“There’s no wrong way to do it,” the mother states flatly at the boy as he stands upon a small wooden step stool, trembling. “But,” the boy whimpers. “Here, just take this in your fingers, gently,” the mother instructs. The boy pinches the gooey, wet-batter-dipped slice of squid. “Careful,” the mother smiles. Brows furrowed, the boy concentrates with all his might. “Don’t drop it. Lower it slowly into the oil. Careful; let go once you think the squid won’t splash,” the mother continues. “Now?” the boy asks as the tip of the squid strip bubbles furiously. “A little more,” the mother decides. “No. I’m gonna burn!” the boy shouts as he yanks his hand out of the pot—squid strip in hand—and sprays the mother in the face with scalding hot oil. Luckily, the oil dribs graze only a bit of her brow, and upon realizing she is unscathed, the mother laughs and then scolds, “I told you to be careful. Give me that.”
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