The one time my mom ever accused me of being cheap was when I saved bones from a chicken that we just finished eating for the purpose of freezing them to make future stock. This is so memorable because I think cheapness in general runs in every Asian family, so it’s almost in our DNA to be as frugal as possible and save money even when we don’t need to; I spend most of my time wondering why my family is so cheap, and here my mom is, admonishing me for being cheap! We’re not necessarily cheap all around, but we are cheap when it comes to spending money on ourselves, particularly luxury items (and sometimes, sadly, a “luxury” item in my family’s eyes is just a new pair of jeans to replace the pair that has thinned out and has holes at the crotch).
I was thinking about this tonight as I pulled out all the turkey bones and carcass from the freezer that I saved from our early Thanksgiving celebration this past November. It’s going to contribute to the turkey/chicken jook I am making tomorrow. The best jook is made from homemade stock, which is made from real bones; I don’t do canned stock for this ever. My mom (and grandma when she was around) detests canned stock for jook; it’s blasphemous. She almost always uses a whole chicken when she makes jook and just cooks it down completely. She still thinks I am odd and cheap for saving bones, but I do it anyway. Maybe in a weird way, I get that form of frugality from her even if she doesn’t want to admit it.