Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rattan Food Cover for the Table

This is a photo by Stephenlnc. Another family treasure.

When we were young,we used to lift the food cover up, just to have a peep at what mother had cooked for us. And hungry like wolves, we could not really wait for everyone to be gathered together for lunch or dinner.

The food cover was always a good item to have to keep away flies. But I lovingly remember that it was also a cover to keep our dishes from the prying eyes of neighbours. We would also have a good laugh when a nosey neighbour (Ah Moo) came around and wished to have a peep. And my mother would humbly say that we did not have much on the table. But she could have a slice or two of the chicken and a little bit of rice.

Our Ah Moo was quite poor as she did not have very skilled sons to bring back a good income and her husband died when he was very young. So she and her two sons and the daughters in law and grandchildren squeezed into a three room flat opposite our house in Kung Ping Road.Life was quite a struggle for all of them. She told us quite often that they could not pay their rent. But she was a very good listener in spite of her lack of education. And I am glad that her daughter in law (the first Iban Chinese I ever met) has become a really good grandmother and a very resourceful and enterprising lady. The old lady has long been gone, but her grandchildren are indeed doing well.

She was also the lady who got all our ears pierced. And according to her, we would not turn into pigs when we die. Well, that was the folk lore told by her.

I am glad that my mother not only opened her doors to the old lady, but removed the food cover for the kindly soul to share some of our food.

I still have such a food cover although it is more practical and "fashionable" to use the cellophane wrap which is so easily available these days.

My children also think that something is missing from one's kitchen if we do not have such a rattan food cover.

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