Monday, April 23, 2012

A tribute to my mentor!

I do not have a recipe today, as I am mourning the passing of my second Mother! I felt the need to come here today, to grieve and just to talk!

Farewell Tietie, as you embark on the most important journey of your life! May the Almighty God forever bless your soul!

…..It was on the morning of 4/14/12, when I received an e-mail from my aunt Mona, from sunny South Africa, stating that my beloved Aunt (Tietie) was gravely ill in hospital! Her words were, " Tietie gravely ill in hospital, things do not look good; I am at her side! Please say a little prayer for her!"
My heart skipped a beat and I immediately felt an uncontrollable pang of apprehension! Oh no, I started to sob, this is like losing my Mom all over again! The cessation of a loved-one's life, once more, felt so surreally palpable and there was nothing anyone could do!  Please God, I said, do not make her leave us, make her whole again.... but deep down I knew that Tietie was ready to obey the call of the Almighty!

 ....And so my tribute begins:

To Tietie, our second mother, the hospital cook, the day-care teacher, and mentor of my love for food and who has also taught my siblings, my cousins, even her siblings and all her friends,  the fundamentals of some really flavorful cuisine. Her motto was never to skimp, but only to splurge on the very best of ingredients. Her fastidious nature commanded that every aspect of dining reflect that of a traditionalist and that every meal, be delicious, yet unforgettable. She lovingly prepared meals from scratch and to even dare open up a can, was taboo. In fact all my elders displayed these types of anal dining antics and the one thing they all agreed upon was, whatever the numbers, giving your guests a good time was by far the most important thing to do.

As you can denote from this blog, I always try to put into practice, the food lessons learned from her . I must confess though, that sometimes,  I do tend to seek an easier way out of her classic recipes, but the one thing I would never do is to sacrifice, flavor! She insisted upon it and I would never dream of disgracing her!

To all that has had the honor of her teachings in food, let us all try just a little bit harder to keep her atavistic legacy in food alive.

For Tietie

This is a poem I wrote, mainly for me and to let "her" go with dignity and grace!

"Sabr, is thy virtue" Nazarina A

Do not ridicule her passing,
do not ponder upon her death,
instead, let her take her place -
amongst the pious and the pardoned,
enjoy the bounty of God's Garden.

All praises be to our Creator
for choosing her, the patient and the pure,
where suffering could no longer lure,
an innocent and tolerant child,
to an underworld gone wild!

I thought it only prudent to include this poem as well, as it is a poem about the Prophet, (S.A.W),  (Peace be upon Him).  I wrote it while still at college.

The Prophet and the NazarinaA

Spider, spider on the wall,
jointed legs and very tall,
protected by your magical web
free from harm and free from dread.

Spider, spider on the wall,
widowed, black and very bold,
king of the animals of  the underworld
protected the Prophet, while on the road
evading hatred and the sword.

Spider, spider on the wall,
creeping, stalking, on the crawl -
we dare not ignore those watchful eyes
It was you who heard the Prophet's cries,
gave him sanctuary, when no one else could,
 instilling solace on a broken feud.

Spider, spider on the wall
always proud, you never fall,
gave the Prophet a second chance,
to live, to love and just to dance
to smell the emerald sea and ruby night,
He soon forgot this teary song
and urgent plight!

I love you Tietie,” were my last words to her and to this she murmured, “I love you too!”  Thank you, Sister Michaels, ( And Victoria Hospital, Wynberg, South Africa) for giving me the opportunity to find closure and what may have been her final farewell to me!

Thank you Oegtie and Beit-Ul-Aman, (Home for the Aged in Wynberg, South Africa) for being her home away from home. Words cannot even begin to convey my eternal gratitude for loving her so!

Thank you to my brother A, for being there to endure her “sweet scolding” on behalf of us all!

Thank you to my family here and most importantly, in South Africa,  for being there for her, Shukran from the bottom of my heart, for you there really is no bottom!



ochikeron said...

i am very sorry to hear this news but you are very lucky to have such a mentor :D

i love the idea "splurge on the very best of ingredients". many people in here in japan think in this way, too :)

May she rest in peace

Nazarina A said...

Thank you Ochi,

I missed you! Thank you for your condolence, I do appreciate it!