Fried Rice à la Mommy

Fried Rice à la Mommy (Photo: Foong Yee Cheah)

WHEN I think about my mother, I think of many good things.

She’s the ultimate task master when it comes to revision. The moment I’m seated next to her with my assessment papers, it’s work, work, and no nonsense. 

She’s also the dream secretary who gets my life in order. Chinese tuition, English tuition, piano lessons, badminton classes, meal-planning, cooking, you name it, she’s got it all lined up. One time, I left my Chinese ring file at home, and by magic, it showed up in my hands at Chinese class right after recess, having first made its way from the General Office to my Chinese teacher and then to me.

My mother is also the world’s best nagger, which explains why I am a good boy. Imagine, if she doesn’t ever nag, my brother and I would go berserk.

Of all the roles she plays, I like her best as a cook. I don’t care that she doesn’t cook fancy things, I just care that it’s delicious. If you asked me what’s my favorite Mommy dish, it would be fried rice. It’s tastiest when I eat it out of a thermos lunch box just before CCA on Wednesday (Scrabble) and Friday (band).

Here’s a portrait of Mommy’s fried rice: stir-fried ground pork, and eggs scrambled with not just any rice, but brown rice, with a dash of soy sauce and a little sprinkling of pepper. Sometimes, she sneaks in chopped carrots and broccoli. That’s it. It’s that simple, but totally magical. The special touch is this: my thermos comes with a black plastic spoon wrapped in tissue paper sealed in a Ziploc.

There’s a lovely completeness to the meal, one that would sit cosily in my school bag all morning, one that Mommy had to wake up early to cook, as early as 5.30AM. And it gets even more special when I’m opening my lunch box in the canteen, and my friends go, “Oh, what have you got there, Dylan?”

Then I’d think, Wow, Mommy has cooked me lunch! As for my friends, they have to buy canteen food.

(351 words)


Dylan Tan, Primary Three
May 2017

For more essays by Dylan, visit Dylan Writes.

This is a special feature essay celebrating Mother’s Day.

You may also enjoy these Mother’s Day specials:

My Doll Has a Belly Button
The Mother of All Cakes
The Best Things In Life Are Free

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