Conditioning…

In my growing up years, whenever I fell ill, my dad would take me to see a doctor. To him, a good doctor would be one who would give an injection for instant relief and recovery. Shudders!!! Otherwise he would say that was a lousy doctor and he would never take me there ever again.

My mum would cook porridge for me to eat, mixed with either Bovril or Marmite – those were the days when we were a British colony, remember? She would fry one or chio (ikan bawal hitam/black pomfret)…

…tear the meat into bits and pieces and sprinkle them all over the porridge and there would also be salted eggs as well. That would be my diet everytime I fell sick so much so that on days when I was not sick and we had porridge, I would also feel that I was under the weather. If I am not wrong, in psychology, this is called behavioral conditioning – we studied about this in ELT (English Language Teaching).

I think this went on till my late teenage days when my friends and I would go dancing at the SRC (Sibu Recreation Club) after which we would go to the hawker stalls on the 1st Floor of the Sibu Central Market, opposite the Palace Theatre in between Market Road & High Street at the time, for supper and we would have porridge. I cannot remember what else we had with the porridge, just the plain fried kangkong (water spinach)…

…that we would order without fail. I wouldn’t know if we were so hungry after all that partying or it was really so very nice.

Years later, when I was living in Kuching, after our dances at places like the Jubilee Hall, we would head to this section of the Open Air Market…

…and yes, no prize for guessing what we had there. Porridge!!! LOL!!! Of course, by then, I had got over this thing about feeling sick everytime I had porridge. As a matter of fact, I actually developed a liking for it so to this very day, I sure wouldn’t mind having that at home on some days.

I blogged about having it for breakfast in the early morning here and also, here and it so happened that the other day, my missus said we would be having porridge for our meals. My girl was delighted – unlike me in my younger days, she enjoys porridge very much.

We had this dish of pork belly steamed with long kiam hu (the fermented salted fish) and ginger…

…and my missus also fried some salted vegetables…

…with marinated pork belly…

We had salted eggs…

…too but this batch was not so much to my liking – they were too salty. Thankfully, they were quite edible – sometimes, the salted eggs turned out so horrible, looking like agar agar in a sickly colour and they had to be thrown away.

I had my porridge with Bovril but actually, it would be nice enough with the sauce from either the pork belly or the salted vegetable dish. My girl enjoys her porridge plain, eaten together with the two dishes that the mum cooked but she did not touch the salted egg – I guess she is not into that so much. I did not see my missus taking out her tau ju (fermented tofu) – she loves eating her porridge with that; perhaps she had run out and there wasn’t any in the fridge.

What about you all? Do you enjoy porridge too? What do you like to eat with it? Pig’s blood, perhaps?…

I sure would love that! LOL!!!