Mum flew back from UK a few days ago after spending 3 months cooking for our sis who just given birth in UK. Sometimes I wonder, doesn’t she get tired of cooking? Anyway, Chinese mums needs to eat proper confinement food, so mum lovingly prepares the food to feed to her daughter, so that her grandson gets premium milk! LOL…
It was also a treat for the brother in law, my brother and the girlfriend too. Whatever they want to eat, they tell mum, and my brother will get all the stuff mum needs from Wing Yip, probably the largest Asian grocery store I ever stepped into! For folks in Singapore, it’s like bigger than the IT Show floorspace!
Nasi Lemak, Carrot Cake, Chwee Kueh, Ang Koo Kueh (for our little nephew’s ‘one month’ party), Vinegar Pig Trotter, all sorts of curries. So much work. Some say so much love.
Talk about Nasi Lemak, mum cooked it in sis Le Creuset (super cheap there) and cooking rice in cast iron pots really make it taste really good! I tried it once when I was there. My brother emailed to say they have been making it even more authentic by buying banana leaves! The banana leaves there comes from the Philippines! They are trying to make it more authentic, while here in Singapore, most hawkers cut costs to maximize profits. The most we get here is green melamine plates shaped like banana leaves.
Anyway, I was at work and mum and aunt spend the whole day in our kitchen whipping up something to celebrate my birthday. Mum and aunt was sort of like exchanging recipes and ideas. They whipped up the following:
The Birthday Fried Mee Suah.
It’s a combination of many ingredients that you need to peel, cut, soak for hours.
(Actually, I did not know it was to celebrate my birthday, I was the one cooking some of the dishes, I did the simple part by putting it together. haha)
The Beef, with ‘white and red carrot’ soup. It was boiling since afternoon it seems.
Talking about white radish / daikon, the topic of why the carrot cake has no carrots surfaced. As usual, Mum always has the answer. What she said is based on Malaysian scenario. She said when she was young, the hawkers used to prepare them with white radish. But some hawkers changed their recipes because of the requests of customers. Did I hear a ‘Huh’ from you?
You see, many old matriarchs buy expensive Chinese herbs and eat them for health and beauty. Deer antlers and the sorts were and still is expensive. If you spend these sort of money on it, you want to make sure the medicinal effect are not negated. White radish negate the effects. So the matriarchs will ask if the carrot cake has radish in it. If there is, they won’t buy it.
So now you have one version of the answer!
The steamed kampung chicken.
One of my favourite dishes! Which also happens to be one of my sis least favourite food. It’s difficult being a mum right when all your children like different food!
We always learn something new. When mum asked sis to cut the garnishing, mum said, you are cutting it the wrong way. To get maximum flavour out of the spring onions, you are to cut it slanted. It has more exposed surface so it will be more fragrant, it also looks nicer. Another tip for you!
The Nai Bai. Mum teased and said, you always think you are so clever, you fry your version and see lah. See people will eat it or not.
So I took out from my fridge the secret ingredients. XO sauce. Garlic, abalone sauce, XO sauce and a little bit of mirin was all was inside. Easy right?
The prawn fritters that mum and aunt made.
The ladies were discussing what kind of flour to mix so that you get the crispy bite and you need air bubbles forming so that when you deep fry it, it gets crunchy. Oh… their experiments.
During dinner they were saying the fish monger was so happy that instead of asking for big prawns they asked for small ones. Do you know why they wanted the small ones? So that their shells are not hard and you are suppose to eat the whole prawn. Hard shells have sharp edges that will hurt your tongue!
Vinegared Pork Trotters.
I never liked this dish. I can’t stand the smell of vinegar!
Another story. Do you know that if you live in London, in a suburb where there are not many Chinese, if you know the butchers, they give pork trotters to you for free? The trotters are all clean and fresh, you wonder why it is free? It’s because the British folks don’t eat them! They are meant for pets!
Yes, laugh all you want. We did too!
My brother is happy too. In fact laughing all the way to the bank because he likes piggy feety and he is getting it for free!
Mum and aunt saw this kinda huge fish and it was only $8! They said, what a deal and they decided to just simply steam it. Yes, it was nice!
I dare not ask mummy why the spring onions here can be cut this way and not slanted. hahaha…..
Mum and aunt made Snowskin Mooncakes and konnyaku jelly as well.
They are experimenting with our tummies eh?
Momo got this delicious cake from Ritz Carlton.
The Mango Mousse with Mango Jelly topped with Fresh Mango cake.
I think daddy who loves mango loves the cake a lot! haha…
Oh no. Am I getting very naggy?
So many words!
Anyway, have a great week ahead and thanks for reading! 🙂