STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

Food For Thought: My Grandmother's Cake

Joined: 3/27/2014
Posts: 8
I still remembered the time when my mother force me to spend my summer in my grandparent’s house back in the countryside. To welcome my arrival, my grandmother had made some Vietnamese cake that seemed very drab and ugly, probably composed of tofu and vegetable, which I don’t feel like eating. When my mom saw me leaving them aside and continued to watch TV, she chided, “How ungrateful! You know how much time your grandma had spent on…”
“They look yucky!” I argued back. When I looked up, I realized my grandmother had been standing at the door. She looked hurt, but her voice came out naturally, “It’s alright. I can leave them to Uncle Bay next door. Don’t need to make a fuss out of it.” Then she quickly gathered the dishes and withdraw.

That night, my mother forced me to go down to the kitchen to apologize. My grandmother was humming happily, as if she had forget about the incident in the morning, and invited me to sit down.
“You know what’s these cakes call?” she pointed at the dull cakes I had discard this morning. “They’re banh chung, banh day, and they actually had their own history: “There was once a king, who had eighteen sons. One day, he gathered all of them together, and said they had to find the most delicious food in the world to win the throne. Immediately, all the princes seek out the most talented cook and look for the most precious spices to please their father. On the judging day, the king walked around and were quite please because all the dishes were exquisite, except for the last salver - It consisted of two lackluster, dull, grey cakes. Shocked, he asked the eighteenth prince, who was the owner of this salver, to explain. “I’ve made these cakes myself, father” the prince said, “because I don’t have money for a talented cook or a palatable dish. To me, the square-shaped bread represented Earth, our land, while the circle one represented Sky, our air. The glutinous rice resembled the humble paddle fields that had nourished us everyday. The green leaves wrapping around represented the arms of our parents, which had buffered us from suffering. Touched, the king tasted it, and he was delighted, so the eighteenth prince won the throne.”

She turned to me and added, “These Vietnamese cakes were all I had, and I understand if you prefer American food to…”
I immediately hug her and cry, “No, I actually came here to apologize. I was rude to you this morning and....” My grandmother didn’t wait for me to finish my sentence. She only laughed benignly. With her wrinkled hand, she gave the cakes to me, and I can’t believe my life had missed out such a wonderful taste. My grandmother had long gone now. Yet everytime I opened up a banh chung, banh day, her warm voice transcended through my memory, her story forever enclosed in my heart.

Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month. is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests

2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests

2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests

Stage of Life Mission Statement

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy