When I was small, once my mother took me with her to go to the “sua pa” (Direct translation: jungle but I think it actually meant the suburbs or the village and not some place in the town) to visit her uncle whom I called “Chek-Kong” (granduncle). Those days, the place was literally all jungle and the houses were few and far between. If I am not mistaken, it was somewhere around the Selemo roundabout area which is today, very densely populated with residential houses and shoplots and the jam at peak hours there is really quite bad.
It was a typical Chinese wooden village house and while we were there, we were served a glass of condensed milk each and into the glass, they poured hot boiling water and they broke a raw egg into it. I guessed the heat from the boiling water would have cooked the egg but still, I was quite put off by it and drank it reluctantly (after being pinched several times in the leg by my mum under the table). When we had left the place, she told me that they would only serve that to people whom they respected highly. Other ordinary visitors would not be accorded the same honour.
Well, I had been drinking condensed milk for as long as I can remember – Milkmaid, no less! Whenever I was sick, I would have to drink a hot glass of condensed milk to wash down the medicine…and up till today, I would not drink Milo, Horlicks or eat oats without condensed milk. I seldom take those things now, so I very rarely buy condensed milk these days. I did not even realise that we no longer have that anymore in the shops.
When I read about that in Gerrie’s blog sometime back, I went to the shops to check and true enough, they only have sweetened creamer these days. It is sweeter, not as thick and rich as condensed milk – the way I knew it to be. I do not know why they have called it differently, but my guess would be that they have reduced the milk content. I remember at one time, there were instructions that condensed milk should not be given to infants 3 months and below owing to the inadequate nutrition in it. I heard that it contained some palm oil-based substitute and correct me if I’m wrong but I gathered that non-dairy creamers are made from that.
Well, Stella was in town and when she heard that we could not buy condensed milk here, she brought me this…
…all the way from Melbourne, Australia. She also got me this, something that I have never seen before – condensed milk in a tube, like toothpaste or hair gel/mousse…
I would think that is indeed a very good idea. Saves the trouble of having to look for an old glass peanut butter bottle to keep the milk once we’ve opened the can.
I don’t know what I’ll do with the condensed milk though. I love to take pulut panggang (santan(coconut milk)-rich glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaf and cooked over an open fire) with that, but that will have to wait till I drop by the stall at Rejang Park that sells the best pulut panggang in town, or maybe I should start eating oats as they say oats are good for lowering one’s cholesterol, or since it is such a rare commodity in these parts, maybe I should just put it up for sale to the highest bidder! Any takers, anybody? LOL!!!
Incidentally, that wasn’t all that Stella brought for me. She also gave me lots of Australian-made Arnotts’ cookies and chocolates. Those, of course, will stay in the refrigerator till August when hopefully, my daughter will be home again for her mid-semester break. Other than that, Stella also bought me a shirt – XXXL…and it fits me like a glove, almost. The collar is a bit tight, so I will have to move the button a bit if I were to use it with a tie. She remembered that I could not find any, long-sleeves, my size here and had to get one tailor-made for use when I do the commentating in church. But of course, I will not be using this particlular shirt just yet. Considering that it’s so hard for me to get a new shirt, I might as well keep it for somebody’s special occasion…..KNB’s perhaps?…Or somebody else that I hear, has actually proposed and the other half has accepted, so he has changed his status on Facebook to ENGAGED. Ummmm…I hear bells, wedding bells! Hahahahaha!!!