May 24, 2014

Nang Chong Stories : Frugal Foochow women of Nang Chong

Interest tales of frugal women of Nang Chong.

Many women in Nang Chong were famous for their frugal ways. I would not name names but here are a few examples.

A grandmother was very frugal as she wanted to save money to buy up enough gold and perhaps a piece of land for her children and grand children.

She saved money by eating rice with hot water and sugar. She would not even buy a good bowl of fish balls in the coffee shop when she went to town. However a few good natured people would give her a treat if they met her. She lived an amazingly long life with very few complaints of ill health. She would tell her relatives that she had some money saved and need not depend on her sons and daughters for pocket money.

Another lady of good repute would collect fruits for her lunch after she had tapped rubber. She would never bring a lunch box with vegetables or meat like other women. Her box would have only cold rice to go with her wild fruits. After eating her wild fruit lunch she would continue to cut the grass of a neighbour to earn a bit of extra money.. 
A distant relative planted a lot of tapioca. She would sell the tapioca in the market and then have lots remain for herself. To her family she said, "Rice is very expensive. I shall just eat as much tapioca as I have and save money." On hot days she would make tapioca soup with some sugar. On cold days, she would steam tapioca and enjoy eating the staple from her bowl with some sugary syrup.

Again she is another woman who ate a lot of  her staple with sugar.  Besides, she also ate a lot of vegetables and very little meat.  But it was amazing she did not suffer from diabetes. She remained healthy all her life.

My own grandmother when feeling sad or having flu would not immediately go and see a doctor. Her cure was a bowl of cold rice and hot tea with some sugar. Apparently, the sugar would boost her morale and the tea would give her an uplift of spirits. Many Foochow women like this simple food. Today several of my relatives and I would have this special dish from time to time. A piece of salted fish would also enhance the meal.

My aunt said after sharing all these stories with me it is amazing how these ladies lived to a ripe old age and not suffer any ill health!! Amazing women with amazing diets!!

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