Happy Father’s Day! I don’t usually get to see my dad around Father’s Day, but this year my parents decided to visit my sister and me in June. Not only did we get to eat my mom’s awesome Taiwanese cooking, we also got to hang out with my dad, including actually giving him a Father’s Day gift in person this year!
My dad’s a teacher.
He’s taught Chinese in high school since the 1960’s, well before it was popular (or even existent in most high school). Heck, he was probably one of the first Chinese high school teachers in the whole state of Ohio.
In some ways I am a lot like my father. We are both energetic, animated, and love to tell stories. It’s the perfect personality for a teacher – really. My dad’s students love his crazy personality. Even though he’s over seventy years old, I swear sometimes he thinks and acts like a kid even more than I do. He’s totally young at heart.
Me, during the day I work as a patent attorney drafting patent applications, reviewing contracts, and giving legal advice. My day job is completely different than my dad’s, even though we are similar.
This past weekend, I had a chance to see what it was like to be my dad, sort of. TAP (Taiwanese American Professionals) Boston invited me to teach a Taiwanese cooking class for them.
Me? In front of a classroom?
It wouldn’t exactly be the first time. I traveled to Georgia Tech a little over a year ago to give a cooking and photography workshop at ITASA (Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Assocation). Last year, I did a similar workshop at BU with BAASIC (Boston University Asian American Student’s Intercollegiate Coalition).
And I had a blast both times.
But this would be a dedicated cooking class. Instead of a photography workshop where we used food as a vehicle for teaching other skills, this essentially became my first all out cooking class.
We made four classic Taiwanese dishes.
Tea eggs (which we had to start right away since it usually takes a couple hours to cook!),
Chinese Chives with 5-spice Tofu, Matcha Mochi Cupcakes, and Taiwanese Meat Sauce over Rice.
Of course, we feasted on everything we cooked after three hours of slaving away in the kitchen.
I had never organized and executed this sort of class before. Thankfully, through the help of several of the TAP folks, the event turned out great! The students successfully created all four dishes well within our 3-hour time frame, and all the food tasted absolutely delicious.
I was so relieved and thrilled that it went so well.
Though this isn’t anywhere close to what my dad does day-to-day, I felt like I got a tiny taste of what his teaching job must be like. It takes quite a bit of prep and energy, yet it’s also energizing and lots of fun at the same time.
I can see why my dad’s kept at it, even after four decades. (!)
I wish I could have taken more photos at the event, but I was so busy teaching, I forgot! I’m so used to usually being the photographer, the one who tries to capture all the moments of an event. It’s weird for me not to have that many pictures from this class.
Thankfully, many of the folks at TAP Boston took pictures. You can check out all of their photos on their facebook page.
And here are the links to the recipes we executed that day:
Below, please enjoy just a few of the photos that I did manage to take!
Sauteing shallots for the Taiwanese meat sauce.
Making Hello Kitty muffins.
Stir frying Chinese chives.
First look at the finished mochi cupcakes in the awesome commercial convection oven.
And even more photos.
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