April 6, 2013

Nang Chong Stories : The Blue Enamel Pot

Double boiled pork leg in Foochow Red Wine

Grandmother Lian Tie loved pork leg and so does my mother. They used to rear their own pigs in Nangchong. According to my mother, pigs fed with vegetables like yam leaves and water lettuce produced the best meat. Mum from a very young age, cooked warm food for her pigs. She would up her trousers and washed the pigs in the morning, clean them up and enjoy chatting with them.

Later she would be cutting the yam leaves in the open field, meeting a few creepy crawlies and sometimes a snake. These creatures frightened her a lot but the thought of having meat in the future made her strive on.

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Her pigs grew fast because she made sure that they had more than enough to eat.

Pigs were fed twice a day so she had to gather a lot of these wild vegetables for them.

Life was easier for  her because the pig sty was just above a small man made pond next to the rubber smoke house. So she would just scoop pails and pails of water from the pond to wash the pig sty and the pigs . The pond was God sent!

According to her, there was a great deal of joy watching her pigs growing. Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall is her kindred spirit.

One of the best Foochow recipes she remembers is the Whole Pork Leg double boiled in Foochow Red Wine (2 bottles),with no water added.  Using the blue enamal pot, which will sit in the big black kuali over a wooden fire. Nothing is better than that dish she said.

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