Apologies for the delay in my post but even after nearly two weeks of being back, I’m still plagued with homesickness. Admittedly it’s not as severe as the initial few days but remnants of it remains. I’m sure many of you who have been away and had a fabulous time can totally identify with the horrible feeling of coming back to England. For me though, leaving Malaysia was leaving my actual home which meant saying goodbye to my family which added more salt to the wound.
Amidst these ‘blue’ feelings the one thing that has softened the blow is reuniting with my daughter Sasha and my son Ethan. Ethan was fortunate enough to spend two weeks with us and then returned for school but poor Sasha was by her lonesome all through Christmas and New Year. After a gruelling long flight she was definitely a sight for sore eyes at the arrival lounge and the beaming smile on her face perked me up instantly.
The following days were spent moping around in my dressing gown and feeling sorry for myself until I realised that Chinese New Year was round the corner. I decided that I was going to combat this gloominess by heading for my kitchen and cooking up a feast!
Suddenly I felt invigorated as I planned a menu and sourced ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t skipping around the kitchen like a giselle but having something to focus on gave me the much needed get up and go.
Deciding that I would take inspiration from some of the dishes I had on my trip, sadness was quickly replaced with excitement.
One of the best Chinese meals I had was in a restaurant called Loon Sing which wasn’t your run of the mill Chinese and a far cry from takeaways here. The most memorable dish there was drunken prawns and so I echoed that by making drunken chicken. The rich aroma of Shaohsing rice wine and the warmth of ginger and garlic made it the perfect winter warmer. To the left are some pictures of the food that inspired me!
My creative juices flowed from this point onwards and lo and behold my dining table boasted said chicken , tamarind and chili crab, braised pork in whole spices, green beans with shrimp paste and fluffy white rice. I know comfort eating shouldn’t be advocated but on this occasion it was just what the doctor ordered. As my family indulged in this feast (pictured right) and the conversation and laughter flowed I realised that sometimes in life we have to appreciate what’s right in front of us. Watching Ethan gnaw at a chicken thigh, Sasha smacking her lips after a mouthful of succulent pork, and hubby wrestling with the crab shells, I am grateful to god for my precious little unit here. Yes I’m still pining slightly for my family back home but I think I’m gonna be ok.
Look out for my next blog where I’m going to chat about yes you guessed it, more food from my trip!
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