nonya culture

Nonya culture, east meets west. Food loving blog.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Sausage Wee Muffins

These days, I make various muffins for quick and wholesome breakfasts.

I keep these frozen until the night before they are to be served. Then I heat these up for breakfast for the kids before they go to school.

I decided to name my wee little sausage potato muffins after the Wee clan - the Sausage Wee Muffin.

Sausages made from scratch with minced pork, dried sage and mixed dried herbs (any ready to use mixture with sage in it). The muffins have jagged tops because the bread is full of mashed potatoes, after all, we Wees are potato eaters.

Sausage Patty Recipe

500g minced pork. (Thaw before you begin)
2 tablespoons corn flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
2-3 tablespoons butter
5 cloves of garlic, pounded finely, or use the blender

Mix corn flour, sea salt, sage and herbs in a bowl. Set this dried spice mixture aside.
Microwave garlic and butter for 1 second and let the garlic infuse the butter.
mix the dried spice mixture into the minced pork.
Add the garlic infused butter into the mixture but strain out garlic chunks to discard. 
Mix the butter thoroughly into the meat mixture.
Spoon the sausage mixture into muffin cups, filling half of each cup.
I had excess sausage mixture so I shaped these into patties on the baking pan. oven at 220 degrees celsius for 15-20 minutes.

Once done, turn the muffin tray upside down in a clean, dry tray and the patties should slide out. If not, you can use a spoon to ease them out.

 potato muffin bread recipe

About 250g potatoes. 
I used 1 large, 3 small potatoes
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups plain flour


Boil. Peel and mash the potatoes.
Mix in the milk and oil.
add salt, flour, baking powder and mix thoroughly.

Put a tablespoon of the dough in each muffin cup.
Press in a sausage patty
top up with more dough.
Bake at 220 degrees celsius for 20-30 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins turn golden brown.

Monday, 20 January 2014

My little herb garden

This nonya mommy is planting her little herb garden in her HDB flat.

It all began when a little bawang merah (shallot) that were meant for rempah (to be pounded in the pestle and motar into a paste for cooking) sprouted.

That little green shoot meant the bulb wouldn't taste good, so I found a tiny container, put in some tissue paper, nestled the bulb in it and watered it to let it grow.

It thrived. We could use the spring onions to add greens to our diet, I thought.

Then more little onions sprouted to escape the motar. Soon I was out of containers, but we had a little chive farm and the harvest did spice up our meals. My kids named each pet onion. Gary, Mary, Harry, Sally, and...   I can't remember the rest.

I explained that harvesting the chives was like giving them haircuts.

Window shopping at Jasons, I chanced upon potted herbs that looked sad in the refrigerator. "Why not?" I thought, and bought five.

Fresh leaves picked from our herb garden made a real difference to the food. We're so used to seasoning our food with herbs that when we eat out,  the kids complain about the msg effect.

My dill didn't fare well initially. Its leaves yellowed the next day, so I pruned off almost half of it and used that to make a chicken tonic soup.

A simple chicken soup made with chicken, garlic, onions,  carrots and freshly harvested dill tasted great and has a tonic effect. My family said it was like Brands essence of chicken.

I replanted little dill in a much larger pot to give it room to grow. Google calls it a weed and I hope it spreads like one as we could use a lot more dill. Dill's under a protection order now. We can harvest the others but not Dill.

The others looked so sad in their tiny pots so I have been repotting them, one by one. Waiting for the nursery to stock up on more pitting mix so I can buy more to upgrade the remaining herbs to their new homes.

Meanwhile, I bought more potted herbsband started planting butter lettuce seeds with the hopes of harvesting fresh organic veggies too.

Let's see how it goes.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Reflections

Where I love, in less than 3 hours from now, it will be 2014.

2013 has been a year of change. I lost my dad in May. Daddy was mine and I knew no matter what, I could turn to dad. He would understand. That was also the month I left my previous job in an agency.

Times of change. Uncertainty. Before Dad left we had serious chats about life, and what comes after that. I guess he knew his time was almost up and he was preparing me for when I had to be on my own. Dad always protected me.

He reminded me that we have a big God and nothing is impossible for Him. He shared very personal challenges he faced,  where there was no way out, then he prayed and miracles happened.  It took me months to accept that Dad has moved on. What comforted me, was strangely, the thought of my Dad, meeting his grandchild up there.. the baby I miscarried who now has doting grandpa all to himself or herself. Baby should be about 2 years old according to time here on earth, when grandpa picks baby in his arms for the first time ever.

2014 will be a year of new beginnings.

I've just released my first lesson The Strategy from my crash course on content marketing. Lesson 2, actually, released first because it is core to the course and the templates in it will be a boon to content marketers, to help them get it right, from the start.

I hope it takes off. I'm currently using the templates in it to plan the strategy for marketing it. Where I go from here, I don't know yet.

I have kids to feed any worry at times about the bills should my temporary job end before I land a permanent one. Years ago, I has a successful internet marketing business, but there was a paradigm shift and I could not figure out my way around it in time. Business is unpredictable.  A wise lady, an entrepreneur,  once told me, in business, some days you feast on lobster. Other times,  the roof over your head may be taken away. Be prepared for the good times and the bad. Be prudent during good times, so you have savings to tide you through the bad.

What will 2014 hold?
I can trust God to lead the way and provide for my family through 2014. He has never let me or my family down.
May God bless you too.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Kueh Lapis

As a little girl, I loved kueh lapis. I grew up with the rainbow coloured sticky version as a breakfast or tea time treat.  It was a game to me, peeling layer after layer of the soft, stretchy sweet dessert, folding each layer to bite holes in the centre creating patterns. Yeah, I played with my food more than I ate it as a kid.

As I grew older, the nonya version appealed more to my tastes. Each in typical, elaborate nonya style comprised of fine layers of cake baked one on top of the other. The composite cake is sliced to expose the thin yellow and brown layers of cake.

At a reunion dinner, an old friend brought the nonya version of kueh lapis. Tried it, loved it.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Happy Birthday Singapore

I'm a 6th generation Singapore. This country is the only home I know. My family's history is entwined with this city we live in.

It's National Day today. It brings back fond memories of my younger days in Bedok living with mom and dad. We'd watch the festivities on TV, then rush off at the end of it all to the balcony and watch the stunning fireworks display from afar. I still remember my late father's excitement, year after year, watching fireworks in the comfort of our own home.

 My late grandpa and father told me stories of Singapore's past.

Grandpa went from serving Singapore in the British army during colonial days, taking care of the army stores, to a prisoner of the Japanese during the Japanese Occupation.

He was herded with the rest of the selected Singapore men to be shot into their graves, but he prayed, then fled unseen by sentry after sentry of Japanese soldiers, to the family home, gathered his wife and eight kids and fled for their lives, leaving all their belongings behind.

 A Japanese hired my grandpa to take care of his farm, and through that, supported my family through those trying years.

Then came freedom from the Japanese rule, Singapore's independence and then the racial riots. My family, being Peranakan, Chinese who adopt the Malay culture was caught in the middle of the insanity. The Chinese hated my dad and his brothers because they spoke Malay while the Malays regarded them as enemies because of race. It was something no one ever wants to see repeated in this country again. The words in the Singapore pledge "regardless of race, language or religion" strike home.

We have come a long way. May Singapore continue to experience peace and prosperity for generations to come.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

My Daddy

My dad passed away but the precious  lessons in life that he taught me will stay with me always.

I'll miss those long father and daughter chats we had. He was the only one who understood . 

Yeah I always talked back and am as stubborn as he was. He once said I should have been a lawyer as I loved those debates and had to always get the last word. He got the last word in out final conversation due to his very strong insistence and I was planning to continue our conversation when we next meet. Never did get the chance. Not on  this lifetime anyway. I look forward to seeing him again in the after life where we can continue our chats. 

Daddy was the eldest of 8 siblings. As a child,growing up in Katong, he already went out to work selling epok epok and taking on jobs to support his siblings. He hardly talked much about himself but shared with me our family history, the achievements of his dad , how amazing my mom is and positive things about everyone else . 

He saw my pain during the trying times in my life and shared his very personal experiences too, which encouraged me and reminded me that I was not alone.

In our last few chats, he taught me that people can change. He saw so many changed lives because of Jesus that he had lost count. He told me to pray for those who hurt me so that they may change and stop the damage.

He told me about his own mistakes and how God rescued him each time

He told me never to forget that I have a great God. To turn to God whenever I am I trouble as God will always come through. All this he shared with me so urgently and insistently as if he knew his time here was almost up. 

When he turned 70, he said that man has a life span of 4 score and 10 or something along that line, which translates to 70 years. Every year beyond that is a bonus year.

He had visited the places he wanted to go, done what he wanted to do. At the start of the year he told mom he wanted to me up with a whole list of people.

In his last 2 weeks he suddenly had the energy to dance on and on with mom. The year end party his friends organise was somehow brought forward then. On his last day he hada enormous appetite to eat his favorite food with his buddies. It seemed to me that God took care if his servant all the way to the end, giving him his heart's desires before taking him home. The bits and pieces I heard from mourning friends and family point in that direction. 

His body was cremated. When it came to the time to choose the I he for his urn, even that was taken care of. As we stepped into the first of 25 blocks, the first thing we saw was a vacant lot beside a deceased good family friend. We knew that was the best spot for him. Mom already decided a sea burial for both of them when the time comes so it was a single lot for dad until then.

God took care of every detail.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Mysterious Abdominal Pain

Cramping in my belly alarmed me. The pain came suddenly and left just as quickly. I felt totally fine was second and bent over in pain the next . 

This happened 3 times in my life and always in the O&G ward of a hospital. Twice in labour and once when I had a major infection near an ovary which could have cost me my life.

The next morning, I felt fine and went to work as usual. The pain hit once. I ignored it. It returned with a vengeance, so I gave in and called the hospital to fix an appointment . I was lucky. They had a slot that very afternoon .

The gynae examined me and ordered an ultrasound scan. The results were clear . The problem didn't reside in this department but as the area was clearly tender she referred me to the A&E department to see a general doctor . 

When I saw the price to go through A&E I balked. If I could bear the pain a little longer it might go away.

The next day, I saw my family doctor who also couldn't trace the problem without the proper tests. I needed endoscopy and x-ray.

Today,  as both doctors strongly advised, I went to A&E and had the full suite of tests done .

The X-ray showed my colon was too full if shit. So it's 2 days of laxatives and stuff to clean out the gunk , before another appointment for a scope to ensure there's no growth inside. 

In other words , once I'm home I'll take me media and camp in the loo.

Looking back in our traditional diet. We hardly eat any veggies. All our dishes are meat based, eaten with white rice and possibly a small dish of sambal kang kong hardly anyone touches . We have chap chye at best which is mainly vermicelli and a few slices if carrots and cabbage .

The nonya diet is a low fiber one .
So it's payback time.


I eat more veggies these days so I'll take this as cleaning out the past gunk for a healthier future.