DIY Sweet Soup for Mom
(Mother’s Day segment on CBC North by Northwest, May 10th)
It is always a big delight to talk food and culture with Sheryl, more so this time because we are both mothers. I often bring along a sampling of the food and small portions of the ingredients needed. We chit-chat while we sample the food and share the recipe; to me, it is like having friends over for a home-made snack.
A bulb of Jasmine Blossom tea is steeping and blooming in slow-motion in the glass pot. The first cup of tea we pour fills the studio with spring-like floral aroma – we are ready to celebrate Mother’s Day in our own simple but satisfying version.
Mother’s Day, like any other celebration and festival, has been commercialized. While we don’t see too many ads about taking moms to fast food joints for obvious reasons; commercials of gift-giving and nice dining seem to target affluent sons and daughters or at least those who believe they could afford them and should buy them for Mom. Mother’s Day is, to the busy ones or not, may just be a casual formality to say “Mom I love you” by handing her the gift and/or take her out to brunch or lunch or dinner. The justification? Everyone is busy with work, friends, playtime, social media these days and Mom is only mom who’ll be around all the time, so what‘s the fuss?
What about spending time with her? One day in a year, put down your cell phone; turn off your i-pad; ask your friends to wait! Go sit with her, talk to her and listen patiently. Ask her about her high school days, her romance with Dad; what your childhood was like; or simply, “Mom, how did you spend yesterday, what about last week?”
For this segment, we talk about having tea with mom; cook a simple meal or bake a cake or cookies for her, or with her. Perhaps, all mothers need is YOU, not another scarf, another purse, or another meal in a jam-pack restaurant.
The recipe I am sharing is a dessert soup made with taro, barley, tapioca pearl and coconut milk, one of my favourite S.E. Asian sweet soups. Enchanting flavour and velvety texture and very easy to make, the cooking time is about 10 minutes. Taro is a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C & E, potassium, folate and magnesium; and is sold fresh in ready-to-cook packages in the vegetable section.
Recipe: Taro Root Coconut Milk Dessert Soup with Barley & Tapioca Pearl
Serves 3 to 4
2 Tbsp. barley
1 Tbsp. tapioca pearl
3 cups water
2 cups taro root, into ½” cubes
60 – 75 gm rock sugar
1 can 400ml coconut milk
- Place barley, tapioca pearl and water in a medium saucepan, soak for 30 minutes.
- Place saucepan on stove. Bring to a boil on high heat, add taro and cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn heat to medium low, add rock sugar. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until rock sugar melts.
- Turn to medium high heat. Add coconut milk. Stir well. Bring to a soft boil and turn off heat.