ashley dong

ashley dong

new york city, United States

lisv volleyball🏐

i love cooking and baking! 🍡🍥

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Tea Eggs

Jan 08, 2023 1 year ago

As a child, I would spend every summer vacation in Beijing. Every morning, I would wake up to my grandparents announcing the arrival of breakfast from the local farmer's market. “妞妞,” they would say softly. “We brought breakfast!” I would wake up every morning to the smell of delicious food and their beaming faces, arms adorned in plastic bags. There would always be tea eggs: Glorious, salty, delicious bombs of goodness encased in a cracked shell with brining liquid nestled comfortably in its crevices. I feel my mouth watering as I envision biting into the tender egg white, browned by a potion of soy sauce and tea leaves, my teeth sinking into the golden sun, the center of this eggy universe. My grandmother's (姥姥) love language was food. I distinctly remember her chasing me with a mantou in hand, calling, “Just one more bite!” She always reminded me to eat more, as I was a picky eater as a child, and at dinner time, my rice bowl would inexplicably refill every time I looked away. I pretended not to notice. It's been eight years since 姥姥 passed. Yesterday, I had tea eggs for breakfast. As I brought one to my mouth, I felt my throat clench up. I feel guilty about enjoying this treat without her. But then I remembered her reminders for me to eat more la, and I know that she would've wanted me to eat it. I swallowed the egg with difficulty as tears rolled down my cheeks. But I couldn't tell if they were tears of joy or sadness.

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