Kampung love…

Hahahaha!!! Some of you may be wondering, “What? Is there such a song?” Well, the answer is yes, there is! It’s a Bidayuh (one of the Sarawak ethnic races) song that was a hit here a few years ago. You can click this link to watch the video clip. It’s really a cute and catchy song and you do not need to know Bidayuh to be able to understand what it is all about.

I’ve chosen that to be the title of this post because it is going to be about the kampung-style (village-style) fried rice that I cooked this morning…or more specifically, fried rice my style with sambal udang kering (dried prawns). Of course, in order to cook that, I would need to prepare the sambal and so I pounded some shallots, garlic and lengkuas (galangal) and chillies together and some udang kering (dried prawns) with a bit of belacan (dried prawn paste)…

STP's kampung fried rice - pounded ingredients

I fried the pounded ingredients in oil till golden brown and fragrant, together with some serai (lemon grass) and adding a bit of serbuk kunyit (tumeric powder) for a bit of yellowish tint and extra flavour. Then I added the pounded udang kering (dried prawns) and fried until it had turned a nice shade of brown and kind of crusty/crunchy before adding salt and msg according to taste.  The sambal udang kering was ready, so those of you who would like to prepare just the sambal to go with your rice, bread or crackers, that is how you can go about it.

After that, I added the rice and mixed it thoroughly with the sambal and as I had used a bit too much oil, I added two eggs as a solution to the problem. Hehehehehe!!! Then, the rice was ready…

STP's kampung fried rice

So there you have it – nasi goreng sambal udang kering (fried rice with dried prawns)! I garnished it with some thinly-sliced chillies, but you can also use chopped spring onions or fried ikan bilis (anchovies). Simple but nice!

Gift of love…

I was driving home one evening when I heard Dr James Dobson on the car radio. He had a very short but meaningful story in his “Focus on the family” feature that day. The moment I got back to the house, I sat down and wrote out my version of the story which I had included in one of my SPM English workbooks.

Christmas is just two weeks’ away and in conjunction with this festive season of hope and love, I would like to share this story with everyone. I have cut out a lot though so that it is much shorter and not so tedious to read. Well, the story goes like this:

Christmas was just around the corner. All the shops and complexes were gaily decorated with tinsel and colourful blinking lights on synthetic plastic trees, and cotton wool dangling from every nook and cranny in the bleak hope that it might pass off as snow. Shoppers dashed helter-skelter in search of the ideal gifts for friends and loved ones. Juggling with the boxes and bags in her arms, Mrs. Lim snaked through the crowd to her car, and finally headed for home.

No sooner had she reached the house than she bolted into the kitchen to get dinner ready, dumping everything on the table in the living room. “I’ve to start cooking, otherwise the whole family will have to go to bed hungry tonight.”

After dinner, Mrs. Lim settled down to wrapping the presents. The two older children were studying in their rooms while Janice was lying leisurely on the sofa, her eyes glued to the television screen, totally enthralled by the animated antics of Mickey Mouse

Christmas presents under the tree

Soon the much-awaited Christmas Day arrived. Everyone had gathered around the Christmas tree to open their presents. Donny and Marie ripped open all that had their names on them. In the midst of the excitement, Mrs. Lim spotted a quaint little box wrapped in newspaper.

Picking it up, she remarked aloud, “What is this? Is this from you, Janice” The little girl nodded, her eyes glowing. All eyes were on her as Mrs. Lim removed the wrapper.

“What is the meaning of this?” she shrieked; the anger in her voice was obvious. “It’s empty!” Turning to her daughter, she reprimanded, “Is this your idea of a joke, Janice? Are you trying to make a fool out of me?” At that instant, her palm landed on the little girl’s face, leaving streaks of red across her cheek.

Finally, Janice spoke. Through her incessant sobs, she said, “It’s not empty, Mummy. The box is filled with all my love and kisses for you.”

Mrs. Lim was stunned for a moment, and then, breaking down in tears and taking Janice in her arms, she pleaded, “Forgive me, darling. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s all right, Mummy, it’s all right. Don’t cry.” The little girl brushed her fingers over her mother’s face as the rays of the Christmas morning sun shone in through the window onto the mother and child below, entwined in each other’s arms.

Merry Christmas