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100 Szechuan Dads' Recipes

It seems that moms are always the best cook at home. Though it isn't the case in Szechuan(Sichuan) , China where I grow up. Moms in Sichuan go to the kitchen as many times as moms in the rest of the world do, but many kids see their dads as the most talented chefs who only cook when they feel like in the right mood and always come out of the kitchen with something incredibly delicious. Both my grandpas cook only once a year on the Chinese New Year's Eve and have never failed to wow the family members around the table. What they make is unlike anything you can find on a mom's menu. One of them cook braised meatballs the size of grapefruits (the dish is literally called the lion's head). You've got to scrape a small chunk out and dip it into the special gravy before you eat it. The other makes stuffed beancurd for which you need to cut the tofu in half and carefully reshape it and stuff the meat in between. The food is a piece of art combining both creativity and craftsmanship.

How did the fathers create those recipes and why is each of them so unique? The answer is simple: The recipe is passed down between generations like a heritage. It might start as an ordinary home dish, but has been modified over and over by the father, and father's father. 

Each recipe connects to a story.

I want to start a project about 100 Szechuan fathers' unique recipes and their stories. It might be a book, or even a website where users can contribute their own contents. A lot of options will be considered as long as it can include the following contents in the storytelling:

  • Recipe: What is the father's unique recipe? How to make it step by step? What modifications has he done to it and why?
  • Story: What is his family like? What experiences have the food created for the family?

My goal is simple. I hope that I can create a community where people learn to cook creatively by reading interesting life stories instead of dull recipes, so that when they learn, they think about the story and resonate with what they are cooking.

And "The 100 Szechuan Dads' Recipes" is a small start which helps me find the people that love creative cooking. If there are enough numbers, we will expand from Szechuan dads' cooking to something bigger, say, Chinese dads' cooking or moms' cooking, or even creative recipes worldwide.

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