I’m Chinese Malaysian – mother Cantonese, father Teochew. I grew up in Selangor in an average family household, eating mainly chinese home-cooked food, with a weekly sojourn to the SS2 hawker center for delicious street-side food. I’ve been living in Britain for 10+ years. I love food and cooking and I’m the only child in my family who knows all (most of) the family recipes.
My style in the kitchen is relatively stir-fry heavy. But stir fries are great for budget cooking! I have a steady full time job, but I’ve never been very well paid, particularly by London standards, so my meals tend to be cheap. I do treat myself to a meal out with friends around once a week, and I have once seriously thought ‘I can feed myself for a whole week based on the cost of this meal alone….. how can I justify eating out at all?’.. but hey.. social life is a need not a want… and self care is important yada yada yada… so since I can afford the small bits of luxury I allow myself.. as long as all is good and well with my bank account, I’ll continue to be 85% anal-retentively budget-conscious.. and 15% yea it’s treat myself time (numbers are very approximate and not based on any data whatsoever).
As I’ve said in the ‘about’ page – This is a starter blog.. and I’ve intentionally NOT blog for a very long time and I was even reluctant to start this one. I don’t really know where this will lead… and this will be a jumble of styles and types of blog – there might be pictures, and videos…. and shopping lists.. I don’t really know. It might all get tidied up and consolidated later.. again.. I don’t know. Suffice to say, feedback welcomed, what works, what doesn’t, what you like/dislike etc, but please please please bear with the multiple styles I’ll be experimenting with.
When I started this blog… all of 16 days ago – I knew it was going to evolve as I put things into place and start writing. Little did I know that the mission statement will change within the first week. The primary content will remain the same.. Easy cheap meals. But as I wrote about my own cooking style.. I realised there was something vitally important i need to put up on the blog. My parents’ recipes. Neither of my sisters are interested in them, and I’m childless. I’m the only one who knows most of these recipes, and if I don’t pass them on somehow.. they will be lost. I am aware of the thousands of blogs out there with traditional chinese recipes already… and of how little chance my blog will actually get any attention. However.. if I put them up.. at least they are up and the only repository of them will at least not be my head and I will feel less bad about not handing them down to anyone.
So over the next couple of years, I plan to recreate, photograph and blog about all the recipes my parents have passed on to me. Recipes I grew up eating and loving and learnt how to cook so I can do it for myself when I am on my own. It will be a slow process and only one every other week or so… as most of these recipes take slightly longer than my easy stir fries… But it’s a project worth working for and I will do my best to pass them on. As they come up.. they will be put into two categories. “Ma’s Cantonese Delights” and “Pa’s Teochew Treasures”. Both my parents started cooking in later life, and a lot of the recipes are probably littered with shortcuts and substitutions and take less time than they would have been prepared by my great grandparents a hundred years ago… However this is how they figured it out, and how they thought it to me… and who has time to spend 3 days making one dish these days anymore anyway.
Another thing to mention is that I bake quite a lot. I’ve inherited my mother’s love of feeding people. And since it is hard to feed people whole savoury meals at work… I turned to baking sweet things to fulfil that need. However I have yet to become a good enough baker to come up with my own recipes.. so everything I bake is taken from somewhere else. I am an academic in my working life and as such have as much hatred for plagarism as the next academic… so I will not post recipes here which I have taken from elsewhere. However… since I’m trying to fall in love with photography again… I figured I could post photos of my baking here… with links to where I took them from..