Archive for September, 2013

Rainy Sundays

There’s a severe thunderstorm warning for tonight. The crummy weather since we’ve returned to Perth matches our post holiday blues.
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It’s funny how quickly we slot back into our Perth schedules , back again are our Sunday chicken roasts with R being the chief carver. We also had seafood chowder so it was a very very filling Sunday meal. I look forward to when Jan and family arrive so they can help us finish the food.
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This is Jo’s new favourite dish, gone are the days of teriyaki hambagu and pineapple rice (actually I think she’s still into pineapple rice), this is Jamie Oliver’s chilli con carne with my secret ingredient (not so secret now) of dark chocolate. There’s something about the slightly bitter cocoa flavour that makes this simple dish extra tasty. We had ours with black rice.

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My mum bought me these nifty puteri ayu moulds to make these cute kuihs. They look really cute right? But actually I failed miserably and the texture was way too hard instead of the fluffy pandan flavoured sponge cakes that I was expecting. I will try again soon.

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Tristan has grown so much bigger since his Kuching trip. It’s so fun to see how much his character has developed, he is so cheeky and active nowadays and is eating everything in sight!

Back to Hongkong posts after this. I need to start planning for another holiday!

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Kuching: Mango duck and ‘sa yong’

I’m suffering from holiday blues again! The only thing that is making it a bit easier this time is the thought that Jan and family will be joining us in Perth soon. Now if only Darren and my parents moved to Perth as well, that would be perfect.
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In the days before the wedding, all friends and relatives flew in to Kuching. This is T and D all the way from Perth, they insisted on taking a photo in front of the famous cat in Cat City haha. I think even Gerry missed taking a photo with this cat.
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But at least he managed to take a photo with these cats!

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T and D with my parents at Stutong market where they tried kueh chap and kolo mee for the first time. They loved the dishes, no surprises there.

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T getting a lesson from my ah pa on er hu. My father is a man of many musical talents, I seriously think that there’s no instrument that he can’t master. Tristan was thoroughly spoilt during this holiday, he had my father playing ‘london bridge is falling down’ over and over again on the organ until he fell asleep! Even I started feeling sleepy…

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Gerry had his first kolo mee in Hui Sin from my favourite kolo mee stall.

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Satay from Hui Sin, also our favourite place for satay.

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Gerry and the Perth boys meet in Kuching for the first time. Everyone enjoyed yummy plates of char kway teow and tomato kway teow. Hui Sin is a great place to bring tourists who want to try good local Kuching food because there are so many good stalls serving a wide range of popular Kuching dishes.

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Jo and I love this taogeh beehoon (bean sprouts with fried noodles) which has the right mix of wok hei, sweet (from sweet soy sauce) and salty flavours  and is lovely with fried eggs.

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The Singaporean relatives arrive and it’s a big seafood feast at Top Spot as usual. I think in future we might move to Benson seafood for our seafood feasts because it’s less touristy and the food equally good.

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We went to Harbour Court one morning as HC had a craving for the dish below.

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Mee sua, also know as vermicelli with chicken soup and foochow red wine. A traditional foochow meal that we usually have on the first day of Chinese New Year and also birthdays.

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Another foochow dish, Zhao Cai Hong Gan(糟菜粉干) which is a soupy noodle dish which had preserved mustard greens (pickled with foochow red wine remnants) and a thick vermicelli. It has a refreshing sour tang and is very popular with foochow food lovers. Both R and my mum like this for breakfast.

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Aunty Jenny came by with these gorgeous kuih for the wedding guests the next day. My only regret is that I never got to try any of these because they looked soo good.

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Malay fried noodles which was pretty tasty with a drizzle of freshly squeezed lime juice.

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We are always so spoilt by our parents when we return to Kuching. My parents will spend  Sunday mornings at the local markets prior to our arrival searching for jia huay, a local vegetable that my sister Jan loves. When my ah ma read on my blog that I was missing ‘sa yong’ a dessert from my childhood, they ordered these from a restaurant that they knew made these delicious, fluffy chinese donuts (with red bean filling) and we had them piping hot from the restaurant. They were soooo good.

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This was Jo’s craving, mango duck which my parents also ‘da paoed’ from a restaurant and we had for supper. This used to be our favourite dish to order at a Thai restaurant. I can’t even begin to describe how these mayo sauce like laden tender duck pieces layered on a piece of lettuce (providing that crunch), creamy sweet mango slices and crispy duck skin go so well together. I’m not sure whether it’s just been too long since we’ve had mango duck or it was the happiness of the whole family being together under one roof. but that night, we were in sa yong and mango duck heaven.

Thanks ah pa and ah ma!

Sanctuary

The first round of the fly-ins for the wedding arrive tomorrow. We will be making countless trips to the airport in the lead up to Saturday so I guess should really be trying to rest as much as possible rather than blogging.

I am not quite sure how brides normally feel, nervous, excited, slight hysteria? I’m not feeling any of those emotions (there is a little stress I admit) and so far have received comments on the overall laid backness that I have been exuding.

Mostly I have been feeling slightly melancholy at the thought of leaving the family home. I know it’s silly to feel this way and like my parents put it, there will always be a place for me at home. But still, I know deep down there will be a difference and it saddens me that what I’ve always perceived as my comfort zone, my sanctuary and the place that holds my childhood memories won’t be  my immediate home in Kuching.

I almost wanted to put up pictures of our beautiful home, from the bushes that are trimmed by my father, the swing in the garden that was our ‘train’ when we were young, our laden bookshelves filled with favourite storybooks from my youth that I  still revisit every time I’m home, to the familiar surroundings of our bedrooms.

But it’s so much more than the comfort in the familiar. It’s things like knowing your parents are just in the next bedroom hatching different methods to cure your sickness before your big day, stealing down to the dark kitchen at night to have a midnight snack with your siblings, standing in the car porch on Chinese New Year’s Eve with your family admiring the fireworks going off at 360 degrees in the neighbourhood. There are newer memories too, of sitting together in peace with my grandparents during the evenings and watching the popular Chinese dating program fei Chen wu rao with my father at night.

I have had the best time growing up in the best home with the most wonderful family and that is something I will always be thankful for.


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