I have an aunt who makes only cashew cookies every Chinese New Year. My father says it’s because she only has one recipe in her head, but I told him that that’s ok, since they are actually the best cashew cookies in the world. My cashew auntie is my father’s eldest sister, and his favorite, so much so that he moved his young family into the flat right next to hers. This is their 29th year as neighbors.
My mother told me that the funny thing about cashew auntie is that she doesn’t actually know how to bake. She knows all the proportions of things, she makes the dough, she cuts the dough into funny little crescent shapes, but she does not know how to operate the oven. That’s because my uncle did all the baking for her, but he passed away a few years ago. Last year was the first year she baked without him and all the cookies turned out a little burnt. She blamed the maid. My mum says cashew aunt is like a celebrity chef.
This year the cashew cookies are the best cashew cookies in the world. I don’t know who has finally learnt to operate the oven, my cashew aunt or the maid.