July 4, 2017
Nang Chong Stories : Cow Legs Stew for Family and Neighbours
When my maternal grandfather completed his new house which was designed with four apartments, for 4 families (He planned for his four sons) in Lower South Village (Ah Nang Chong), he had already planted 200 acres of rubber and had enough saved to move out his young family from his elder brother's big mansion in Ensurai.
Though my mother and some of her siblings were born in one of the rubber garden houses, my grandfather had moved his family into the big mansion called the Lau Mansion which was completed in 1924. There my mother grew up with her siblings and cousins and even went to primary school set up by the uncle, Lau Kah Tii. Thus the younger brother of Lau Kah Tii and his family lived in the big mansion for about 10 years.
When my mother was 12 years old my maternal grandfather completed his own house and moved his family from Ensurai. Around this house was a big padi field which my mother and her eldest brother and sister in law planted rice during the Japanese Occupation. In later years the land was also used for growing of tangerines and other vegetables. Pigs and chickens and ducks were reared nearer the house. It was a good house surrounded by good neigbhours . There was a road which even went as far as Nasit and Sg. Tulai.
My grandfather's signature dish was cow leg stew. Each leg cost around 50 cents which he would boil for almost the whole day. Neigbhours from as far as 10 houses away came to enjoy the stew. My grandfather enjoyed fellowship with his neigbhours and friends. No one would be turned away from the house if they missed the boat to Sibu, or came back too late to go home to the Au San or the villages behind Ah nang Chong.
Mum told us that they were not wealthy but they had enough to share food with their fellowmen.
My grandfather was a man who sincerely shared bread with others.