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Cooking Corner

Written By: Ellen Kleven  |  Posted: Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Observing Eva Schneider while she cooks proves to be a very enjoyable experience, although eating what you have just watched her cook is even better. I was able to see first hand the organization, deftness, and beautiful touch Eva uses when she prepares a meal. As I watched, it was apparent that this delightful dish is one she has really mastered and I sensed that she probably does very well in other areas of cooking also. If you enjoy oriental food, specifically an authentic Taiwanese meal, then try Eva's wonderful recipe after reading about how she grew up in that very culture and was then transplanted to American soil.

As a very young girl, Eva lived with her grandparents in Central Taiwan on their vegetable farm while her parents worked several hours away in Northern Taiwan. She recalls basil and bok choy (both used in the following recipe) being common vegetables at her grandparents' table. When she grew old enough to attend school she moved to be with her parents, then seeing her grandparents only several times a year. She began cooking at a young age, assisting where she was able and doing small tasks to aid in preparation for meals. Her parents were good at complimenting her cooking as a young girl, which boosted her confidence in what she set out to prepare. When thinking back to those days she said of her father, "Among our family he said I cooked rice to the exact texture he liked" and laughed, saying that not even her mother could outdo her in rice cookery. She learned from close observation her mother's and grandmother's styles of cooking, but didn't fully comprehend amounts and ratios of ingredients used. Eva remembers her mother's cooking as practical, easy, and simple-yet flavorful too, and described her grandmother's cooking as "very unique" mentioning that, "Grandmother had a name for each dish." She has learned from each of them and is capable of cooking in both manners.

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