Too much time on my hands…

I guess those of you who are regular followers of my blog would know my daily routine – I would do the gardening till around 9 and then, we would go to my mum’s place to keep her company till around noon and we would go for lunch some place before coming home but of course, Sundays would be send-my-girl-to-her-school day so we would not be following this same routine on that day.

I have not been doing much gardening for some weeks now as I was busy plucking my rambutans, sawing the branches, cutting them into manageable lengths to fit into the boot of my car, packing the leaves in large plastic bags and taking them some place to throw away. No, I’m not done yet – there are still some of the fruits high up in the tree but I came down with a terrible cough as a result of which, I did not get to sleep much all night through and thus, I did not have much energy to do all that. I guess I will just have to leave those remaining fruits on the tree to wither and dry up and go to waste.

Well, since I was not doing all those things in the early morning, I had too much time on my hands…and I decided not to waste it but to put it to good use and cook something for our meals – that way, we could come straight home from my mum’s place for lunch instead of eating out and drinking some iced drink which would only aggravate my cough.

I cooked this meatball porridge…

Meatball porridge

…with our ethnic brown rice and I added some pandan leaves to it while cooking. Once done, I garnished it with fried finely-chopped garlic and spring onions from my garden and served.

I remember how when I was little, everytime I fell ill, my mum would cook porridge for me to eat with either Bovril…

*Archive photo*

…or Marmite. We only had those two in those days.

She would deep-fry one or chio/ikan bawal hitam (black pomfret)…

Or chio
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…and taking the meat of the fish, she would break it into bits and pieces and mix thoroughly with the porridge. I did not have any fish in the freezer that day but there was some long kiam hu (salted fish) so I fried two pieces…

Long kiam hu

…and it is always nice – salted fish with porridge.

My mum would have some salted eggs…

Salted eggs
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…for me too.

No, nobody ate those century eggs then – I remember my dad was the only one who enjoyed those. I guess the rest of us were put off by the black colour and at times, there might be an unpleasant urine smell and rumour had it at the time that in China, where the eggs all came from at the time, they used horse urine to make them. Of course I wouldn’t know whether there was any truth in that or it was just an urban legend.

We do have some nice ones these days and it so happened that there were a few in the house and I had those…

Century eggs

…garnished with thinly-sliced ginger and dark soy sauce, instead of the salted ones.

I did not have a vegetable dish that day. Usually, my mum would fry thinly-sliced long beans omelette…

Long beans omelette
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…to go with porridge. We kids were never into vegetables then so I guess with the eggs, it did not feel like we were eating vegetables so much.

The next morning, I took a slab of chicken thigh, chopped it up and cooked our Foochow traditional red wine chicken soup with lots of ginger that I pounded till real fine. I felt like having mee sua that day so mee sua it was…

Mee sua in Foochow red wine chciken soup

…with hard-boiled eggs by the side.

I guess once I get back to my old routine, I would not be cooking all that much so early in the morning – to the most, it would be something that I would be thinking of having for breakfast, that’s all.