Friday, November 9, 2007 ;
Singaporeans have a unique relationship with food. We blog a lot about food, and we are very particular about what we eat.
They are not fussy and can eat just chips and dip for lunch. And I realised how spoilt I was, when I went to my neighbor's house and after Bible study, we decided to order pizza for lunch since all the kids were home (6 kids) and it was already 12pm when we finished our study/ chat. When I order pizza, I always like lots of mushroom, olives, ham, pepperoni, pineapple, peppers, beef, the works, basically. I was sharing the pizza cost with her, she ordered it, and it was a pepperoni pizza. Just cheese and pepperoni. The kids all loved it, and it was nice for me also, but I just wondered, am I going overboard over each meal?
ds1 made his own cookie
I plan my meals very carefully and worry (too much) when the kids don't get a balanced meal. For their rice, porridge or oats, I will shred carrots, chop spinach etc etc, make sure they get enough veggies, protein and carboh... So when we eat out, I always feel very sinful/ guilty and will try and make up in the next meal, for the kids.
Side note: My neighbor is a terrific mom, she also put carrot sticks, grapes and apples on the table together with the pizza. I was also very impressed by how she made her youngest boy (2yrs old) take a nap.
After the pizza lunch (which Daniel ate by himself, not like ds2, who need me to force feed him), she cleaned Daniel up then placed him in his room and closed the door, telling him firmly it was his nap time. He cried, of course, but she went about doing other chores and chatting with me. Just in several minutes, no more crying was heard, and I asked if he was asleep, she didn't even need to check, she said yes.
Wow, that's a mom of 4 kids for you.
ds1's school snack
If my kids were half as well-trained as hers, I'd have an easy life. I think maybe Singaporean or Asian parents are much more "hovering" over their kids. There are pros and cons, I am not saying we are doing the wrong thing. I probably won't change myself overnight. I will just learn from them what I perceive as good, and continue on my own ways which I also deem as good. :-)
Berry pie I made for my wonderful neighbors
Ok, couple months back I mentioned a Sporean couple who was moving here right? They too, complained about the food here, and how much they miss food back home. So when we were eating at a Chinese restaurant in SLC, we were griping together.
Then last week, another Singaporean friend came. She was attached to the Pharmaceutical Dept at the U of U here (she works in SingHealth back home) for 3 weeks. On the 3rd or 4th day of her stay, she called me, saying she totally lost appetite and cannot find anything nice to eat here, despite walking everywhere in search of something palatable. And she lives in downtown SLC. She said she's been surviving on bread so far. My heart went out to her, cos I felt so homesick for food the first weeks after I arrived too. I wished I could invite her to my place for meals but we stay so far away. So I gave her suggestions.
Was so glad to see her email later on that she did go to the place I recommended, had some rice and veggies, and also ordered Pad Thai for dinner, and she felt much better. Great!
Cornbread (recipe from J.Crill)
Mexican chili (recipe also from J)
I've got 2 more friends coming late Nov, I am going to think, they might call me up and complain too! Can't remember if I have mentioned on the blog that Intel Micron Flash is sending many Singaporeans over to Lehi, Utah for training, and the lot of them are arriving in late Nov. I've got my JC classmate and a friend from AsiaParents amongst them. Looking forward to eating some nice Chinese food together with them!
Honey roasted almonds
I also realised that Chinese cuisine (to cook it well) is one of the most troublesome and difficult cuisines. It is not easy to master a dish. French also. So far, whenever I go to friends' house to eat or when I taste something great at potlucks, I always ask for the recipe, to learn something new. I realised a lot of great-tasting Mexican or American dishes are actually very easy to prepare. Maybe it is the recipe, which is precise and easy to follow, but the ingredients are usually ready-made and not time-consuming to prepare.
[Although, I must say baking requires technique too. My cornbread turned out too crumbly.]
A simple Chinese fried rice though, can take me a long time to prepare, just the ingredients. And to fry it well, with the egg and everything coming out nicely, ahhhh, that is also a skill.
Mixed veg and beef
(recently I mixed my meat together with the veggies too, creating even less dishes on the table and saving more time. fortunately dh doesn't mind.)
The most recent potluck, I tried sweet and sour pork. To my surprise, the Americans loved it. Hmm. They like sweet and sour... Ok, more of such variations in future!
sweet and sour pork
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow