My Memorable Trip Home (Cooking and Baking)

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Niece helps with whisking eggs, sugar

Young niece enjoyed whisking eggs and sugar

This is a continuation of my memorable trip home. You can read my previous one at A Memorable Trip Home (Arrival And Election).

My hubby’s side has 10 nieces and nephews, most are still small. On my side, all my nieces and nephews are quite grown up and living in another town. Before I went back, I had already planned to make cakes when I’m in Sibu. Had never done that before. These nieces and nephews often told me that they drool over the pictures on my blog…..awwwww. I just have to make for them. Can’t come back here feeling guilty.

Arriving home means everything to me! First of all, I was really happy to meet my parents and also my in-laws. I didn’t go back last year because of my leg surgery. As much as I was overjoyed to see my parents, it also breaks my heart to see that my mom’s condition got a lot worse. She is too weak to walk. My dad also looks rather frail though he can still walk, but very, very slow. I was SO touched when I heard that my dad wanted to be in Sibu when we arrived. The power of parents’ love!! Just speechless. My parents were in Sibu for less than a week and returned to my sister’s place in another town. My hubby and I travelled to see them again before we left to return to Aberdeen. That will be in another post.

It looks like it’s a real holiday back home this time. I hardly cooked. My mother-in-law did all the cooking. She has been cooking all our favourite dishes everyday, especially the vegetables. I think I only helped to fry a dish of vegetable ONCE. Not a good daughter-in-law huh…..oooops. No, I think she loves me too much….hehe. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that I was lazy. We went out too much. There were so many things to do and friends to meet up. 2+ weeks is just too short…..*big sigh*.

Delicious brownies

Delicious brownies

However, I did some baking. I baked 5 cakes altogether in my final few days at home. I made 3 chocolate brownies! They got finished real quick…..*big smiles*. Brownies is the easiest…..just melt and mix, then bake. If you have never tried making a cake, I suggest you go for this one to start. You will surprise yourself, and then profusely thank me for the suggestion…..*big grin*. When I baked it the 3rd time, I taught my 7 year old niece to make. She enjoyed it (top picture above). If you don’t know which recipe to use, you can use mine….never fail….*big smiles*.  Just don’t over bake. You can tell from the picture here it’s not overbaked. Check out my recipe at My Best Chewy Brownies For Friends.

Dr Oetker's ingredients

Dr Oetker

I actually brought back a few bars of dark chocolate for making these brownies. Finished all of them. So happy! I even brought back baking powder, baking soda and natural vanilla for the baking. Remember I received Dr Oetker baking ingredients before I went back? They came in so handy. You can check out my post on that at My Best Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Hearts.

The other 2 cakes do not require cake mixer too. My in-law’s house do not have measuring cups and measuring spoons…..hmmm. I should have brought back too…..hehe. But never mind. I just used a plastic drinking cup and the normal eating spoons which means everything is by estimation. The cakes came out successful too. There’s no big oven except a small table top oven. It works rather well to my surprise.

Delicious banana and fig cake

Delicious banana and fig cake

One of the cake is banana and date cake using oil. I just used my recipe at Healthy And Moist Oatmeal Banana Cake and modified it, using plain flour and adding chopped dates. Everyone liked it very much.

Rich and moist kaya cake

Rich and moist kaya cake

On the day before I left Sibu to come back to Aberdeen, I made a Coconut Kaya Cake. Kaya is coconut jam which is a favourite to go with toast. It’s a very popular jam in Malaysia. This recipe is a new one… experiment. It turned out very well, full of flavour. Very simple and easy recipe too. I think I’ll share the recipe in another post.

'Ham Chim Paeng'

Oh, I almost forgot. I made a deep fried snack called ‘Ham Chim Paeng’ locally. Not too sure what to call that in English. I think I’ll just call it 5-Spiced Chinese Doughnuts. It’s savoury and great with a cup of coffee. Again I’ll share the recipe in another post. Making these was labour intensive compared to making cakes. Mind you it was SO hot and humid in Malaysia. To fry these in the heat of the day is quite a torture. But my sweet mother-in-law brought a portable fan and put near me as I was frying these doughnuts! She is always very understanding and loving. How not to love a mother-in-law like her!….*big smiles*.

Talking about my mother-in-law, she wanted to learn how to make Chinese dumplings. She prepared the filling which is just chives fried with eggs. I showed her and my sister-in-law how to make the dough and how to crimp the edges. But they found it very challenging to get it right. In the end, I showed them to do the short cut way….just pull the egdes together and squeeze….done….quick and easy. Everyone liked it very much. So sorry, forgot to take pictures……hmmmm.

See, I told you blogging is fun…..all your recipes organised and in one place. Since they are your recipes, tested and tried, you’ll have no problem wherever you go. All you need is your laptop or iPad. How convenient is that! If you are still thinking of starting a blog, you really should stop thinking and thinking. It’s just wasting your time. You know you do, right? Just START! I bet you’ll never regret doing so. Again, you can thank me later for giving you a push….*big grin*.

I think I better tell you more why you should start blogging, even if you think you are not good in cooking or you are very busy. Let me try to convince you again. Your blog is owned by you….in your control. You blog at your own time, even if it means just once a month. At least you have 12 posts a year! If you are a food blogger, it means 12 recipes a year. It’s still wonderful, right?

Or maybe you are like me who owns a lot of cookbooks and feel you don’t need a blog as you can always refer to your cookbook. The problem is I don’t cook all the recipes in any one cookbook. The worst is I can’t remember which cookbook I use after a while. My cookbooks are my past time, to feast on the pictures most of the time.

One final reason. My girls know where to hunt recipes of my good food that they had enjoyed. What a huge relief as a mother!……..*big smiles*.

Right, I hope you are convinced now. Let me know if you ever start because I would love to visit your blog too. I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading yours as much as you enjoy reading mine. You’ll see lots of much bigger smiles on my face if you do so….*big grin*.

Right, I can’t tell you how happy I am these few days because the weather has been fantastic! If it stays like this everyday, I will definitely stay here in Aberdeen forever…..haha. It’s so sunny and warm instead of cold and gloomy. I just feel energised!! Time to be outdoor more often because such beautiful weather don’t last long. I do hope you have very nice weather too wherever you are.

Ok, I better stop here because I want to watch my tennis. It’s such an exciting sport. Til then, see you in my next post with more stories about my trip home.

Quote of the day……

*Work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like no one is watching.”

Randall G Leighton

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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Claire  on June 4th, 2013

Mary, four words! U r Hebat too! Hahaha. Can whisk out few cakes without measuring cups n your usual utensils. Some more ham chim piang also never escapebyour fingertips! How i wish i could taste all your cakes esp the kaya one…. Waiting to see your recipe!

somewhere in singapore  on June 4th, 2013

If i did not start blogging, i will not have know Mary… hehe…

suituapui  on June 4th, 2013

Do they make for sale? Where? Sure would want to buy and try…

Angie@Angie's Recipes  on June 4th, 2013

That banana fig cake looks splendid! Love products from Dr. Oetker.

Mich Piece of Cake  on June 5th, 2013

I am sure it must be so nice to visit your parents and in laws! And they all sure got a real treat with your baking!

TasteHongKong  on June 5th, 2013

So you have become a take-away chef, Mary : ), baking and cooking your ‘hearty gifts’.

Ann from vancouver  on June 5th, 2013

You are very convincing. I have never thought of blogging but I enjoyed reading blog like yours. Make some friends from reading blog too. Ha! Ha! The power of blogging. You are the best!

Nami | Just One Cookbook  on June 6th, 2013

I hear you. I usually go home for 2 weeks and it’s nearly impossible to do everything I want to do, including socializing with friends and family. It has never been enough. This year I’m going home for a long time… I’ll see if my parents can tolerate me (and the kids). LOL. Delicious brownies!

Mistletoe  on June 7th, 2013

Wow! Your husband has 10 nieces and nephews just on his side alone? And all young ones too? FUN! Must be lots of giggling when you guys are back. That’s so great that you’re teaching your nieces to bake at such a young age. When my kids are off school for the summer, I’d like to bake and cook with them more. K said to me the other day, “Mommy I love your cooking. You always make my favourite food. Your cooking is always yummy.” What total shock for me to hear that. You think they don’t appreciate you sometimes and then they say stuff like that out of the blue that melts your heart. Kids have great potential when they’re introduced to something the right way. Keep kindly and selfishly sharing your recipes and I wouldn’t doubt at least one of your nieces or nephews could become a famous chef one day. You’re a great inspiration, Mary!

lena  on June 7th, 2013

terror you mary! can even make ham chin paeng back home! Next time come to ipoh and bake…dun worry i have measuring spoons and cups here , you bake and i wash the plates! claire will be here to eat too! anyway, all the best to your parents .

Mary  on June 8th, 2013

@Claire - Aha… recipe is already up, all because of you. Now I’m waiting to see your baking….hehe. Otherwise you have to come again and I will make for you :D

@somewhere in singapore - You are very right to say that. I would not have known you, too. I would have 1 person less to drool over my food…..haha :D

@suituapui - Oooops…so sorry, not for sale. My in-laws don’t now how to make them yet. I hope they start to learn how to bake soon. Maybe I need to make lots of cakes each time I’m back, to inspire them to bake. So, you just got to wait :P

@Angie@Angie’s Recipes - Thanks very much, Angie! :D

@Mich Piece of Cake - Ya, but missing them now….hmmm :(
I need to do more baking the next time I go back. Need to bring back more of my gadgets :D

@TasteHongKong - Take-away chef?….haha. But ya, it was fun to watch my cakes disappear quickly :D

@Ann from vancouver - Really? Now I really hope you will start blogging :D Awwww….you are so sweet, Ann. Thanks very much for your lovely compliment….blushing here….haha

@Nami | Just One Cookbook - You are very right to say that, ‘It has never been enough.’ I think I will still say the same thing even if I go back for 1 month….haha. I think the only thing that will drive me back here is the heat and the heat rash. Wishing you a wonderful trip back. I’m sure everyone will be more than tolerate you. I’m sure they will enjoy every minute of your visit. Have fun! :D

@Mistletoe - Oh yes, it’s like battleground, playground, market place….you name it….haha. Total fun when they are around. It’s exciting to know that you are going to do some baking with your kids when school holiday comes. I’m sure you are going to have lots of fun with them, and your kids too. Send me pictures, ok? Awwww…..your girl is SO sweet! Love what she said. I also love what you said :D You are not only crazy, but a fun mom to be….haha

@lena - Haha…..baking in Ipoh? I think it would be time to enjoy your bake, Lena :D Yes, we will rock your kitchen :D Claire will say, ‘No need to cook or bake, just eat out!’…haha

Debbie  on June 20th, 2013

Hi Mary

Love reading your blog. I like to try out new recipes. Am going to try your brownie recipe soon.

Mary  on June 26th, 2013

@Debbie - Thanks for visiting and for your lovely comment! Have fun baking! :D

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