I treasured the family time we were able to get as we naturally shared our cooking times and meal times together. We went to the wet market together to buy fresh produce and came home to cook food from scratch in the kitchen. While I was busy preparing coconut yogurt fermentation, an unexpected person – Qian, my nephew -- showed his interest in what I was doing and I seized that teachable moment to educate him. We made fresh coconut yogurt and coconut kefir from 5 fresh coconuts. I love fresh coconuts, and they are easily available tropical produce in Malaysia.
It was such a pleasure to be able to witness how a budding child would perceive fermentation. I noticed his eyes sparked with joy and were full of curiosity, wanting to know how and why this fermentation worked! He was full of questions:
What could all these little bacteria do to our body/our gut?
Will these bugs survive in our body?
Can these starter be reused?
How many times he can use?
I knew I needed to teach him more than how to do the coconut yogurt ferment, but also why we should do so. The same night, I held a sharing session with my family members including Qian. Qian paid full attention to the sharing session throughout the whole time and asked relevant questions throughout the session. The moment I finished my sharing, to my surprise, he clapped his hands and said: “Thank you Auntie for teaching me about fermentation. It’s really interesting!” My heart melted and I gave him a big hug for being such a great listener! I was truly touched by his pure heart and eagerness in wanting to learn about fermentation.
The next day, I made sure he followed through with the observation of the coconut yogurt ferment, and he was so surprised and marveled at the ferment progress, by observing the tiny bubbles to bigger bubbles, the rising of the yogurt level, the taste from sweet to tart and tangy taste, the amazement of these little creatures at work in the yogurt.
It is my mission to encourage everyone to cook from scratch in the kitchen. It is also my wish that we are able to pass down our strong food culture to the next generation, so that we all can raise a healthier generation. A generation that appreciates what good food is consisted of -that is eating real food generation. What we can do now is give our children more opportunities to learn how to prepare food in the kitchen and be role models to them, showing them that cooking from scratch is fun and doable. It’s also a great time of bonding for family to spend time in the kitchen too!
Let’s give our children a head start in the kitchen, you are opening up a whole new world for them about FOOD! Just like I opened up Qian’s whole new world about fermentation - how exciting this journey can be! The sky is the limit for his learning!