Monday, November 30, 2009

Simple and Nice Chinese Yam Cake

As per Tuti’s comment, “pete posted so many food pics that now he's taking a break from food blogging for a while. LOL! :P”, in my post A Chinese Wedding – Shopping Spree, Wine and Dine! Yammmmmm Seeeennngggg (Cheers)!, I am still digesting all the good food from the dinner so can’t go out and eat anymore for the time being! Ha ha ha! Anyway, I cooked some yam cake and it was great to have this simple meal. I love to eat yam cake with red ‘theem cheong’ (sweet sauce) and garlic chili sauce (Kg Koh). I normally make yam cake with hard texture (just add less water) because my kids love it this way instead of the gooey soft ones. For yam cake recipe, check out my post, Chinese Yam Cake Recipe. Cheers, have a nice week ahead!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Chinese Wedding – Shopping Spree, Wine and Dine! Yammmmmm Seeeennngggg (Cheers)!

Hi Everyone, I am back! This is the reason I did not update my blog since last week. My wife and I were rather busy for the last few weeks in helping her brother preparing for his wedding. Since there were 2 wedding dinners organised, one in our hometown, Butterworth and another in Kuala Lumpur where the couple resides, there are some initial preparation, arrangement and travelling plan need to be sorted out. Here is the summary of events for my brother in law wedding, including some my wife shopping sprees for clothes, accessories and wedding stuff. It seems that my wife and I were busier preparing for her brother’s wedding than our own wedding! LOL!

1) Initial Wedding Discussion with Bride’s Family – Since most of our family elders are in our hometown, my sister in law’s family and my wife are required to attend a pre wedding discussion with the bride’s mom and dad. So, off we went to the bride’s house to meet with her parents to discuss the dowry, procedure, stuff required during ‘Sang Jit’ (Hokkien, sending gifts and dowry) and dinner arrangement. Aiyo, makes me feel so old already to be involved in such a discussions! Ha ha ha!

2) Wifey Shopping Spree At Sogo – My wifey and her sister went to Sogo to shop for dinner dresses and ladies stuff. I escaped and volunteered to take care of my little toddler at home. He he he! Wow, only two hours and they came back with a car boot full of clothes, household stuff and ladies accessories!.....jeng jeng jeng, this is warm up only.

3) Accompanied my wife and her sister to a wedding specialty shop in Kepong Prima to buy candles, plastic basin and other stuff for ‘Sang Jit’ (Gift and Dowry Delivery Day). Not really sure what they bought because I took my toddler to the pet shop next door! LOL!

4) Ting Ting, Round 2, Shopping. It was a weekend and my wifey dragged me to The Curve for another round of shopping. My little toddler was too active, running around all over the place, so wifey have to cut short her shopping spree. He he he, lucky me! LOL

5) Sang Jit (Gift and Dowry Delivery Day) – My wife’s sister and her husband picked us up from our house before heading to the bride’s house with all sorts of gifts and accessories. Two of our little toddlers went along with us. The bridegroom had earlier delivered a Roast Pig to the bride’s house. This is one of KL wedding custom but in the northern states we don’t use roast pig for ‘Sang Jit’. ....! The bride’s family would cut out the middle portion of the roast pig and give back the rest of it to our side. The head and tail of the roast pig symbolizes a beautiful love story with good beginning and happy ending. Yum, yum, I was looking forward to ‘devour’ the roast pig. Ha ha ha! 'Muat Chaw' a kind of legume plant from my garden, symbol of purity, Chinese 'Siar Nah' (basket) filled with dowry money and jeweleries!
Jewelries box and lots of wedding cakes!
The colourful cakes and yummy roast pig!
Cutting up the roast pig middle portion. I made nice celery soup with the bones!

6) Ting Ting, Third Round Shopping. My wife dragged me along to accompany her to shop at Pavilion KL. While she was busy shopping in a ladies accessories shop, I sneaked away to Pavilion Food Court, The Food Republic to check out the place. Of all the many varieties of food there I ended up eating satay at Serai Satay Bar. Actually I was attracted by the take away packaging. The satay was served in a paper drinks cup with a plastic container inside to hold the kuah (gravy). Very clever and inovative! It cost me RM10 for 6 sticks (2 lambs, 2 chickens, 2 beefs) of satay and condiments (onions and cucumber). Then I waited for my wife who told me earlier that she will look for me in 20 minutes time. It has been around 1 hour when I left her in the accessories shop and she was still there when I went back in. Wah lau leh, one whole shopping bag of ladies accessories, how to wear all? She told me, ‘This one for mei mei, this for my sister’s daughter, this is for your sister’s daughter, this for my sister and all these for me’. Then we drove to Sg Wang Plaza for another round of shopping. Reached home around 9.30pm, exhausted! My wife shop for ladies accessories and I checked out Food Republic food court.
The nice satay take away packaging
7) Wedding Eve at Butterworth – I arrived late in Butterworth for the wedding eve dinner because I have to wait for my son to finish school. By the time I arrived at my in laws’ place, most of the relatives were already there. These are some of the food that was served by the caterer that night. It was sort of family gathering before the wedding day!
Halal fish curry, rendang and chicken curry for our Muslim friends
Halal nasi tomato
Acar, pork trotters and kiam chai duck soup (pickled vegetable)

8) Wedding Day at Butterworth- It was not easy to get my kids and little toddler to dress up. By the time we arrived at my in law’s house the bride and groom were already there. Luckily the tea serving ceremony has not started yet and we helped ourselves to the ‘brunch’ prepared by the same caterer as the night before. Then we waited for our turn to be served tea by the bride and bridegroom. Another promotion (naik pangkat) for my wife and me in the family hierarchy. LOL!
Opps my turn to 'yum cha' (drink tea), my wife eldest brother keeping the angpow on behalf of the bride and groom, my little toddler busy playing with a styrofoam cup.
Lorbak, kung po meat and curry chicken for lunch
Offering at the ancestors' altar. Yummy roast duck, chicken and blanched pork!

9) Grand Wedding Dinner at Butterworth – My Father in law booked 90 tables for the wedding dinner so it was held at a temple/school hall which is big enough to fit in all the tables. The schools’ uniform society members were there to help out to direct traffic. It was good to catch up with relatives and friends that I have not met for a long time. It was a good dinner and I love all the dishes served! One of the invited singers who performed that night was my wife’s primary school classmate and she was delighted to meet her again. My son went up to stage and sang his favourite Michael Jackson song, ‘You are not alone’. It was his first time singing solo on stage and I think he did quite well! We droved back to KL after the dinner because my son has to go to school to collect his report card the next day. We reached KL around 3am in the morning..., very tired the next day!
Invited singers. The one with the red dress is my wife primary school classmate!
My eldest son singing Michael Jackson's song You Are Not Alone on stage! His first public performance.
I sneaked into the kitchen to snap these photos. Actually I wanted to see how they prepare dishes for 90 tables!
Mixed vegetable with fish maw (hu pioh), steamed white pomfret, cleverly hidden herbal chicken made into a bowl shape.

Shark fin soup, tender pork trotters and the cold dish with nice sotong in sweet prawn paste sauce.

10) Ting Ting – Round Four – Wifey went shopping again, this time after office hour at the Curve.

11) Booking Flights for My FIL to KL – I arranged for flight tickets for my in laws to fly from Penang to KL using Air Asia. As my Father in law is on a wheel chair, I need to contact Air Asia for special assistance. I could not get through the hot line for two days but they called me up when I sent a complaint email to the Customer Service Manager. Anyway, I was not informed that Airlifts facilities were not available at Penang International Airport. My relatives (1man and 2 elderly ladies) have to help my FIL to board the place using the conventional way, climbing the stairs. The aircraft crew did not respond to my FIL and relatives request for help. They just stood there and watch! What lousy service is this? However, airlifts facilities were available in KLCCT but my FIL have to pay the contract staff RM15 for taking his wheel chair out from the cargo and wheel him out to the arrival hall. I had sent out a complain email to Air Asia yesterday but they have not responded up till now.

12) Wedding Eve in KL – My family went to my wife brother’s house early to help him oversees the working putting up the canopy because he has to get his car decorated for the wedding day. My brother in law arranged for a caterer for the eve dinner with 10 dishes served at a very reasonable price. The dishes tasted good too! I managed to ask for a business card from the caterer but the restaurant name is written in Mandarin. Here is the address and contact, No.53 Bt 9, Cheras, Jalan 4A, Kampung Baru, 43200 Selangor Darul Ehsan, Tel 03 90758439, HP : 012 6608318.
My wife shop at the boutique opposite Pen Seng Restaurant in Bandar Mahkota Cheras while I checked out the Penang Ah Chuan Char Kueh Teow! ha ha ha!

Went to buy flowers with the groom for midnight wedding eve prayers ceremony. Need to get 12 colours but the vendor only have 7 colours. Managed to get the rest from another shop. However when we reached home, we were told that the white ones cannot be used. Pete save the day by plucking some red hibiscus from a nearby empty house! ROLF!

Buffet wedding eve dinner at the groom's house!

Crab Meat rolls, nicely cut smoked sausages and mixed vegetables

Fresh fruits, deep fried wanton and nice chicken wings.

Jelly with coconut milk and fried rice

Prayers ceremony. Phai Thnee Kong (Jade Emperor prayers ceremony) and the comb used by my in laws to comb the groom's hair.
After that we had a feast of nice tong yuan (glutinous rice balls in sugar syrup) made by my wife sister and eldest sister in law. Taste real good because they are made by professional housewife!

13) Wedding Day in KL – I was assigned by the family elders to buy pork, red strings, eggs and tau sar peang (green bean pastry) for the wedding ceremony since I am the only one in KL familiar with the wet market. I woke up early to go to the morning wet market. My wifey took the opportunity for a last minute shopping! Ting Ting, Shopping spree round five! She got some hair accessories like sanggul (hair bun) netting to match my daughter’s Little Nyonya (Straits born Chinese) clothes that my sister sews. An entourage of 8 cars left the house to pick up the bride. My children were thrilled when we honked noisily upon nearing the bride’s house. The bride’s younger brother was given the task of opening the bridegroom car door and he got paid for his effort in a form of ‘Ang Pau’ (red packet with money inside). Then the bridegroom and his young friends that accompanied him went through some ‘orientation’ routine set up by the bride’s friend before they are allowed to go in the house to meet the bride. It was real fun watching them playing some funny games. It reminds me of my own wedding! After the tea drinking ceremony, the bride follows the entourage back to the bridegroom house. When we reached there all the other relatives from our hometown already arrived, the sounds of laughter and joy filled the air as we chatted away while enjoying a nice lunch together.
Stuff that I bought from the wet market for the wedding and hair accessories for my daughter. My daughter in her cute Little Nyonya dress that my sister sews.
The official wedding car. Arriving at the bride's house. Nice big size Tong Yuan
Buffet lunch at the grooms house and my youngest son breaking the 'tham tong' red paper cover(potty) to get the oranges and red packet (ang pau).

14) Grand Wedding Dinner in KL, Golden Dragon Boat Restaurant, Kg Pandan – Jalan Bukit Bintang was closed during that night because of 1Malaysia celebration. The traffic in town was rather heavy after a downpour. I arrived at the Golden Boat Restaurant early, around 6.30pm to help out. The parking in the restaurant compound was almost full when I arrived and I got really mad when I came to know that they charge RM5 to park in the jockey bay and RM3 to park in other normal parking lots. Actually there were four wedding receptions in this restaurant that night and the parking outside the restaurant cannot cater for so many cars. The whole Kg Pandan roundabout was jammed up when cars queue up to go into the restaurant compound. Many guest actually parked their car opposite and also on the pavement below the flyover. This is really ‘Malaysia Boleh’, building such a big restaurant but allocate such a small parking lots for guest and also charging exorbitant parking fee! Anyway if you arrive early and park your car inside you will not be able to go out again until everyone leaves because other cars would block yours. Since it was my brother in law’s important day I did not want to create a ‘scene’ with the management over this! The food we had that night was the same as the one we had during thepre wedding food tasting lunch in my earlier post. Anyway I didn’t eat much that night because I was quite tired! Service was kind of slow because the restaurant was understaffed. I helped myself to the red wine on the counter instead of waiting for the waiters to pour it for me! ROLF!
Some of the food that was served at Dragon Boat Restaurant in Kg Pandan, KL
The jammed up car park at the Dragon Boat Restaurant.

15) The next day after the big dinner, I received a call from my cousin from Australia. She is in town for one day before catching a flight to Cambodia. So my wife, my sister, my little toddler and I went over to The Curve to meet up with her. After that my wifey had another round of shopping spree in The Curve......evening dress for her another younger brother’s wedding next year which is not very far away, she claimed! Here we go again! Ting Ting round six of shopping! Oh oh! I feel it is important to keep our colourful and unique Chinese Culture alive and pass it on to our future generations. Although it was a hectic week for us but the sweet memories from this wedding would remain forever in our thoughts!


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