have you ever had this nagging feeling of what to cook whenever a festive season is around the corner? what mood do i want to create? i want it to be different but not too overwhelming for my guests....who am i inviting? what is the occasion? are they adults or children? big eaters or mousy eaters? well there is room for everyone... read on.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Rainy Days

I love rainy days, especially right before a thunder storm when the sky is dark and gloomy, cold wind howling, pushing itself through the side of my balcony door, trees waving crazily to and fro, oh yes...the smell of refreshing rain going through my nostrils. Hmm ... just can't describe that uplifting feeling when you have a pot of piping hot porridge waiting to be served. I can't think of a better time for this wonderful meal. Can you?
Porridge, just a simple man's food, then again made complicated by women! This meal is eaten all over the world and is given many different names. In England, porridge is actually oatmeal and is eaten for breakfast whereas is the East it is rice boiled in lots of water till each grain of rice opens up and becomes mushy and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is also a toddler's weaning food, cos it is easily digestable and can be flavoured with seafood, meats or vegetables. My regular doses of porridge is plain, simple and refreshing.
1 cup of rice (washed, drained and seasoned with sea salt and olive oil)
Bring rice to boil in a slow cooker for 4 hours to get that fine texture. I use the slow cooker cos it does not burn and the water does not evaporate. Garnish with chopped spring onions, coriander leaves and garlic oil.
Accompaniments
200 gms cleaned anchovies (ikan bilis)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Heat olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Throw in the anchovies and stir carefully to avoid burning. When the anchovies start to turn light brown add in sugar and take it away from the fire. Ready to serve. This is one of my many favourites cos it's deliciously crunchy, crispy, sweet and salty at the same time!
3 salted duck eggs
Scrap away the black earth on the eggs and bring eggs to boil in a saucepan for 30 minutes, then cover. Cut the eggs in halves and serve.
1 can of sardines in tomato sauce
1 big onion (quartered)
tomato sauce
chilli sauce (optional)
Heat up the sardines in a pan and toss in the onions and sauces. There you have it.
Salted fish (tan lau is the preferred one - see right)
Cut the salted fish into small pieces and fry them in olive oil till crispy. Easy as that! (some like it with fresh lime juice and fresh cut onion wedges)
Braised peanuts (can)
Pickled chinese cabbage (bottle)

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I'm Audrey from Somewhere in my kitchen, Malaysia.

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