Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stir fry bean sprouts

Stir fry bean sprouts (tai tau nga) in dark soy sauce

250 gms bean sprouts
½ cup water
1 tbs dark soya sauce
1 tbs light soya sauce (less if you prefer to be less saltish)
1 tbs chopped garlic

Remove roots and clean bean sprouts. Heat cooking oil and fry garlic till fragrant. Add bean sprouts and stir fry till properly coated with oil. Add dark soya and light soya sauce. Mix well and add water. Bring the liquid to boil. Let is boil for 2 min or until the stalk of bean sprouts is slightly translucent. Transfer to serving plate and serve.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The largest “Doh”( means Island in Cantonese) in the world

Have you been asked this question before? In Cantonese, the question sounded like this, “Jui tai ker doh, hai mak yeh doh?” (What is the largest "Doh" (island) in the world? First, it is useless to ask me, it is like “pong wor seong jay saw” (asking a monk for a comb). Why? Because I dropped the subject, Geography altogether when I was in high school. I have no clue at all. 

Now coming back to the question. Anyone know the answer? You must be thinking of the names of many famous "Doh"( island) in the world right ? Haiyah, me too, throwing limited names of those islands I knew but they were ALL WRONG! The biggest “doh” in the world is called “Char Doh”. Of course there is no such island in the world lah. “Char Doh” in Cantonese means (got squeezed!) LOL! I believe Cantonese speaking people will have a good laugh out of this joke but I am not sure my Western friends and readers will get it or find this funny. Honestly, sometimes, when my Quay Lo cracked a Quay Lo joke, I don’t get it and vice versa. This also applies to certain things we said to each other. Certain phrases that he used may be normal to him but I find it offensive. For example, I told my Quay Lo, I am going to the store. He would say “Knock yourself out.” What?? Knock myself out?? Or he would say, “I don’t care.” That makes me angry.  It sounded rude and dismissive to me but he told me it is perfectly alright to speak like that to the Westerners and they will not be offended. Then, it irritates him to the max when he said something to me  and I answered with a big “NO” before I continue what I wanted to say. Usually, that will not offend any of my Asian friends either. I guess that is truly culture difference.

So today I have “KNOCKED MYSELF OUT” and prepared this dessert.  I told my Quay Lo, I made this for my neighbor and not for him and I am going to give both the pies to them and know what he said to me? “I don’t care.” GRRRRR!! “Char Doh!!” (Got squeezed) big time!

Banana Pie with Chocolate Ganache 
and Salted Caramel Sauce
Inspired by Amanda Hesser's The Essential New York Times Cookbook.

Pie Crust

Ganache Layer:
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
(about 1/2 cup chocolate chips)
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (or kosher salt)

For Assembly:
3 medium bananas, cut in thin slices

Make the ganache:
Set the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the heavy cream to boiling point and pour over the chocolate. Let stand a couple of minutes and gently stir until fully incorporated and glossy. It should be the consistency of warmed chocolate syrup. Cool to room temperature. Pour over the cooled pie crust and refrigerate.

Make the caramel sauce:
In a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat, stir together sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Let boil until amber-colored. Once it starts taking on color, keep a close eye because it will turn quickly. Immediately add butter and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, add cream and salt (be careful, it will splatter), and mix well. It should be smooth and have a syrup-like consistency. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble:
Decorate with banana slices. Drizzle some caramel sauce over the banana slices. Chill, and serve within 24 hours. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Jai" and "Chai"

On the first day of Chinese New Year, we usually stay home because my step brother and his family will come to my house to “Bai nian” (Friends and relatives will call on each other to exchange greetings and wish another the happiest possible New Year. )

My mum on the other hand will welcome them with vegetarian food. On Chinese New Year's eve, my mum stayed up till almost midnight to cook the family’s all time favorite “jai”, a traditional "must have" dish in most Chinese families on the first day of Chinese New Year. She always cook "jai" one day ahead because it taste better the next day as flavors merge and intensify.

Click on the photo to get the recipe

Early morning yesterday, she was already in the wet kitchen, cooking up another storm.  Other vegetarian dishes that she served yesterday were:

deep fried roast duck, 
stew vegetarian pig intestines with spices and 
sweet sour vegetarian oysters. Reapeat: these were the vegetarian versions of these dishes.

Every year, we will eat vegetarian food only, on the first day of Chinese New Year and according to my mum, it is believed that abstaining from eating meat will not only enhance longevity but also purify and cleanse our body. For her, it is a way to honor a Buddhist tradition that no living things should be killed on this day.

Another Chinese New Year tradition that we still practice in our family, is serving tea to the elders on the first day. This year, our son, Nick served us tea in a different way. Instead of serving us the usual Chinese tea as in the past years, he came to our house yesterday afternoon well prepared, with all required ingredients to make us a tea called “chai” tea. It is actually black tea that is brewed strong with a combination of spices and is diluted with milk and sugar.  The spices used can vary from recipe to recipe, but usually consist of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, pepper and ginger. "Chai" tea is traditionally consumed hot and sweet. It was perfectly made with the right amount of spices and sweetness. Not only did it have a perfect taste, the effort put into doing this for us is more than perfect! Thanks Nick, we enjoyed the tea very much and appreciate your thoughtfulness.

My brother and his family, together with the boyfriend of my niece and the girlfriends of my nephews, came “bai nian” yesterday and stayed for an early dinner. We had another round of a hearty vegetarian meal together. Another day of good food, good company and good memories. 

My life may not be exactly like I want it to be at all times, but what I thought I wanted may not have let me enjoy the present moment like now. I never know when my present moments will come to a halt, so I have learned to want what I have. If eventually, I am lucky to have had what I wanted, then, it will impact my life with even more joy than now. Whatever the Dragon year will bring upon me seems not so important; what I know is, I had a great start of the year, bonding with my love ones.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our OLD BONES made it!

Yesterday Mum and I started cooking for the Reunion Dinner at 10.30am. Mum was in the wet kitchen, Quay Po in the dry kitchen, till 7.30pm. There was a slight change on the Menu. Instead of Deep fried prawns with sesame honey roasted walnut, I cooked butter ginger garlic prawns instead. Before I went into the full swing of cooking, I managed to take some photos of the ingredients we used. 

We started the dinner with "Yee Sang" which my sister in law brought. "Low hay ar! Low hay ar!" (Everyone exclaimed). Non Chinese speaking people, don't be confused, "Low hay ar!", the "Low" here does not mean "not tall" but the whole phrase in Cantonese means "go higher". 

After that we sat down for the dinner proper and these are the dishes we dined on to welcome the new Year Of The Dragon.

Everyone were stuffed and almost every dish was finished till “Mei yan chew kang” (Beauty looking into the mirror). When a dish is being wiped clean, this is what we will say in Cantonese, literally means the plate is shining clean like a mirror. We were all so stuffed that we had to wait an hour before we can eat our double boiled birds nest dessert soup.

My Quay Lo'ss favorite dish is my Lemon Chicken. My favorite dish of the evening is stewed arrowroots with pork belly. I think Mum did not use pork belly yesterday, she used another cut. She did this specially for my Quay Lo because he does not like meat that is so fatty.


 270 gm pork
270 gm arrowroots
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 ½ cup water
½ tsp sugar

Ingredients for Marinate:

1 cube (nam yu) fermented beancurd, meshed
1 cube bullion chicken stock
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp corn starch

 Marinate pork in (A) for 10 mins.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok and stir fry arrowroots till golden brown and scoop out and set aside. Add another tbsp oil in wok and sauté garlic and nam yu till fragrant. Add marinated pork and stir fry till they are whitish in color. Add arrowroots and mix well.  Add 1 cup water and bring to boil. Add ½ tsp sugar and mix well. Add balance of ½ cup water and turn heat to medium and let simmer till gravy is thicken, arrowroots are soft and pork is cooked.

It was a simple but wonderful reunion dinner at home. The family spent a great time together.  What can be happier than spending precious time with the family?
After a good night sleep, our old bones are ready to cook up another storm in the kitchen for the first day of Chinese New Year. Stay tune! 

"GONG XI FA CAI!" once again.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Less is More

There were two special cod dishes I made in November 2010. One was Grilled cod with orange sauce created by me. It was a dish that I was very proud of, because it was featured in Group Recipes, Petite Chef and made it to the Top 9 at Foodbuzz. 

Another is Crispy Code Fish with Mango and Sweet Chilli sauce also being featured at Group Recipes and selected for the Top 9 at Foodbuzz. The recipe was adapted from Chef Sam Leong's cookbook.

I suspect that some of my new blogger friends and readers have missed these two posts. These two dishes are an easy way to impress your guests this Chinese New Year because they are visually stunning and taste luscious. I also like the idea of offering a little more healthy and delicious seafood during a time when we tend to overeat red meat, roasted fowl and other more rich and fatty proteins during Christmas. Get ready for lots of compliments, oohs and aahs when serving, to the last delicious bite.  

For a long time, I have used the photo of the Grilled Cod with orange sauce photo to be Quay Po Cooks’ blog header and I have received lots of compliments, some said the dish looked like a piece of artwork. I will gladly accept the compliment.  Come to think of it, this is a perfect dish for Chinese New Year which is just around the corner. The ingredients used were Bean sprouts shoots, (豆芽; dòu yá, literally "bean sprout/germ" 芽菜; yá cài, literally "sprout vegetable" or 银芽; yín yá, literally "silver sprouts") - 'to your heart's content', positive start into the new year, Orange (柑橘; gānjú) - wealth, good fortune, gold and Fish, the word 魚 (yú), meaning "fish", has the same pronunciation as the word 餘, which is "remain or surplus", i.e.'having surplus money' in a more modern connotation but generally; an increase in prosperity. Have I convinced you to try either of the cod dishes for Chinese New Year reunion dinner? If yes, please click on the photos to get the recipes. 

Yesterday, I made another dish with cod but this time an extremely easy-to-do dish, and not quite as fancy. The recipe calls for only a few ingredients but with a little careful attention, you can create a very impressive and tasty dish. The caramelization makes the cod looks gorgeous. It is a slightly braised cod in superior light soya sauce with honey. So simple to do right? Simple is the BEST and SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE. This phrase reminded me of someone extraordinary.

Nick Vujicic has so much less but see how his less is more? As the holiday season starts and the end of the lunar year approaches, it’s a good time to take stock of what we have and count our blessings. When I count my blessings, I count my family, my relatives and friends, my readers, my blogger friends and my pets, TWICE!

Braised Cod in superior light soy sauce
Adapted from Chef Sam Leong’s recipe

200gm Cod fish fillet

    8 tsp Light soy sauce
    8 tsp water
    4 tsp dark soy sauce
    2 tsp sugar
    2 tsp Maggie seasoning

  Egg White Garnish:
    1 tsp cooking oil
    40 ml. chicken stock
    ¼ tsp salt
    a dash of ground white pepper
    1 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 tsp water
    1 egg white

Combine marinade ingredients. Place cod into the marinade for 30 mins before transferring to baking tray. Bake cod in an preheated oven at 150C or 300F for 10 mins. Reduce to 100C or 200F and bake for another 8 mins. To prepare the egg garnish, heat oil in pan and add chicken stock, salt, ground white pepper and then thicken with corn starch mixture. Pour in egg white and stir until cooked. Serve cod with the egg white garnish.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stop touchin' my balls

I saw this picture on my Quay Lo’s Facebook wall few days ago and here is his message:
“Speaking of the year of the Dragon, it looks like the little warrior Goku san from Dragon Ball fame had better watch out this year.”
But my message to him is this when he left a batch of delicious Swedish Wedding Balls that he made, on the kitchen table:
“Better beware of our little terror, Ranger, our cat. Quay Lo San, you better watch out that if you don’t hide your balls, you will lose them!” Haiyah, this doesn’t sound like a polite sentence but do I have any other better way to say it? LOL!
Ranger will touch anything and everything and make a mess just to satisfy his curiosity. Now, I truly understand why there is this phrase, "curiosity kills the cat". He is now four months older since the day we rescued him from the drain. He is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in our home. Why do I say that?  Oh yes, it is confirmed that he has split personality. When he is Dr. Jekyll, he wants all the attention you can give him but when he is Mr. Hyde, he will bite the hand that feeds him. He can make me love him to death one minute and get furious with him the next. Go figure! You will understand why I said that after you see his photos which was taken by me and edited by my Quay Lo.

So much about our little terror, and I am sure you are now wondering what the delicious balls look like and some might be interested to make them so here is my Mother-in-law's recipe that was passed down to my Quay Lo. 
Two of my blogger friends, Small Kucing and his family and Cleffairy and her son have tasted these delicious balls. In fact, her son finished them all before his Daddy had a chance to taste one. Then later, Small Kucing told me that they tasted them and they were delicious. I guess it is worth including these balls in your Chinese New Year’s cookie list. Since these balls have so many different names, how about add one more and we call these "Dragon balls" for the Year of the Dragon? There seems to be an open license to call them whatever we wish, to join labels like:
Mexican (or “Swedish” or“Danish”) Wedding Cookies or sometimes called “cakes” as in "Russian Wedding cake")

A Note from my Quay Lo:
"My Mom called these Swedish Wedding Cookies. I think it all depends on what you heard it called first which determines how you personally label these. Many variations exist. What is  clear is that it is a wide spread, basic recipe for an unleavened sweet that keeps well, and accompanies tea and/or coffee very well."

Added post pub: Wikipedia suggests these pastries are related to recipes that appeared as early as the 17th century for a pastry called "Jumble",  and were popular for their simplicity, taste, and the ability to store them for up to a year. Originating either in Italy or the Middle East the "cake" called for almonds instead of the pecans introduced in the Northern hemisphere. Other variations called for favoring with aniseed, carraway, rosewater, and other flavoring spices offering a large potential for experimentation. The common element in most of these recipes is the ratio of  shortening to flour, the use of nuts and/or nut flours, and the omission of leavening agents. Wikipedia also notes the variety of names under which the various recipes are found, and in particular, their appearance in wedding celebrations.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for coating baked cookies
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting hands
1 cup pecans, chopped into very small pieces

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar at low speed until it is smooth. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed gradually add the flour. Mix in the pecans with a spatula. With floured hands, take out about 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a crescent or roll in a ball. Continue to dust hands with flour as you make more cookies. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle but still warm, roll in additional confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks

Saturday, January 14, 2012

When old, must have 3 "LOWs"

One of my girl friends once told me that when we grow old, we will be very blessed if we have all 3 “LOWs” (in Cantonese, "LOW" means OLD). The first “LOW” we must have is our “Low Kung” (husband). Our husband is our companion, someone we can pick on when we become old and grumpy! LOL! (Just kidding). Actually, he is our best friend, the one we trust that we can be ourselves. He is the one we can confide in and rely on to take care of us for the rest of our lives. The second “LOW” is  “Low boon” (our savings). This is necessary not for ourselves alone but for those who eventually ended up taking care of us.  Our "Low boon" help relieve them from any financial difficulty as a result of taking care of us. The third “LOW” is a VERY important because this “LOW” is one that will keep us sane and brings us lots of joy! That is “Low Pang Yau” (Old friends). One biggest fear of growing old is loneliness but if we have lots of “Low Pang Yau” then we will not feel lonely and isolated. Statistic shows that seniors who are isolated and lonely tend to have more health problems and a poorer quality of life than those who have a good social network of friends and family. I think I have that. Just recently, my friends and I celebrated New Year together at a karaoke joint which belongs to one of my girlfriend's vocal teacher. We had a great time eating till we were stuffed, yakking till our jaws dropped, laughing till our stomachs hurt, singing our hearts out and dancing like no one was watching. We had so much fun and we almost brought the roof down! LOL!

Out of 3 "LOWs", I already have two. My Quay Lo and I are still working very hard to have enough of the 3rd "LOW" so that we can both retire in the near future.

My 1st LOW, my Quay Lo "Low Kung"

Here are some of my second “LOWs”, my wonderful “LOW PANG YAU” (old friends). 
We celebrated the New Year with a BANG!

I brought with me some food to share with them and one of them is a pasta salad. The karaoke place was dark and I could not take a nice picture of the salad.  I guess I was too excited to go off to have fun and I forgot to take a photo at home too. I have made this salad before with same pasta but different other ingredients. They both tasted pretty much the same.  I will share with you the recipe of one I made earlier which I have photos. There you go.

Wheat pasta salad with herb vinaigrette dressing

Ingredients for salad:
2 cups of wheat pasta of your choice
1 can garbanzo beans
1 cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup diced cucumber without seeds removed
2 slices of bacon, fried, and broken
shave parmesan cheese
water with salt

Bring water with added sea salt to boil and cook pasta for 9 mins till al dante. Drain pasta and set aside. Add in garbanzo beans, diced cucumber and pomegranate seeds. Put in the fridge and chill for 1 hour. Pour herb vinaigrette dressing over and toss to mix well. Serve warm or cold with shave parmesan cheese.

Ingredients for herb vinaigrette dressing:
½ cup white wine vinegar
dash of salt and pepper
½ cup fresh basil
¼ cup rosemary leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a blender add white wine vinegar, dash of salt and pepper, basil and rosemary and blend for 10 to 15 seconds. Add 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil and blend for another 10 to 15 mins. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


My Quay Lo made some rum balls and had used them as Christmas gifts for our close friends. They are also one of the desserts we served during Christmas day to friends and family. Everyone love it and there was not one ball left!  Yes, they were very delicious and addictive! So, instead of spending a fortune to buy a box of “GODIVA” chocolate as a gift, how about making rum balls yourself and give them as gift to your sweetheart this comingValentine? This will be a more valuable gift because it is something you made with love and money cannot buy. Furthermore, it will only cost you a fraction of what you pay for those outrageously expensive flowers or chocolates sold during Valentine's Day. This reminds me of an incident that happened during the early part of our marriage. My Quay Lo was on a long business trip to Bangkok and in order to break the long time separation, Quay Po a.k.a. Lucy went to join him for the weekend. On the day of her arrival, Quay Lo went and bought flowers to decorate the apartment and a big box of ‘GODIVA” chocolates to welcome her. So here comes Lucy walking into the apartment and she could see flowers everywhere in the apartment and a nicely wrapped gift on the center of the coffee table. That put a big smile on her face. Quay Lo asked her to sit down and relax. He even made her a cup of her favorite English Breakfast tea before handing her the gift that was on the coffee table. He asked her to open the gift and so she did while Quay Lo eagerly waited for a response from her. Are you curious to know what is the first thing that came out of her mouth when she tore off the gift wrap and saw the box of GODIVA Chocolate? Can you guess? I don't think so. LOL! No, not “Honey, how sweet and thoughtful of you, Thank You! MUAX! MUAX!” BUT being CHINESE and being LUCY she said, “Wah!! this chocolate is VERY EXPENSIVE wan!! How much ar?” LOL!  OOOPZZZ!! She immediately noticed the “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU SAID THAT” expression on Quay Lo’s face. HAIYAH, DIE! Lucy!!!, you just gave the wrong response and said the wrong thing!!

Usually when a friend gives Lucy a gift, she will not ask for the price but among  family members, she would because when she gives gifts to her family members, the price will be the first thing they ask sometimes even before saying thanks. After Quay Lo got over the culture shock, he told her that he almost dropped dead when he was asked for the price of the chocolate instead of the normal response that he was used to. He told Lucy that it is rude to ask for the price of a gift. Westerners will never do that even with family members. (Oh I see, said the blind man). 

When Quay Po did something stupid or embarrassing, she would love to blame it on LUCY!  I hope I did not confuse you on this story. I am sure my regular readers know that Quay Po is Lucy and Lucy is Quay Po. 

I love you, LUCY, please don't cease to exist so I will always have someone to blame. LOL!
Another suggestion. Since Chinese New Year is round the corner, Rum Balls are something different to offer other than the usual traditional Chinese New Year cookies. Look, don't you think they look attractive but don't you dare ask "How much ar?" LOL!

Rum Balls
(My Quay Lo's recipe)

Start with “day old” brownies (I use the Better Crocker brownie mix to make the brownies) that have been allowed to dry. Break apart in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with rum (or bourbon or brandy may also be used) and stir until a clingy dough is formed that is not too wet. (At this point you may add into the mix optional chopped nuts that have been toasted in a frying pan or low temp oven. You could also add finely chopped preserved fruit best of which would be cranberries, cherries, blueberries, or blackberries).

Note: If day-old brownies doesn’t work for you, try this recipe:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
1/2 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers

Mix all of the above together and go to next step.
Place in fridge for at least 35 – 45 minutes. Remove and while still chilled roll spoonful’s in the palm of your hands until the size you want. Roll each ball on toppings of your choice. Chopped nuts (pistachio is excellent here) powdered sugar, decorative sugar, or dip in chocolate.

Place on a silicon padded or wax papered pan. Return to the fridge and allow the formed balls to return to a chill. Place in a covered cookie container and keep cool.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winners for White Christmas Challenge

Thank you to all participants of White Christmas Challenge and Congratulations to the 5 Winners. They are:

Jessie of Jessie Cooking-Moments
Naked Plate
The Hedonista
Bubbule in Cucina

One of the winners above is my blogger friend Jessie of Jessie-Cooking Moments who entered the competition via QPC. She won 1st place with her entry: My Magical Gingerbread Boxes! BRAVO!!

A big Thank You to my friends who participated the challenge through QPC. Thanks a million for your support. All your entries are CREATIVE AND FABULOUS!! I love them all! Each of you will still receive the ROSEVELT's Album 17:35 from me eventhough you did not win a prize from Savory Spice Shop. To me, YOU ALL ARE WINNERS IN MY HEART!!  Please email your address to quaypocooks@gmail.com so that I can mail the CD to you. 

Participants via QPC:
Jessie - My Magical Gingerbread boxes
Elisabeth - Linzer Cookies
Lena - Christmas Tree on Potato and Yeasted Apple Strudel ( Strucla Jablkami )
Shirley - Cute Egg Faces For White Christmas Recipe Challenge
Vivian Pang - Flower Steamed Buns/ Sponge Dough Method and Caramel Oatmeal Brownies
Alice - White Xmas Log Cake and Noel Nut Balls
Ann - Christmas Snowball Cookies
Bee - Christmas Matcha Cookie Tree
Ping - Blizzard Bread

If I a have missed anyone, please email me to let me know. You know how "LUCY" I am, right? LOL!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

She feels happy when she feels needed

One day, I received a phone call from my mum’s ex-customer, now a very close friend to my mum. She is also my niece's future mother in law (MIL). She said, “Please tell your mum to come help my daughter”. The confinement lady that her daughter booked has called her to say that she has to cancel her service. I was appalled at the confinement lady's unreliability. How can she leave someone  high and dry by canceling her service at the last minute? So my mum was away from home for one whole month. I was happy for my mum to help her friend because I knew when she feels she is needed, it gives her happiness. My Quay Lo once told me that a person feels happier if he or she feels needed. Here is a good story to illustrate that:

(Extracted from the book, No Excuse! , by Jay Rifenbary)
As a young girl, Mona had been left orphaned and unprotected. She moved sadly through her days. One day, on a lonely walk through a meadow, she saw a butterfly struggling to release itself from a thorn bush. Mona carefully released the butterfly from its captivity. Her freeing touch caused the butterfly to turn into a beautiful fairy.

"In return for your kindness," the good fairy said, "I will grant you any wish." Mona thought for a moment and said softly, "I want to be happy!" The fairy leaned forward, whispered into the girl’s ear, and flew off.

Mona developed into a beautiful woman and eventually grew to be old. She had left the sadness of her childhood in the field where she had met and aided the fairy. After that, Mona’s years were marked by serene happiness. As the end of her life drew near, friends and admirers came to comfort her, and to say good-bye to this remarkable woman.

Mona’s last gift to her friends was the story of her encounter with the fairy. She shared with them the words the fairy had whispered in her ear. As Mona spoke, her eyes shone with the joys of a lifetime of treasuring the fairy’s message: "Everyone, no matter how secure they seem, no matter how old or young, rich or poor, has need of you."

To continue with the story of the new mother and her new born that my mum went to help...
Would you believe that She was “the baby” that my mum took care of during her mum’s confinement 30 years ago?  Yes, that is true. Amazing isn't it!!  Well, this will not happened if her mum did not keep in touch with my mum all these years. The reason why she did was, she loves her to bits. My mum is a well loved person by her friends and family. She is always quick to offer her love and help. She is also a very thoughtful person and will never view anything as troublesome to do when she felt she is needed. Here is an example of the extra miles she would walk happily for friends and family.
A few days before she left home to go help the new mother, I saw her in the kitchen scrapping off the skin of a few kilos of young ginger. Later I heard pounding sound and she was  mincing them in a mortar and pestle. She spent almost the whole day doing that in order to make ginger sauce. After the ginger were done, she continued to sterilize the recycled glass jars to be ready to hold the sauce. At first, I thought she made this for us to eat with the steam chicken we are going to have on the coming Reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year. I was curious why she made such a big quantity this year.  I asked her and found out the sauce were not for us. She made them for her best friend and her children. She and her 6 children will get a jar of the sauce each.

Whoever had tasted my mum’s ginger sauce raved about how good it is. I asked her if she mind if I share her recipe on my blog and she gave it to me without hesitation. This sauce is so versatile and can use to compliment a lot of Chinese dishes especially steam chicken. You can also use it to fry rice and it is so healthy and flavorful. According to my mum, ginger has been used for thousands of years in chinese medicine to treat stomach disorders. It can also chase away simple cold and cough. Not only that, it also reduces toxicity in our body, which means it is anti-bacterial. It sounded like a magical ingredient to have! After she finished talking, I told her, "Mum, you are my old ginger!" That puts a big grin on her face. I can see she truly feels happy when she feels needed.

Ginger sauce

Minced ginger
Sesame oil

Scrap off ginger skin and mince them by using mortar and pestle. Heat sesame oil in wok and add minced ginger. Stir fry till fragrant and add salt to taste.

Note: With this sauce handy, you can also make ginger fried rice. Notice there is no measurement? My mum said the measurement is up to individual taste. She said your tastebuds are your measuring tools for this! What a piece of work she is. One can put more salt or oil so it is up to you. She added that the key to a good ginger sauce is not to use the electric blender to mince the ginger but the mortar and pestle.

Click on the photo to get the recipe. 
This recipe was featured at Group Recipes

We have served my mum's ginger fried rice to many friends and family members before and all of them give their two thumbs up.