May 24, 2010

Thoughts of Pancakes

Do you ever think of when was the first time you ever ate pancakes?

I was probably only 13 when Ai Ing came back from the US and she wowed all of us in the school. I often visited the Methodist Girls Hostel because I had good friends there like Tiurida Manurung and Minar Sirait who were in my class. Then my cousins were also there. I would be there for a good hour before Hockey in the afternoon.

Ai Ing was one of the first Methodist Children's Home "orphans" to receive an American education. She later went back to the US. The Methodist Children's Home has been instrumental in educating hundreds of children with an American education and helping them to become very successful members of the Sibu society. This was all started by a great American missionary - Mrs. John Pilley in 1949 in Sibu. (More in another post)

One Saturday morning Ai Ing who together with Miss Ida Mamora decided to make American breakfast for us girls and we were thrilled. I did not know what American breakfast was so it was really something to look forward to. I even forgot to do the chores at home just to be early in the school hostel on Saturday morning.

My mother said probably I was the only girl in the world who wanted to stay in a school hostel. (Smile) So many girls did not want to stay in school hostels because of the strict discipline (think Mrs. Lu) and even poor food. I would have fried peanuts and soy bean sauce and porridge any time if I could be with my friends 24/7!!

I was so play- oriented then.

My SIL's pancakes.

All the things we needed for a pancake breakfast and more!

Later one very important recipe we learned in the school Form Three Domestic Science was how to make pancakes. And I remember I really begged my mother to buy a frying pan (not Tefal mind you) just for making pancakes. Foochows with their Foochow stove did not have to buy saucepans or fying pans because we had the big wraught iron kuali. But when my aunts came home from the US we not only had saucepans  but  a very good  New World gas stove which was the rage in Sibu then. (We continued to have our Foochow stove until we demolished the wooden house in 1970's.) I cannot remember how many pancakes I have made in my life since then.

One of the first things I would teach my children was to make pancakes. By the way I did forget to teach them how to make "rock cakes".

Talking about pancakes and Ai Ing also bring to mind that the Methodist Children's Home would celebrate its 60th Anniversary this year!

Ai Ing left Sibu not long after our pancake breakfast. And we lost contact.

How many years have gone by since my first pancake and my exposure to American breakfast culture?

Where could Ai Ing be now?

(P/s Pancake news : all ingredients can be easily obtained in Brunei and Miri supermarkets . Even premix pancake flour is available. Maple syrup still costs a bomb. Honey has gone up in price and good imported honey costs an astronomical sum. Varieties of pancakes have new names like flapjacks etc. )

16 comments:

Ann said...

My mum used the wok, and made her pan cakes, she likes them thick and so made them quickly.

My youngest son likes them. If I am out of stock for breakfast and for his lunch, I quickly whip up pancakes for him. Just flourm baking powder, milk, eggs. I am too stingy aka GIAM to buy ready mix. He doesn't like maple syrup or honey.

Rock cakes: after the Gypsy baron, we had a party. All the girls had to bring an egg to Miss Mamora's precious domestic science room. We were told, Miss mamora kindly allowed us to us it, so we needed to be very careful. Most of us girls did not have cookery class, those who had didn't remember how to make it. So some were CHOW DA and others were really ROCKS.

I wonder why we made rock cakes. My mum made the softest butteriest cakes. It didn't make sense to me, Rock cakes, I never made or ate them again. YUKS!!!!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ann
You make me laugh...I do make pancakes from scratch as they are cheaper. If I run out of eggs one egg can feed the whole family via pancakes. Nowadays I use different kinds of oils instead of butter which is too pricey.
Somehow I will always think of Miss Ida when I make those rock cakes (now the softer version....hahahahaha!!!) I make butter cookies with spices and raisins...and they are like the soft versions of rock cakes...

Cheers.

Arani Jantok said...

do you mean a skillet or saucepan ? :P much love!

Arani Jantok said...

ps: as much as my diet forbids.. i would say i miss ur pancakes.. or atleast the many moments we shared making them. for what is food without love, and what is life without food and love?

Ah Ngao said...

i loves pancakes.my kids loves the one i made but not those made by their mummy - i got better "kung fu" probably.sometimes during my "musim sontok",i makes pancakes for my family becoz it's cheap & filling - really

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Sarawakiana, I love pancakes, especially with our Canadian Maple syrup or honey spread. Good breakfast too.
Looking at yours, I think 6 pieces no problemos, with iced coffee, ha ha.
Have a great week, Lee.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Oops Aranti - yes thank you for picking out the error - it should be frying pan. In those days those were ordinary ones and non stick pans appeared only in the 80's under Tefal brand.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Aranti
I miss you too...what is food without love? What is cooking if it is not for love or out of love? What is life without food and love?

Good one.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao
Yes I agree with you...one egg and four scoops of flour can feed an army of children! I am sure you are very good! Nice to know that one father is so keen to make his children happy and allow them to develop good memories of childhood.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Uncle Lee

Thanks for visiting even though I know you are very very busy.

Canadian Maple Syrup costs more than a bomb! It is Bru $13 for a small bottle. It is a really good syrup.

It is nice to know that a good man can down 6 pancakes in a morning. That's the appetite of a young man!

Have a good week!

Ann said...

Did I sent you the link of my post of Miss Ida mamora and Mr. Johnson? Taken 1999, my form 5 class reunion?

http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2008/11/methodist-secondary-school-class-1971.html

Dr Rao died recently. They live in Perth. Did you visit them?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann

Thanks for the link. Do you have The Rao's contact. I will visit them the next time I am in Perth. I do love Mrs. Rao....and my siblings love her just as much if not more!!

Sorry to hear about Dr. Rao's passing.

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