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Three eggs beaten with a pinch of salt until the mixture is thick with air and the color lightens to a homogenous yellow. Finely ground rice flour is strewn atop with one steady hand while the other folds the batter into a velvety, malleable dough. It takes a certain technical expertise to roll the evenly partitioned pellets into identical, perfectly round marbles. In a sizzling pan, the marbles pop into golden spheres, then are sprinkled with caramelized sugar and a spurt of lime juice. I am my hardest critic, but for the first time after countless trials I can say I have made it right. Sweet from the first bite, then a tinge of sour. Crispy on the outer skin, yet puffy inside. The cakes, my masterpiece, finally taste the way my grandmother used to make them for me when I was a kid.Cooking has been an important part of my life ever since I could wield pots and pans as an apprentice to my grandmother in the family kitchen. I love watching my relatives and friends, house guests and strangers taste my dishes. Sometimes I can see the joy manifest on their faces, a feeling of discovery that I shared when watching and tasting my grandmother’s cooking. Through a child’s eyes, life is full of wonder and my grandmother’s cooking is like an art requiring both creativity and expertise, where the artist can showcase her talent to a diverse audience.Among the many dishes that my grandmother made, I remember “Nhan” cake the most. It is a delicious cake made of simple ingredients. However, that is not the reason I remember it. Growing up living with my grandparents, I was sickly and my grandmother was usually the one taking care of me while my parents were at work. I was tired of the bitter taste of medicine when one day my grandmother used her special recipe to make that cake for me. She promised to make the cake for me every weekend “If you don’t get ill.” Of course, I still got sick, but somehow it did not come to me as much as usual and I did not…


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