Baltimore, Maryland, US
Growing up, my parents would always cut up fruit and de-shell nuts for us, as sort of a post-supper snack. My mother would carefully cut up chilled seasonal fruit and brew a pot of chrysanthemum tea. My father would use his own teeth to crack open salted peanuts and sunflower seeds for us, while frying up prawn crackers at the stove.
They're just simple cut fruit and nuts, but somehow they don't taste the same when I'm just preparing them by myself. That they are meticulous labors of love are what make them taste special.
*Completed for Rebecca Bradley's "Illustrating the Edible" course at MICA*
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When I was a child my yaya was my world. I loved spending time with her and she was always in the kitchen. My fondest memory with her is making a special dish from our Armenian culture called Manti. It is a labor intensive dumpling soup from the Caucasus. The dish is a staple amongst Armenian families and all of my friend's yaya's make it. To make Manti you make the dough from scratch, roll it out thinly then cut it into squares. Once your squares are ready you stuff them with a meat mixture and then pinch them together. Then this is either boiled or baked in the oven before it is put in a bowl and topped with yogurt, and depending on where you are from either a red pepper or butter sauce. My yaya and I would bond over this recipe, my role only being pinching together the dumplings while she made the rest of the soup. I wanted to create a illustration that showed the steps for this dish, specifically focusing on the part that I would help her with.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are simple and delicious. This was one of the first recipes that my mother showed me as a kid and one of the first recipes I shared with my own children.
These potato rolls are my Grandmother Affie's. We made these on special occasions, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. As I got older, it was my responsibility to make them while my grandmother, mom, and aunts made everything else. I always liked making them into a clover shape because I thought they looked fancier that way. My mom also makes cinnamon rolls to share on Christmas morning out of this dough. These were always my favorite.
First time visiting an aquarium with our daughter, it's during our recent trip in Osaka. Greeted by a tunnel once entering. Enjoyed looking at variety of species available, magnificent views. We had a limited edition soft serve ice cream in the cafe. It's an unforgettable experience for us.
Fave Memory - When I was a child and I used to have lunch with my grandparents it was always a joyful day.
Every Sunday the family met all together. Before starting to eat my grandpa used to take a handful of cheese and let it fall on the dish of pasta, saying “it’s snowing!!!” A thin white layer appeared, and it started to melt due to the heat, just like snow. He used to repeat it every time, and every time I was enchanted by those flakes falling down softly.
Fave Memory - I remember first making the recipe for Fudge from the label of the jar of Marshmallow Fluff jar in the 80s. You didn't need to worry about candy thermometers and getting just the right temperature with this recipe. It was simple and quick! It was the age of convenience...the microwave was used more than the oven in those days! (how do you like my "Miami Vice" colorway? Rad, right?!)
My dog sits right under my baby boy's high chair and watches for falling food like a hawk. One time she emerged from under the table with mac and cheese noodles stuck all over her head which made my kids die with laughter. It's one of those sweet memories I'll never forget! This recipe is for the busy mom or dad who wants less time spent cooking and a bit more quality time with their kids some evenings. It's a fool proof dinner that your kids are sure to love and you will love the quick prep time!