recently got back from a trip to nz to see all my rellies. it was so lovely to be back in the familial bosom. pity the weather was so gruesome. never mind. had yummy eats at my nana's house to console ourselves. even just the smell of my nana's house made me think of my childhood. it has remained the same all these years, and i don't think it will ever change. that's a good thing.
the first night we were there we had, among other things, watercress soup with rice. mmmm. this soup always makes me think of my nana, eating at her table overlooking what used to be farmland, but is now houses. watercress soup doesn't have a strong flavour, but it is mild and very warming. my nana says that it warms the blood, so is good when you have a cold or are feeling the onset of one.
while i was there i also ate mountains of my other childhood fave, steamed red bean paste buns. yum! but i only really like the bun bit, with just a smear of the bean paste (too sweet) to each mouthful. so i would scoop out the paste and give it to my mum, who loves it. when there weren't any red bean buns i settled for char siew buns (bbq pork).
an auntie supplies nana with home-made fresh dim sum so they went into the steamer as well. totally delicious and translucently slippery, dipped in dark soy sauce. reminder to self: must improve chopstick technique!
towards the end of our stay we were all feeling the effects of the awful cold weather and biting wind, so nana made a big pot of jook (rice porridge, or congee). there can't be anything more comforting than being blown inside by galeforce winds and sitting down to a few bowlfuls of jook with assorted condiments and additions. we ate ours with chicken, dried fish powdery stuff (i don't know what it is called), fresh coriander, soy sauce, and thousand year old eggs (a really gross greyish blue colour, but supposedly excellent for the digestion. stinky, too). lola esp. loved it, she had bowlful after bowlful.