Monday, January 03, 2011

What 2011 Holds For The Soup Queen

Happy New Year to you!

Can you believe it? It's a new decade.

I woke up this morning feeling like I've been transported to a new era. Of course it rained very heavily this morning and what struck me was this thought: I am very glad I am not in school anymore.

I met a friend who had gone to his daughter's school during her recess to see if she's OK. I remembered how my nephew had the first day of school jitters last year this time. He's all right now but in the early days, he used to search for my mom (his Por-Por/ Grandma) to help him make sense of the Mandarin the teacher was using!

This year I hope to blog more at SoupQueen.

Last year took me away from my soup-making activities. Business has been good and I've been travelling too. And what with staffing and marketing and client servicing, it really left me very little time for experimenting in the kitchen.

SoupQueen will have a little diversion once in a while - for instance, dishes and such because I realized how important it is for me to remember my heritage. A lot features food (not just soups though they are still my favourites) and one way to preserve culture is through food.

So expect a few more recipes which I culled from my mom and my grandma. My grandma is too old to cook now (she's in her mid-80s) but when she cooked in her younger days, her dishes were typically Xining - which I characterise as salty but thoroughly flavourful! A lot of Xining dishes I had as a child involved a lot of salted fish, salted eggs, fermented black beans and pork!

My mom, who is not Xining, but typically Cantonese, still cooks but she cannot replicate my paternal grandma's Xining dishes. Dishes like salted chicken, braised terubuk fish with black beans, stuffed flower crabs with pork and more are very much my grandma's signature. I'm not the only one who misses these dishes - my uncles and aunts too.

So this year, I aim to diversify into these dishes once in a while. I also intend to feature some Malaysian herbs and plants which I am growing in my little garden. I've become quite the herb gardener because there isn't anything that compares to using fresh herbs plucked from one's garden. That's as organic as it can get.

As I'm doing composting daily now, I have rich, fertile soil for plants. This helps plants and herbs bloom well. The leaves are gigantic, growing up to 5 times their regular size. The plants are taller and stronger too. Just goes to show why we should really look deeper into organic compost and its uses for the home garden. I don't want to rename my blog - I thought about it though.

The SoupQueen will still feature Chinese soups and desserts, but it will also feature Malaysian herbs and some of my Xining food fetish. Sometimes I will also feature interesting blogs which I read. Or books which I stumble upon.

Thank you for your support of this little blog over the years. It awes me to think that people actually like the recipes I feature.

Thank you for honouring this little blog of mine.
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