Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The History of Food: Post-baby Goods Eats

To catch up on the saga of how I went from a Skinny Bitch to a Reluctant Housewife, read my two previous posts HERE and HERE.

Davis trip Aug 031

Not two hours after I pushed King out did my mother's plane touch down in Los Angeles to see us. She had been on standby for a couple of weeks already, ready to pack up her things and leave work for an undisclosed period of time as soon as I was done baking the little one. King came a tad bit early from his expected due date but my mom was prepared. Prepared to live with me and Patrick for our first week home with the babes. Prepared to haul King and me 7 hours up the state of California to her and my dad’s house for the remainder of my first month post-baby. Prepared, with her arsenal of unusual and exotic ingredients, to whip my body back into shape through the ingestion of food. Not just any food, mind you, but foods deemed for their healing and fortifying powers in Chinese folklore and tradition. Foods like liver, pig’s feet, free-range chicken, goji berries, ginseng, red beans, fermented rice, vinegar, ginger, seaweed, oxtail…oh the list goes on.

Davis trip Aug 036

Davis trip Aug 038
Dried abalone used to flavor stock.

My mother, the most gentle and easy-going of souls, turned into a mad alchemist in the kitchen, whipping up concoctions seemingly around the clock and determined, like I have never seen before, to completely heal her daughter’s body after baby. At the time, I didn’t understand why she insisted on this particular diet that many an occasion proved to be too difficult to stomach for even the most adventurous of gastronomes. Like pig’s feet, which I probably wouldn’t have had an issue eating had it been braised in soy sauce but on its own as my mother served, this gelatinous tan-colored mass with some hair (!!) still stuck on it, was where, I’m sorry to say, I drew the line.

Davis trip Aug 040
Bitter melon, made more palatable with the addition of beef with black bean paste.

Davis trip Aug 041
Rice wine.

But, you ask, did this “intensive” one-month culinary boot camp work? I would say so, seeing as I lost all my baby weight a mere two weeks after giving birth. And after four weeks, I had slimmed down to even less than what I was when I got pregnant even though I never restricted how much I ate. Heck, Patrick even benefited from the fringe effects of this diet since he probably dropped a couple pounds too. Not from eating the food, I’m sure, since he practically carried a ten-foot pole around with him the whole time, but rather from losing his appetite over what was brewing in the kitchen. Oh how the kitchen would smell, reeking of pungent sesame oil and ginger and offending every Anglo-Saxon cell of his, and no sooner did Patrick come home from work were the windows flailed wide open to air the apartment out.

Davis trip Aug 046
Sesame oil and ginger: Patrick's nemesis.

Davis trip Aug 052

And today, even though I have gone back to eating the SAD (Standard American Diet, its acronym unfortunately befitting), I am still enjoying the gravy, so to speak, of my mom’s culinary labors. I have maintained my weight loss and continue to produce enough breast milk to properly nourish a small village. My milk, I suspect, must also be extremely nutrient-dense seeing as I have an 18-pound 3-month-old but uh, we won’t get into that now.

Davis trip Aug 053
Wild rice, so chewy and filling.

Davis trip Aug 056
Free-range chicken cooked in wine and sesame oil.


  1. sesame oil and ginger -- what's not to love? have fun at the fair today...i can't wait to see the pictures you'll get!

  2. hmmmm...the spices used sound tasty, but the recognizable limbs and organs.....not so tasty! But I think I need to try this diet. All the baby weight in two weeks? It'll be two years for me next month and that last 5-10lbs is holding on like my baby when I go to drop him off at Mother's Day out!!
    Great, somewhat yummy post!

  3. Luckily my mom's not much of a cook and she knew next to nothing about confinement food, except what her friends had told her... and so she came with suggestions, but she didn't push too hard. Heh. I did drink lots of soup, though. :)

  4. Hey! Did you enter this in Scary Mommy's contest? Don't forget to add the line you need to add : )
    I was so excited to see you over there. Here I am clicking on my new friend's link : )

  5. I love this post! Your mom is awesome. I don't know about the pig's feet, but that bitter melon with beef looks very delicious. It's all so very warm and nourishing and best of all prepared with love. We could all be so lucky.

  6. Authentic and pungent Chinese food for the win! Love the line about how much it offends his Anglo-Saxon cells, haha. Love the pictures of the delicious food even more. Your mom must be an awesome cook! Hope you learned a few recipes ;)

    Great job with the blog!!

    -C. Su

  7. thank you kris! i hope you are doing well and enjoying life!

  8. wow your mom's a genius in the kitchen! :) where did she get all those recipes for the one month culinary bootcamp?

  9. Exotic meals contain essential nutrients for a healthy body.


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