Home + Food: Now, This Is Love

I’ve been told that there is no real recipe for making love (pun not intended). Apparently, it usually just happens (again, not intended). But whoever said that is a fool. Love can be made (seriously, get your head out of the gutter). I knew that even from a young age. And it usually starts from the kitchen. The older generation have thought me to embrace the alchemy of cooking and its magical power to bring people together, to nourish not only our stomachs, but to also bring us joy and feed our souls. That is the true way to a person’s heart, and the seed to all that is love.

I may know my way around the kitchen, but I’m definitely not gifted with the talent to wax saccharine poetry out of candles. So, I took the liberty of adapting a dear friend‘s lovely post for your reading pleasure in the following paragraphs.


This is me, realising you are the kitchen that I do not run. This is you, the recipes we hold, the dishes that we have made. This is us, the beans running through our hands, the perfume of fresh herbs in our noses, the visions and the flavours of everything that we may dare cook. To not risk is not to live, they tell us; yet to risk is danger without caring enough first. We try to make a lasagna, a delicious sauce threaten to take forever, yet two hands assembling it is greater than the sum of only one.

These are four different families, whose pretty plates have been emptied out. Cold and stained no matter how clean they stand, how empty. But turn up the heat and warm the pots; these meals can be cooked again, bigger and tastier. Our hearts the same, our tummies larger.

These moments, these time, last not forever, shall fly like winged doves. These are sacred, as though blessed by the Heavens above. These are LOVE.

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A celebration of company: Home-cooked steamed fish with superior garlic sauce, stir-fried cabbage, spicy pineapple prawn, and sweet pork belly in dark sauce served over steamed white rice prepared by the one whose kitchen doesn’t smokes and has the most efficient ‘dishwasher’ to clean up right after dinner.  We finished with a quick mango royale dessert in front of the idiot box.

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A celebration of tradition: Pot luck means that everybody bring something to the red-clothed table hoping for no clash in dishes or food poisoning after. We stuffed ourselves crazy with roast lamb with rosemary and garlic, crackling roast pork, McCutie-safe non-spicy sweet pumpkin chicken curry, roast chicken wings, penne aglio olio, oven roasted courgette & carrots,  sourdough bread, Oprah Winfrey endorsed Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownie, and the new sherbet flavours courtesy of Magnolia before the Christmas gifts exploded out of their wrappers.

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A celebration of kinship: A new year’s eve tradition 3-years running where yours truly cooks for the Chuyeo clan. This time we had lychee & citrus salad with Greek dressing, Chinese-style fried chicken parcel (ji bao gai), farfalle genovese, and Mama Chu’s tender Portuguese pork chops with little leftovers for breakfast. For desserts, I made Donna Hay’s peach & lemon pannacotta for the first time. Was kinda grainy but nobody died and we all made it to 2011 safely!

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A celebration of beginning: New year, new beginnings. Ever more so for the new parents as we gathered to welcome their new addition to the family. Beautiful baby Madeleine’s full moon party was a traditional feast of red eggs & pickled ginger, ginger and wine chicken, fried glutinous rice, steamed turmeric glutinous rice, chicken curry, spring roll, fried noodles, stir-fried greens and a colourful spread of Nyonya sweet cakes.  Oh, how could I have forgotten to mention the fantastic roast pork too. Congrats Paprika & Mik!

P/S: A huge thanks you to all for inviting us into your lovely homes and celebrating the last couple of weeks with us. And special thanks (in advance) to Mr. Mah. *wink* You know I love you, bro!

11 Responses to Home + Food: Now, This Is Love
  1. boo_licious
    January 3, 2011 | 12:37 am

    Lovely post and pictures Monkey. Love that pic of Paprika with baby M.

  2. J
    January 3, 2011 | 12:57 am

    Home is where the heart is!,… especially when there's so much yummy food and the way to the heart is through the stomach. :)
    (Looks like you had a wonderful way to end 2010 – hope that your 2011 will be filled with even more joy and deliciousness…)

  3. CUMI & CIKI
    January 3, 2011 | 1:35 am

    hi munkeyboy! like boo, i LOVE the final collage. the baby is a dream! excellent job boy :P

  4. Life for Beginners
    January 3, 2011 | 1:42 am

    So very cantik and touching lah your post. For you, my bro… you never need permission to spoof me, advance or otherwise, haha. ;)

    But dude, how do you go makan makan makan and still stay so fit? You and your monkey-partner-in-crime Ciki. Must be the potassium in the bananas lah. :P

  5. Sean
    January 3, 2011 | 3:13 am

    ooh, i don't think i've met paprika before. wonder if i could have gatecrashed her full moon party. ok ok, i admit it … the main reason would be for the hard-boiled eggs! i love them, even though my fingers get all pinkish after eating them (and it's not easy to wash off the dye!) :D

  6. J2Kfm
    January 3, 2011 | 1:30 pm

    Very heart warming post this one. Yeah, sometimes Food and Friends do make all the difference, esp at difficult times.

  7. Ayngelina
    January 3, 2011 | 3:21 pm

    I cannot read your blog before breakfast, too many delicious photos.

  8. qwazymonkey
    January 3, 2011 | 3:58 pm

    Boo: Thanks! I love that Pic too. It's the only collage featuring a real face.

    J: that line is very true innit?

    C&C: As gorgeous as u lah

    Kenny: Yea, eat your bananas. Of the non devilish kind please. Thanks for letting me spoof ur post.

    Sean: U've got a serious case of egg-diction doncha??

    J2KFM: Agreed, nothing heals the soul better than friends and food. :)

    Ayngelina: Come back after lunch then :)

  9. Lyrical Lemongrass
    January 4, 2011 | 3:52 am

    I think this style of writing could work for you. *grin* Lovely post. Love the pic of Paps with baby M. Very festive colours too!

  10. Chaokar
    January 5, 2011 | 11:10 pm

    what a nice post !!
    i wish i have a blog. OMG i do.
    inspiration inspiration please come back.

  11. fatboybakes
    January 6, 2011 | 6:37 am

    awww, grandahpa missed madeleine's full moon, so sad. lovely post.