|Photo from Google|
Sibu in the 1930's were short of doctors and the only hospital, Law King Howe Hospital was still in its infancy. And most parents, if they could help it, just use herbs to get their children better.
Since my grand aunt had so many young children and many workers for their rubber garden, the meals had to be taken care of by another helper.
My grand uncle, Lau Kah Tii, therefore asked his only sister's daughter and her husband to come to Nanyang to help out in the kitchen.
|Each time my mother and I see a woman cooking, mum would remember her cousin from China who cooked for the large extended Lau family in Ensurai.She was indeed a cousin who dedicated her life to her uncle and aunty who brought her from China to Nanyang.|
She would get up every day, carry water from the river and start cooking the first meal without fail. It was porridge for all. Lunch was exactly at noon and then dinner was at 5 p.m.before darkness fell. Whenever my mother remembers this part of her children she would have that dreamy look in her eyes. She would sigh and said, "What a good woman this cousin was. She never lost of her temper and she was so subvervient to every one. She had the real Chinese virtues of a lady. Today we do not have women of her breeding any more."
The Lau Mansion, the biggest house in the Rajang Valley for more than 4 decades from 1920's to 1960's had a wonderful kitchen manned by a wonderful cook from China. The painting here reminds my mother of the stove and the hardworking first cousin of her.
Today this aunt of ours is long gone. She was known as Ik Chiong Soh (her son was called Hii Ik Chiong), and only her grandchildren are still around today.
May God bless the hands which prepared food and medicinal brew for children in those long ago days.