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.
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. )