Make Your Mom Happy in 7 Easy Steps

STEP 1:  Be 18 years old.

It’s time to go to college and your mom looks at you sadly for a whole week.  Finally as you’re loading the car with your 386 IBM PC and dot matrix printer, she says: “Will you be able to cook for yourself there, when you feel like Chinese food?”

You look at her blankly, through the freshman fog of cluelessness.

“Write this down,” she says very seriously, and begins to recite in that age-old poetic form –the recipe.

You scrawl it down on a scrap piece of paper and shove it in your pocket.

STEP 2:  Wait many years.

Really, really, really miss a mom-cooked meal.  Rummage through papers, notebooks, pockets, and other personal crevices.  Find the recipe.  Buy the ingredients: tomatoes, onion, carrots, potatoes, beef, cilantro, star anise, cooking wine, red wine, soy sauce.


STEP 3:  Chop stuff up.


STEP 4:  Put some of it into a pot.

Cook beef in olive oil until white on the outside.  Add onion, soy sauce, cooking wine, red wine, and 1 star anise.  Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to super low and simmer for 1.5 hrs.

STEP 5:  Add vegetables.

Bring to a boil.


STEP 6:  Simmer down.

Simmer on low for 1 hr.  Add salt to taste.


STEP 7:  Throw it on some rice.

Take a picture of it.  Send it to your mom, who now lives across the world from you and has been missing you and worrying if you’re eating well for over a decade.  She’ll be happy, guaranteed.  (And so will you.)

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