year of birth
Now you can go into any organic shop and there is tofu from Japan, China, everywhere but back then, there was nothing when my mum moved to the UK in the 60s. My mum liked making things and she thought it would be nice to make tofu from scratch using a soya bean grinder. I can really understand why she would have wanted to bring the soya bean grinder. I'm sure it wasn't just to do with the eating but it was to do with the making as well.
It travelled from all the way from Singapore by ship with my parents amongst 200 pieces of luggage, there wasn’t any restrictions on baggage or weight back then! It was covered with padlocks and chains. Then there was the journey when it travelled from Edinburgh to London. By then, mum did not use it much and my older brother wanted to throw it away. In the end, we thought it would be a museum piece one day.
I remember sitting in the kitchen on a small stool. As a child, the soya beans would have been soaked overnight and you’d pour the soya beans in with the right amount of water and start grinding. It was quite satisfying because very quickly, you would see the milk coming out. It was also very time consuming. I would do it for quite a few hours.
I remember her boiling it up in pans. You had to boil it three times, it was quite a process to make soya milk and then make the tofu, which came from the milk. You had to create the right consistency. At one point, all the tofu was sitting in wooden racks with the cloth so they could settle. She would slice it up and put it into bags and sell it in the shops. Mum was the culprit for the soya bean grinder and now a heroine.