What a weekend – I think I really got too enthusiastic about this International Night. It’s usually a yearly event our church organises to celebrate our diversity. For an Australian countryside church, we really do have quite a variety – people from New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia (me), Indonesia, South Africa, etc. And of course, there are those who grew up in Australia but embrace their cultural roots; from German and Dutch to Scottish and Russian.
Anyway, this year I manned the Malaysian table and hubby decided to do a German table too, though I admit I did most of the cooking for it. I started preparing things from Friday and spent the whole of Saturday night and Sunday cooking.
Anyway here I am setting up my spread! I realise I need a haircut haha! And that’s my friend looking gorgeous while being 5 months pregnant… looking forward to more babies coming our way!
One of the Malaysian dishes I miss the most is roti canai from a mamak stall. I remember going out with my parents or with my friends to eat this for breakfast, sometimes for lunch and sometimes in the middle of the night. Malaysians can eat at any time of day! Due to the lack of time (and skill), I just used frozen roti (but there’s nothing like the real deal!).
Two curries accompanied my roti canai – usually we eat this with dal curry and sambal (or at least I do). My dal lost a bit of water so it was quite solid but I like the flavour – the recipe incorporated a lot of spices like cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, turmeric, garam masala, etc. And I sorta cheated with my other curry – thanks mummy for the curry mix. Just throw in the veggies and some coconut milk, and voila!
The bowl furthest to the right is Penang rojak buah, which is a savoury fruit salad. It has a mixture of fruits like pineapple, apple and green mango with some cucumber and jicama. It’s really yummy on a hot day, and don’t forget to put a sprinkle of crushed peanuts onto it!
On to the desserts! Since it was a warm day, I decided to make some drink-like desserts. On the left is what we call soyabean cincau. In Asia, soymilk tastes completely different (it’s not the ones in the cartons) and it is SOOOO good. Hits the spot for me anyway. Somebody in Malaysia decided that it’d be good to put black grass jelly into this soyabean milk and it’s really good! In Indonesia, instead of soyabean milk, they put this jelly in coconut milk (which sounds pretty darn good too!).
And on the right is my favourite honeydew sago – I was a bit disappointed with it because the honeydew didn’t have very much fruity sweetness, so it could have used a touch more sugar. It looks a bit pink because Daniel bought me pink sago. But it was thirst-quenching anyway – I’m going to enjoy the leftovers!
Here I am rushing to get the German table ready while Daniel takes photos (and Jacob sleeps in his pram). I made sauerkraut and the key to it is be generous with the apple cider vinegar. It sure cured one of my pregnant girlfriend’s cravings, haha! And I also made a dish called bratkartoffeln which is basically fried potato with bacon. We don’t eat bacon so I used veggie bacon, which was not too bad at all!
And finally, the cake of cakes – black forest! It’s funny how it was a significant cake in both my husband’s life and mine – we both grew up having these cakes at our birthday parties, etc. Anyway, I was intent on trying to make this cake despite being terrible at baking. I was thinking of making my base cake in my convection oven but chickened out in the end, so my mum-in-law saved the day. Thanks for the lovely cake, Julie! Daniel and I put on the finishing touches – layering the cake with cherry mixture and cream, then lathering the whole cake with cream and breaking some Flake onto the cake. I heard it’s yummy (though I haven’t tried it myself – will have a piece tonight though!).
All in all, a great occasion. If anyone wants recipes, let me know and I’ll lead you to them. I’m an Taste.com.au addict and always swear by them for good recipes, though I usually improvise.
Jacob was well-behaved too. It’s amazing how he’s so good in public places – I suppose it has to do with all the aunties and uncles cooing over him (not to mention getting cuddles from nanny every time). Pity Jacob couldn’t try any of the food (though he might taste it in his breastmilk). Did you know that your milk will change flavour based on what you eat?
Another thing I’ve caught myself doing many times over the last few months is being an insufferable pregnancy know-it-all! I can’t help it at times though – I guess it’s my way of being excited. When I found out some of my close friends were expecting, of course I was really excited but I’m not the type that screams and goes “OMGOMG tell me everything!” I guess my way of expressing excitement is by sharing their situation with my own prior experience (which leads to a lot of fact-dropping).
One friend said she had leg cramps, so I suggested taking more calcium (cos that’s what worked for me).
One friend was saying she felt she should get her eyes checked, and I went sometime like “Do you know that when you’re pregnant, your eyesight deteriorates a bit? But it’ll go back to normal after the pregnancy normally…”
One friend was talking about how she felt her baby in her tummy, and I went something like “Do you know you can also feel the baby hiccup in your tummy? Jacob’s hiccups used to vibrate my whole tummy! And later on you’ll be able to see the movements too – like a leg or hand poking out!”
I suppose I’m trying to be helpful but I don’t want to be bordering annoying. But just a shout out to my girls – if any of you want advice (or an opinion, since I don’t always know best), I’m here! And if I don’t know it, I will search the whole world wide web and find it out for you. But if you think I should shut up, just tell me and I’ll quit it! 🙂
Just a brief farewell from my little boy blue. He’s really happy that he’s already raised $560 for the ADRA Appeal. 3 more weeks to go – I wonder how much he can get by then. xoxo