Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Meme on 'Childhood Food Memories'

How does this meme work?

If you are tagged, here's what you do: Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog's name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross-pollination effect.

1. Eternity
2. FoodCrazEE
3. Jan's Kitchen
4. Play-play in the kitchen
5. She Bakes and She Cooks

My top five childhood food memories:

#1: Fishball noodles
I can still remember the mornings where my dad would bring me to the hawker centre for a bowl of fishball noodles before dropping me off at the childcare centre. I must have been 5 or 6 at that time. Always used to look forward to that hot bowl of egg noodles with springy fishballs. might not be much, but it sure was enough for me at that time.

#2: Sambal belachan
My dad's peranakan and naturally, sambal belachan is a common sight in our home. I grew up eating loads of chilli and fondly remember eating sambal belachan with almost anything. Dad always makes his own. He's a fantastic cook. For the uninitiated, sambal belachan is kind of like a chilli paste, made with red chillies and belachan (fermented shrimps). Belachan is known to be pungent. But I sure didn't mind eating it! it's a must have in any peranakan household. What can I say. I just simply cannot do with out my chilli.

#3: Hainanese 'rice crispies'
Okay, I really don't know how to term these crunchy hainanese snack. I know I've been calling it 'hor gong' since i was a kid. My maternal grandma is Hainanese and she is a great cook. Everything she whips up is always so delicious. Yes she can cook good hainanese chicken rice. But if you ask me, i'll always remember her for her Hainanese 'rice crispies' thingie. Every Chinese New Year, she'll distribute to all her 8 daughters (my mum included) tin cans filled with tonnes of that 'hor gong'. I know most of you are clueless as to what I'm actually referring to. I'll try my best to explain it. It's basically made using dried rice. She accumulates the rice throughout the year by drying out left over rice on a pan. After they've dried up, she'll keep them and use her stash to make these rice snacks during Chinese New Year. She mixes it with honey, ginger, and peanuts. I don't have the recipe and I don't know how she makes it. Maybe I'll pop by her place this coming New Year to check it out and post pictures when I do!

#4: Curry
I take to curry like fish to water. I can gulp it down neat, or have it with bread, rice, noodles, etc. I was weaned on curry. Dad cooks curry all the time and he trained me since I was a wee little kid. I can never resist his Devil Curry, Assam Curry, Chicken Curry, Fish Curry. Not forgetting Ayam Buah Keluak. His curries are simply the best. I wish I could one day be as adept as he is when cooking Peranakan dishes. Must master how to get that 'rempah' (spice paste/curry base) right!


#5: Butter cake
It's the simplest things in life that really get to you. Way before I started baking, I knew about the wonders of butter cake. In primary school, we always had these food and fun fairs where we each contributed something to sell and raise funds for my already quite well-to-do convent. Every year, I would proudly lug a container filled with individually wrapped slices of butter cake, some infused with lemon or orange. No, I didn't bake those cakes. I was only a kid! Dad baked them. It was one of the rare times I see him bake. Boy were those cakes yummy. Rich in butter and fluffy, biting into it was pure delight. Ah I can so remember those days. I would be so curious and watch him mix the batter and stand by the oven, waiting for the cake to bake. I miss his cake. Should ask him to bake it again soon!

And there you have it, five of my fondest childhood food memories. Sorry I don't have any pictures. You'll just have to imagine! :)

I will now pass the baton to
Kitchen Crazy Daffy and Tressa

3 comments:

tfp said...

When I was in primary school I used to go with my mum to the market in the morning before school and have a bowl of fish ball kway teow soup (with springy fish balls too!). I remember having to hold back and not eat as fast as I wanted to and risk burning my tongue and splashing soup on my school uniform.

jadepearl said...

So you are half peranakan too? Me too! Sambal belacan will always go together with every meal in the house too. :)

Wow...your Dad sounds like a wonderful cook! I wish my Dad could cook..he could only make maggie mee but we love creating new dishes with maggie mee.

Thanks for sharing!

IceKachang said...

I am not pernakan but eurasian and share the same childhood. I remember if you were sick, then came the 'chiok'. The kway teow was another favourite (especially if you supplied your own egg).

I remember my dad taking me to the markets in the morning and having 'carrot cake' or yong tow foo. I remember after church on Sundays, we would go to Katong and feast on Chicken rice for lunch. Those were the days.

Now I live in Australia and miss all that. Maybe when I retire, I return.

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