July 15, 2014

Foochow Delights : Salted Radish Omelette

My mother was excellent in home economics. After my father passed away untimely at the age of 56, she had to learn to make ends meet and make sure that we had enough.

Eggs were delivered by Mr. Cheng Kuok Kwong's two sons, they were at a special rate for us, Mr. Cheng being my late father's best friend. Mr. Chong raised hens for his egg business in Queensway. We were given an extremely low price at 15 cents for two. It was almost like buy one free one. As we did not own a car then, the Cheng brothers would deliver the eggs to us on their bicycles.

As far as my memories can bring me, we had eggs very often. One of the best protein dish mum would prepare was the evening omelette made with salted radish.

Soup was kangkong or cangkok manis, or even the white gourd. We ate rice with these two dishes. Mum would enjoy her bits of salted fish and quietly we all knew that it was hard for her . She hardly had any appetite. But she had to go on and raise all 7 of us, aged 11 months to 16 years of age.

Each month mum would receive a loving letter from Aunt Lily, dad's sister in Singapore. Enclosed in the letter was a 50 dollar note. That monthly gift kept my mother going until I earned my first salary, as a graduate teacher. My aunt never failed my mother. She was like a beacon in our family.

And my mother truly tried her best. Whenever I cook her dishes, I would remember her and my aunt especially and all those who gave encouragement to us. Live! Carry on!!

No comments:

Sibu Tales : Making Bah Gui from Scratch

The pioneering families of Sibu Foochows continued to practise the  adoption of girls from poor families who become their maids (slaves). ...