I found myself drawn to her images of congee, the traditional rice porridge that makes appearances in many Asian cuisines, and is often served to people who are ill.
I perused the internet and my cookbooks; inventoried my pantry where I found rice, peanuts, black vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, chile oil and Smithereen Farm Organic Mermaiden Broth; checked the fridge for eggs, ginger, soy sauce and sriracha; took stock of this week’s bounty from my Boston Organics box - three good sized carrots, three watermelon radishes and crimini mushrooms (an On-Sale add-on item) and came up with a plan. Lucky for me, I also had scallions, cilantro and bok choy on hand.