The right time…

When do folks have their Christmas dinner? On Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day itself?

In my growing up years, we would have open houses on Christmas Day (and for Chinese New Year too) so in the days leading to Christmas, my mum would be busy making the cakes and the cookies and on the eve, she would be cooking the curry. Family members and friends would come to visit and enjoy the festive delights and the curry with slices of bread…and all day, we would be drinking our favourite made-in-Sibu Ngo Kian “aerated water” and we loved how our teeth would all turn red after drinking the cherry-flavoured fizzy drink or green when we had the banana one. People in those days were not all that conscious and not in the least bothered about colouring and the harm it would cause to their health.

I do not recall having a Christmas dinner and on the night of the eve, we would put on our new clothes to go to the midnight mass in church and upon coming home, we would have the curry and bread for supper before turning in for the night. These days, it seems that many would have theirs on the eve followed by all that partying, waiting for midnight to usher in that special day – like what they would do for the new year or on the eve of Chinese New Year or even the Gawai Dayak Festival.

These days, our celebration isn’t all that elaborate every year, not anymore. We would still go to church for the Christmas Eve service and no, we do not have open houses anymore. I would still have a nice dinner in the evening though and usually, we would invite my in-laws to join us. This year, however, the one in Bintulu and his family were not coming home and my mother-in-law did not feel all too well so there were just us and my Sibu brother-in-law and his wife.

Of course, as we had planned all along, there was the snowfish dish…

Snowfish with honeydew & rambutans

that Melissa cooked a week or so earlier with extra honeydew melon and rambutans…

Extra honeydew melon & rambutans

…to go with it.

Everyone loved it…


…so I guess we would be having that again for our Chinese New Year’s Eve Reunion Dinner as well in just over a month’s time.

Instead of a turkey which would be too big for us to finish, we had one big chicken…

Roast chicken

…and had it beautifully roasted with potatoes by the side and everything else.

We also had our “traditional” in-the-family-style salad


…and my girl also made some mashed potatoes…

Mashed potatoes

…with a lovely hint of toasted garlic.

No, it wasn’t an all-western affair – my missus would follow her heart and just cook whatever she would feel like cooking. I would usually have a theme – western…or Chinese/Asian…or kampong (village) and stick rigidly to it. That was why we also had this very fragrant ghee rice…

Ghee rice

…and freshwater prawns…


…done the way my missus would usually cook them – with lots of garlic and sesame oil and whatever else.

For our dessert, I took out the fruit pudding…

Christmas pudding

…that I got from my uncle’s family in Kuching sometime ago. This was a family tradition as well – my mum and her sisters would make it every year without fail for Christmas. There were only a few of us so I just cut a bit and put the rest back into the freezer to save for Chinese New Year.

Gee!!! Time sure flies and it is already New Year’s Eve. What have you all got planned? At the time of writing, I am still not sure what would be in store for us this year. We’ll just have to wait and see…

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

17 thoughts on “The right time…”

  1. So much food for 3! I love everything on the table! Look at that salad with eggs and mayo, so thick dressing, I like! I don’t eat greens but if the salad has eggs or meat in it, then ok, hehe.. Oooooo look at the roast chicken, I can eat the whole bird! My favourite? Gotta be the big prawns and their heads especially, yummmzzz 😀

    There were 5 of us, including my brother in law and his wife. I guess we already had a lot of meat or else usually, we would also add prawns to the salad, our family style and sometimes, I added cocktails too, Plumrose brand.

    1. Ahhhhh, finally I see the (frozen/thawed) rum fruit cake!

      Yes, it was so good and my girl loved it so very much that we had the rest the very next day…and no more left for Chinese New Year. But I have another one in the freezer from my Sabah cousin.

  2. Wonderful photos…yum. 🙂 We here in Canada have Christmas dinner on Christmas day, December 25th. Happy 2015 to you, my good friend, and I pray that it will be a wonderful year for you.

    Thanks. Ahhhhh!!! The same as us then.

  3. wow what a feast! guess what we had for christmas? toasted bread with butter 😦

    Oooo…not quite healthy eating, there’s butter! 😀

  4. That’s a wonderful Christmas dinner. Nice spread of food. The ghee rice looks so nice. Happy Blessed & Joyous New Year 2015 to you & family. God Bless.

    All good, and wishing the same to you and all yoru loved ones too. Cheers!

  5. Wow! Lovely dishes on the table. I would go for the fish myself.

    Not so merry this year in Kuching. Less fireworks on eve on the night itself.

    Christmas not so, I guess. Wait for tonight, New Year’s Eve.

  6. What a lovely spread yum! yum! I’ll be having a quiet dinner with my partner and we look forward to a nice quiet evening. I know after midnight it will be very noisy with the fireworks and firecrackers and whatnot going off at the shopping complexes nearby. Here’s wishing you and your family a very Happy 2015!

    You and yours too! We’ll have a quiet dinner tonight – just me, my girl and the mum. Told my Singapore friends to go and have their own, just for tonight. 3 of them plus a kid, car not big enough for all seven of us to go some place together. 😦

  7. The roasted chicken certainly looks yummy and I love the simple sides. Great to see you all have a fun and delicious celebration.

    Happy New Year to you and family, Arthur.

    And to you and loved ones! Yes, it was a great dinner. Keeping it simple for New Year’s though.

  8. The salad caught my attention the most!
    Wishing you and family a happy new year!

    Same to you. I blogged about our family “traditional” salad dressing before.

  9. Wonderful spread you got there. Nice to see Melissa cooking some of the dishes too.
    Hopefully we will all get a much better year than the previous one, as always 🙂 .

    Yes, hoping for the same here – it certainly had been a dreadful one. 😦

  10. my family used to have our christmas dinner on the eve, but it was always more of chinese food, since it was home-cooked … steamboat would be typical 🙂 i like how your dishes this year for x-mas do have a lot of international influences … very festive feast … i’d gobble up your chicken, family salad and mashed potatoes 🙂

    We’d have steamboat for New Year’s Eve usually…but not this year. Busy with my friend from Singapore here on a visit.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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