Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Makan Makan (Eat Eat) Culture

Flower arrangement, gift from Auntie Rose and Uncle Theng

We sometimes take it for granted, but food actually plays a major role in our lives. I'm not talking about eat-to-live. We know that one already. Today we should have already evolved out of that primal stage. Food is no longer just for survival purposes. In many communities, food has become a culture, something that binds people together & enriching their lives in the process.

In many cultures, when people meet up, it is usually over a meal, either eat in or eat out. It is almost like we need excuses to see our friends and family. Instead of "I want to see you", we would say "Come over and eat". Besides that, the Chinese especially, dont like to see their guests just sitting there talking. We prefer them eating. And if they are not eating, we shove the food onto their plates. And if they are still not eating, we would tell them to eat. Good polite guests will oblige and kindly praise you for all the efforts you have put in, even if it is the worst food they have ever tasted.

So naturally when Greg's Auntie Rose & Uncle Theng came from Canada, we invited them over for dinner. And yes, it revolved around food. And the menu was Vietnamese dishes. The reason why I did Vietnamese was because it has more fresh ingredients and vegetables, and of course, not as oily as the Chinese way of cooking.

There was The Beef Pho ~ National anthem of Vietnamese Cuisine. Thin Rice Noodles in Beef broth served with an array of fresh vegies like basils from the garden, lemon wedges, bean sprouts, chillis. It is a tasty yet clear dish, which was good for the travellers who had just gotten back from the land of the White people. My Mum-in-law actually thought I made the Rice Noodles (That will probably be one of the things that i would never be bothered with heheh).

Then there was Vietnamese Spring Rolls ~ Pork and Carrots wrapped in Rice Paper, deep fried to crispy and served wrapped in fresh Lettuce, dipped in Fish Sauce Dip.

Finally there was the Banh Mi ~ Vietnamese Baguettes with Homemade Pate, Roast Pork and pickled vegies. One thing good about homemade is that baguettes were served straight out of the oven and all the meat and vegies were prepared fresh.

The guests were happy as it was not so heavy a meal and most importantly not so oily. Very important point when your guests are over 50s. We were of course very happy to have them gracing our home together with Uncle Francis (SayKoo) and Auntie Francesca (SayKim), Uncle John (2Koo) and my MIL and FIL. Especially, Auntie Francesca who is an avid Vietnamese food fan. So I happily had my all these extra 'guinea pigs'.


Anonymous said...

Hilo Greg n Nee!
Saw your write up on "eat eat " culture. As one of your "guinea pigs", how could I pass this up without commenting!!

Firstly, I love Vietnamese food, coz they are generally simple, sometimes with raw ingredients and LOTS of veggies!, something which a doctor would always recommend!

Secondly dishes off Nee's kitchen cannot be boring!
Good presentation, good taste and after taste too!

Best of all it was a good atmosphere and lots of reminiscing especially with Rose and Theng from Canada.

Finally may I say we are indeed proud to have a nephew and wife that enjoy culinery art!

Keep it up!

God Bless u2

Francis n Francesca,

Brede said...

i want! i want! i want! Nee, i volunteer to be guinea piggy anytime!

Greg Wee said...

SayKoo: Hi, thanks for dropping in to comment. Will definetely keep it up. sure there will be many trying out sessions. Prob get 2Yi and ah tion to come over for light tea before they go back.

Brede: Hi hi..thanks for being so brave! heay when you going for the peking duck buzz me ya. want to try the mango pudding. i NEED to remember the texture. been trying to do it. taste there but texture i dont remember.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

tt is a feast, n a very yummy one i bet. i'm thinking of visiting u...very soon

Greg Wee said...

NEE: Haha..please do come. you know ck, wombok and us...all the makan makan kaki. eat in eat out..your call.

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