Summer Pao, TX

Senior Writer

Summer holds a BA in Chinese from Tsing Hua University and an MA in World Cultures and Literatures, Chinese from the University of Houston. Her published books in translation include: Think and Grow Rich, Being Logical, Feel the Fear but Do It Anyway, Hope and Help for Your Nerves, Napoleon Hill Law of Success and Outwitting the Devil. This hopeless gourmet also doubles as a professional wordsmith and a creative Chinese teacher. It’s marvelous how cooking and writing go hand-in-hand; both are creative endeavors that are personal, unique, and when done properly, can be quite nourishing to the body and the mind.

As a Story Terrace writer, Summer interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

No Wonder I Became a Foodie!

I think I became who I am from growing up in a family where traveling an hour to have a certain type of mutton cooked with a specific spice was considered an emergency errand. Our so-called dinner was practically a ten-course ritual, which happened almost nightly, because my parents insisted on cooking what each of them deemed as delicious, healthy, and seasonal.

I also witnessed my maternal grandparents, with nostalgic and stubborn palates from Northern China, roll up their sleeves and start kneading dough from scratch, in order to find their own outlets from the flowery southern cuisine. Ninety percent of my allowance went to all the bakeries, snack stands, and food stores that helped put lots of other children through college.

So to me, what is food, really?

If my husband and I have an intense quarrel, our next meal after making up is a wonder to behold. That’s how I say I am sorry. If my students ace their tests, the snacks they get that week will be guaranteed ear-to-ear smiles all around. That’s how I say good job! If my friends are at the bottom of their lives, I show up with pots of comfort food, bringing tears to their eyes. That’s how I say I am think about you and praying for you.

There is no better way to show human affection. Every Chinese holiday or festival can’t be complete without a specific symbolic food. No wedding is worth attending unless we know there is an array of tempting delicacies. Even funerals are not concluded until the grieving friends and family share a few bites in sorrow.

In conclusion, gourmet food mentality is not only a universal heritage, but a birthright for all mankind. In food, we unite.

Get in touch today to work with Summer!

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