My Valentines’ Day Gift

Hey everyone! How was your Valentine’s Day? My gift was my husband’s cooking with love.

When I came back home today, my husband had already started cooking. Today, he came home especially early. He was making two dishes: pork ribs, seaweed and pearl barley soup (排骨海带薏米汤) and stir-fried broccoli with homemade sausage (西兰花炒腊肠). When I see him in the apron, busy in the kitchen, I feel happy — this is home.

slicing ginger

My husband also told me these two dishes are good for the lungs. These days, I feel there may be sputum in my throat when I wake up in the morning. Being considerate is his habit.
He prepares the ingredients for the soup. It’s a very easy dish. It just takes a longer amount of time. Boil the pork ribs, pearl barley, seaweed, ginger, ground white pepper, garlic and scallion in the wok until they are cooked. Note that seaweed needs to parboil first for it has been preserved with salt and is very salty. Because it is parboiled it will need less time in the soup and can be added after other ingredients boil for a while. 

The three main ingredients for the soup: pearl barley, seaweek and pork ribs

adding salt to taste

Serve the dish

The second dish is easy too. Clean the broccoli and break it into small florets while the sausages boil in the wok. After 11 minutes, discard the water and slice the sausage. Heat oil in the wok and fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add the sausage slices and broccoli florets and stir-fry until broccoli is tender. It’s done!

Breaking broccoli into florets

Adding broccoli florets to the stir-fried sausage

Serve the dish!

It’s a memorable moment, to eat the dishes he cooked and the rice I cooked, while spending our 4th Valentine’s day at home.   

However, I am usually the cook while my husband rarely cooks. Are you curious how he began to cook? I am honored to share the story with you all.

Before knowing me, my husband cherished an innocent dream for many years — to find a wife and love each other dearly for ever. He was also sure his tenacious disposition would earn his career one day, but he had no idea of the balance between work and life. Now he holds the belief that being a good husband and a good father is no less important than having a successful career; the latter serves the former while the former contributes to the latter.

I have been told by many mentors that for man, a good woman is a school. I am on the way to being a good school. :-) Undoubtedly, my husband is blessed intrinsically with many good virtues and quality. However, just like a raw jade, without refining, it can not shine beautifully. So in view of weakness in his personality, I try to seize every suitable moment to enlighten him to bloom socially — encourage him to learn how to share and communicate (for he has been a gloomy introvert for many years) and to instill advanced concepts of a good husband and father into him.

Especially after we moved in together, I tried to put more into practice. There was one impressive memory. One day, it occurred to me that in the future when we become parents, if I happen to not be at home for several days, what would the kid(s) eat? The answer was that if my husband could cook, the problem would be solved. Despite being very busy, he is also happy to be responsible for washing and cleaning all the time. He regards housework as a good way of relaxation and a exemplary gesture in the family to love me. Every time when he knows that I have told some friends ‘my husband does the washing and cleaning’, he beams with pride. However, he has little cooking experience. So one day I said to him, “Honey, do you want your kid to admire you very much in the future? How will you feel when you hear your kid tell their own friends proudly ‘My father is omnipotent. He is a scientist who researches well, but he can also cook, wash, and clean! He can do everything!’”  He was then pleased to accept my suggestion to learn to cook some dishes under my guidance on weekends when he had time, and agreed that I made a very good point. I know he wants to be an admired father! Later he thought it would be a good idea to cook for special occasions, so it would be necessary for him to know how to cook.

He has learned to cook some dishes under my guidance. Today is a special day, so he cooks to make me feel special. I am sure he can show this specialty to the kid(s) or even for guests in the future, too!

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13 Responses to My Valentines’ Day Gift

  1. What a beautiful story – and I love the photos too!

  2. MorningStar says:

    Pork ribs, seaweed and pearl barley soup and stir-fried broccoli with homemade sausage. Both are famous!
    How were they taste?

  3. Zuo-Fei Yuan says:

    Cooking is one of my interests, but little time to practice. Housework is a responsibility for the family.

  4. Alice says:

    What a good husband!

    If u feel sputum in your throat when u wake up, u can boil pears with dried orange peel, which can balance your body fluid and reduce phlegm.

  5. Renee says:

    Nice. Enjoy!

  6. ioxiu says:

    You couple really live a happy life, so nice~ and Feifei seems to be a good cook,huh

  7. Susan Jiang says:

    interesting enough. a model family!

  8. 陶念 says:

    看到你的侧面~才真的敢确认你是袁同学啊~~新婚快乐啊~~蛮眼的英文。。

  9. Dong Liang says:

    delicious meal, nice husband:)

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