April 4, 2015

Sibu Tales : Wood for our Mother's Stove

In the 60's families in Sibu mainly used wood for cooking.

Our home had a big wood stove, very much like the Chinese Fujian stove made from bricks, and concrete. The original Foochow stove in Sibu were made from river mud and wood.

My mum used to buy two kinds of wood. Ramin wood and rubber wood. Ramin wood would be sent to us by the tri-cycle man and we had to splinter the wood pieces with an axe. It was fun chopping up wood and stacking them up in our woodshed.

At other times, mum also bought rubber wood, which were rather cheap at 50 cents for a few bundlees. These bundles of rubber wood, already splintered were tied together with wire. The ramin wood was also tied together by wire.

Food cooked by wood certianly smelled nice. But what really smelled nice was the wood itself. There is such a rustic aroma in the kitchen by noon time when a fresh fire was making all the cooking pots making all the nice sounds that the soup was ready and that the rice was on the boil.

The lid on the pot, dancing when the vapor was rising intermittently and the hot rice boiling over a little...lititlitilititliti...tii tii tii.tit tiit....

Sounds which remind us of mother's cooking.

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