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Some points The Mom makes are true: there are a lot of sauces in her fridge. However, they are not all mine.

This is a thing that happens in her house. Whoever isn’t there to defend themselves, takes the blame for whatever it is that’s annoying the rest of the inhabitants, be it sauces, furniture, or a particular way of doing things.

When I was living there, we blamed L’il Sis and Crazy D for most things that didn’t work or got in our way.

I don’t quite know why all these sauces have my name written on them. Possibly it’s because they’re Asian in origin and I’m the only person in the house who eats an almost exclusively Asian diet. If given the chance, since I’m not normally allowed to cook, I usually just eat whatever’s put in front of me. Sometimes I’m asked to cook, but only if everyone feels like eating Ethiopian or some Asian-derived dish. If you want Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese or Thai food, and you don’t want to go out, then I’m the one who is in charge in the kitchen. This leads to some minor problems, most of which stem from the fact that when I cook there’s a lot of substituting and most people – namely Crazy D and L’il Sis – aren’t totally convinced it’s going to work. Generally, it does.

What they don’t seem to realise is that some of these sauces are ones The Mom bought in an effort to lure me to the table and get me to eat. Or I’ll have asked for something basic but specific, like Kikkomen soy sauce, and she’ll have bought Oyster sauce, or Hoisin sauce, which are plainly not the same. If you are a fan of such things. The Mom, not being overly familiar with these things, just sees Chinese Sauce with No English on the Label, and figures it’ll do. Regular readers of this blog will know that me being me, they will not.

Sometimes The Mom will be feeling a bit fancy when she goes to the grocery store and she’ll come back with Something New. This will be intended to jazz up the chicken we’ve been eating since time itself began.

And though I take a lot of flack for my random sauce purchases, I would also like to point out that the others have come to enjoy them as well. The Mom didn’t know what fish sauce was (it’s the Vietnamese version of soy sauce, made from fermented anchovy paste and it is salty and delicious). I brought a bottle home and made us a very nice stir fry with lemon zest and prawns and coriander. The Mom took to it instantly. But she forgets it’s there. Because it’s not on her day to day roster of foods, a short list if ever there was one.

And one more thing: if there weren’t the random selection of sauces in her fridge, there would be one less thing to complain about and if there’s anything we can all, as a family agree on, it’s that we love nothing better than getting really superior about something someone else has done and complaining about it.