Home at last! Baby Taiwanxifu had an extended stay in hospital due to jaundice, but is now fully recovered. We couldn’t wait to bring him home. In fact, we were so keen that we brought him home in the middle of a typhoon.
Well, actually the worst had passed the night before but it was still pretty windy. And there were broken tree branches everywhere. It was a declared ‘typhoon day’, which meant all offices and schools were closed. We didn’t have our lovely nanny to look after Taiwanxifu Toddler, so we took him along with us. He was so excited to bring his little brother (弟弟 didi) home. And Baby Taiwanxifu was delivered to us by the NICU staff all wrapped up like a present tied with a blue bow. So cute!
Now that we are all home, my confinement nanny (月婆, yuepo) has started work. Mrs Yang (楊大姐 Yang Dajie, which translates as Elder Sister Yang) is not only an excellent cook, but she also has experience in caring for over one hundred babies. As soon as she arrived, she went straight to work in the kitchen cooking up nutritious meals and things for me to snack on if/ when I am up during the night. Feeling a bit tired from being in a shared ward at hospital (not to mention the journey to and from hospital in a Typhoon), I felt so blessed to be pampered by Mrs Yang. I love this cultural tradition of nurturing mothers!
The first dish that Mrs Yang made for me was a simple liver soup. Liver is traditionally eaten during the first week or so after childbirth, when liver energy is weak. Given that liver is rich in iron and other essential minerals, it is an ideal food to help women restore energy after childbirth. This was such a wonderful tonic and I immediately felt warming energy flow through me after consuming it.
I must admit that it took me a while to take to eating liver. While I am partial to pâté, and despite the calories don’t mind lambs fry occasionally, the texture and taste of pork liver was something I turned my nose up at before becoming a Taiwanxifu. How my taste buds have changed!
Mrs Yang’s Liver Soup with Goji Berries
3cm knob of ginger, finely sliced
A generous spoon of goji berries (Chinese wolf berries)
One spring onion, chopped (optional)
100g pork liver, thinly sliced
Slightly fry the ginger in sesame oil until it is fragrant. It is important not to fry for too long.
Add water and bring to the boil. Add the liver, goji berries and spring onions (if using). Do not overcook the liver as it is best when tender. Serve at once.
Note: confinement foods do not usually contain salt, which may take some getting used to. You can add a pinch of salt for other members of the family who might eat this dish.