Thursday, June 4, 2009

Last Bite

I'm always curious if other people have the "last bite" behaviour like the way I do. For me, I like to save the best for last. When I have breakfast, I strategically eat everything else first but a little bit of scramble egg, a tiny piece of sausage, and toast, pile them up, and savour the last bite in my mouth. For me, the last bite, is like a happy ending of a movie. It gives you such a satisfactory feeling (might be chessy sometimes). It feels great, but at the same time, it is sad that the movie is over. But you can always look forward to the next movie. But what if there is no next movie to go to? There is no next meal you can look forward to?

The question of the ultimate last bite comes into my mind. One time the New Yorker Magazine talked about a coffee table book, "My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals/Portraits, Interviews, and Recipes. It is a bit morbid. But I found the idea interesting. I asked around to see what my friends would eat as their last meal. M said, "a piece of grilled fish, a good plate of pasta, and a salad". I was thinking, you can eat what you want to be the last meal everyday. You must be a happy man! C said, "olives, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, feta cheese, but they have to be all separated, and put into small plates". C asked me back, what I wanted my last meal to be. It is a very difficult choice. I said, "Hm....I like foie gras...lobster...rib eye steak..truffle...I think I'm going to have a 9 course wine pairing French dinner. Then I can have a bite of everything I like." C said, "That was cheating! That will be 9 meals combined in one!!!"

If the last bite is important to me, what would I want to have if it is the ultimate last bite? What kind of flavour do I want to take with me when I leave this world? In the movie, "Ratatouille", my favourite moment was when a jaded food critic, Ego, had ratatouille cooked by Remy, a little rat who was a chef, the magical taste of the dish took him back to his old distanced memory of his mom. When he was a young kid, got all beaten up, how his mom's simple dishes such as ratatouille could comfort him. Whenever I get sick, I don't crave for foie gras, or a big piece of fancy steak with whatever red wine reduction. I want some simple food my mom made for me when I was a little kid. I guess when I leave this world, I want to have that "Ego moment" in "Ratatouille". I want to take that warm fuzzy feeling with me through the taste in my mouth. I have decided for my ultimate last bite, I want to have congee, and steam ground pork with Chinese mushroom with soy sauce and scallion, just like the way my mom would make it!

Hopefully, I will be able to decide on my ultimate last bite when the time comes. I guess that only can happen if I can decide the way I am going to leave this world. However, if I can choose the way I leave this world, I want to die like Julia Child. She passed away in her sleep in her 90s. She is my hero. I missed the way she used to say, "stir in 2 table spoons of butter before you serve"!


  1. xxx xxx... i find your illustrations are getting better.

    i also strategically plan for my last bite. but sometimes, depending on my mood, i would purposely have my last bite with my 2nd favourite stuff in the meal... so that i don't miss the food too badly after the last bite.

    my last bite, dumplings or "xiao long bao" for sure.

  2. Enjoying your writing and illustrations so much! I just learned what "congee" is. :>)