November 14, 2013

Bentong's Ginger and Cantonese Vinegared Pork Leg

Ari Matthias Leong Kai Hsiang was born on 14th November 2012 of mixed parentage in Kelana Jaya Hospital, Selangor by C-section, with his father in attendance.

Questions asked :

Is a child not legal at birth until proven so? A few days later he was "registered as a legitimate and legal citizen of Malaysia (Selangor)" and given a MyCardKid or My Kid Card -and a birth certificate. Mum said "Finally after a few days, he is legal!!"

So at birth, a child is not legal? That's a heavy question!!

What about a full Foochow Confinement? My daughter did not insist on a full Foochow confinement for which she would have to eat 3 full chicken meals and 2 snacks of soups. May be that contributed to lack of lactation, a friend suggested?

Should a new father be around to help? Hoong was a very hands on modern dad, all willing to help the new born. The only thing he could not do was breast feed Ari!!

Should we practise Foochow Sending of Peace? Surng Ang? Friends and relatives came to the 15th floor apartment and enjoyed looking at the baby bearing gifts and heaping joyous remarks on the child. It was mainly just tea and cakes if we were given some notice. But generally it was really and truly, just looking at the baby and visiting the new mum and dad to give moral support.

What Chinese name should we give him? Grandmother from Penang even helped to choose the Chinese characters with help of geomancer from no less Taiwan.  We short listed and considered all the different names and picked names with the KH initials. So Ari has a good Chinese name, Kai Hsiang. Kai 
"triumphant" in Chinese
 翔 Hsiang means SOAR Above...

Kai Hsiang means, triumphant boy who can rise high...Will he be an Olympic hurdler like the Chinese athlete Liu Hsiang 劉翔 ?

 KH is the proud father's initials. The two KH will be the best of friends in the future.

Dish cooked by Regina Szetu, November 2013.

What dishes should be cooked for the new mother? There were really a large number of dishes to choose from. Friends and relatives lent cookery books meant for confinement. Bless their hearts.
Different dishes were cooked for the new mother. But the best dish came from her mother in law. It is the Cantonese Vinegared Pork Knuckles with lots of ginger and good vinegar.

What herbs would be good for the baby and the mother? Friends bought for the new mother herbs for bathing and cleansing, herbs for the baby's bath.

Photo from Bentong Ginger Company.
Mrs. Loo, my eldest daughter's mother-in-law went especially to Bentong to buy a lot of Bentong Ginger for the confinement. As I have never seen such good ginger before, it was a great experience and there was so much to learn too.

(Bentong Ginger from Places and

Should the new mother stay in bed for 30 days? Well, the 30 days passed quickly and she was  moving about, doing all the household chores and baby care. This reminds me of the Cantonese mothers in Kanowit who only stayed in bed for two days and on the third day they were already washing clothes at the floating jetties. These Cantonese mothers were admirable and strong!!

Hope Ari  and parents, and grandparents, Acting grandma,uncles, aunties, cousins, and family friends will have another happy year ahead, safe, warm, good food, joy and blessings from God the Almighty.

Happy Birthday Ari..You have passed a remarkable 365 days!!

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