I was really fortunate to be able to spent my birthday with my family in Malaysia this year. Not wanting anything commercialised and it being a very, very rare occassion, I decided to throw myself a birthday party just like how my mum did for me when I turned one - which was my first ever birthday party. My plan was really simple - keep it simple and fuss free and make sure everyone member in my family was there. It was fantastic. Something I wish I love to recreate every year, IF I can.
That morning, cold sweat broke when I suddenly thought of how to remake the traditional fried meehoon my mum use to make when we were little. Firstly, it has been weeks since I last cooked because the city I grew up in happen to have the most fantastic array of streetfood, cafe culture and restaurant scene squeezed within its border. Its reasonable priced too so, no cooking for me whenever I am back home. Secondly, my kitchen (use to be my kitchen before my dad took over) seems so foreign to me now. My dad is a hardcore vegetarian too so all the cordiments he has in `his`kitchen are vegetarian base. I woke up really early that morning, went to a nearby wet market after dropping off my sister at work at the Gardens - PJ and got down to work straight after I reached home. I had to borrow some onions, garlic and soya sauce from my sister upstrairs to make it work. My memory also serves me well when I recall how my mum use to tell me to soak the sliced up chilli in a pot of cold water to open it up like flower. It worked and I was utterly pleased with it. The meehoon taste according to my sister and my brother was delicious. I could not believe my luck because I swear I was cursing and swearing when the meehoon stucked together like glue while in the process of frying them. Avoid thai meehoon silly, its too FINE. But that was the reason why they liked it so hooray-points for me :-)
I was also in a dillemma on how to fry chicken. What seasoning should I use since both my nieces would be coming along too. Then, while buying some ingredients, a packet of KFC flour starred back at me. KFC chicken boxing then. Solved.
On this, I have a little story to tell. Did you know that rose syrup thats being sold in most supermarkets in Malaysia are not sweetened? Its basically just flavouring! I guess many of you are aware of that, but I was totally clueless - thinking that was exactly the all-in-one syrup one needed to make rose syrup water. Or did memory failed me? Why did they sell them among cordial then if its not sweeten? So anyway, I thought its no trouble at all sweetening them myself with some sugar but guess what. There was only a few tablespoon sugar left and thats it. So, I ran downstairs to the condo´s minimarket and ... they were also out of sugar! What you see here is the healthiest rose agar agar ever - less sweet in many ways but funnily, both my siblings commented its the nicest agar agar ever. Kekeke. My mum of course was in celebration mode upon hearing them coz she was allowed to enjoy these agar agar.
Pandan chiffon cake - something I miss dearly here. It was not serve on my first birthday but I just got to have it.
These too were not served on my first birthday but I just gotta have it.
Red eggs of course - and thats how the chinese in this part of the world have them during birthdays. After eating a red egg, one is officially a year older and wiser it seems.
Oranges and apples are norm to be served when I was young too, and it had to be this way. Sliced up with little tooth picks on it.
My sis commented that I should soak the sliced up apples in salt water first so that it would not brown. Thanks for the tip sis ... now I know la :-)
Last minute decision after scratching my head. What do people from 70s and 80s drink during birthday parties? I haven´t got a clue actually so I headed downstairs again - grabbed a few cans of drinks which I´ve not had for a while and serving them as it is to my guest. A&W rootbeer, Chrysenthemum, Air Kundur, Soya Bean, Kickapoo, Leong Fun Jelly and few more.
Last but not least, my sis got me a traditional pandan cake decorated with butter cream just like how it use to be. It was quite a task searching for this old-fashion cake since most bakery prefer selling modern, ligther cakes nowadays. She finally found them in Australian Cake House in Seapark where we use to live. The cake itself surely were yummy but it reminded me why I´ve moved away from butter cream cakes too. Too heavy after a few bites hehe. But nostalgic anyway and just like how I wanted it.
Thank sis for making it happen. And for all my beloved guest, no fighting over your presents yeah ... :-D