Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Dinner - Family Smorgasbord

Our Christmas Eve Dinner was a very collaborative effort with three children (another one being too far away in California )who came home for Christma. Between them they had the convection oven and the two gas stoves going at the same time. Furthermore they also had the charcoal fire outside for our very own local style of barbequed pork. In this way they had four nice dishes cooking simultaneously with three "cooks" in attendance.

For the last two and half years since my retirement I have been working for a corporation that is not Christian in faith so all the Christian employees do not get a half day off as its traditions only see half day off for Hari Raya Aidil Fitri Chinese New Year and Gawai for the respective races. Thus I was saved by my children who can cook. With the children at home I could work right until five and come home to a family cooked Christmas smorgasbord - I arrived with just the hotel mun mien and cheese cake.

At this point of time I am glad I taught my children to cook at a very young age - son was able to fry a decent egg by nine. My daughters were my kitchen helpers from a very tender age since we had many relatives who came visiting.

My second daughter picked a ratatouille recipe from to try out - with great success. But unfortunately my camera did not do the dish justice as the flash failed without my noticing it. So I am using a picture sourced from the recipe page we used. It is indeed an excellent recipe and I will try cooking it again and more photos later.

This was our leg of lamb well seasoned with just olive oil and pepper and salt the meat came off gently from the bone and was really tender on the tongue. The lamb in the picture was ready for carving.

The ketupat was a joint venture with an in-law who chose to make it at her home and she delivered them just before our dinner. She paid for leaves and I paid for the rice. She did all the cooking herself. She gave me 15 ketupat and 20 kelupis )glutinous rice wrapped in daun long for RM20. That is quite a good deal. Lemang is more pricey at RM10 per bamboo in the market.

This was our medium rare beef sliced and plated with some garnishing. Turned out well and just right and there was nothing left towards the middle of the dinner!! It was so succulent (having been soaked in wine before cooking )that the diners asked for more soon at another cook out!!

Huge tuna steaks fresh from the Jerudong Fish Market (Brunei) which has the freshest fish on the west coast of Borneo!! Cooked over a charcoal fire for only ten minutes each side the tuna was superbly tasty and tender.

Slices of belly pork cooked over charcoal fire in the open. Marinated in sugared oyster sauce and sea salt. The slightly burnt skin gave the atmosphere a very outdoor feel.

Oven baked potatoes with thyme by my son - finished on the first round!!

The creme De la creme : our goose from a fine food store KL cooked in our own convection oven.

Cheese cake with chocolate and vanilla icecream to end the dinner.

Through my a little too tired eyes and shaky hands after all the washing of dishes I managed to take this photo after the dinner of my this year's red blue and white themed Christmas tree. I need to ask my Sibu photographer friends for more advice on taking a photo of a Christmas tree that flashes two sets of fairy lights at two different timing.

The evening ended with coffee and lots of Christmas music filling the cold air around midnight.

It was a fabulous dinner for nine people but as usual we had cooked more than enough food for twenty people as we often would never know who might just drop by and so with so much left overs we look forward to a bountiful new year 2009......and I hope the glad tidings of the Christmas message will ring true for all friends and relatives.

9 memories:

Robert Rizal Abdullah said...

Hi Chang Yi,

Wow! Superb food!

sarawakiana said...

Are there many Christians in Taiping?

We do dinners like this rarely. I need three assistant chefs...but it is always fun to cook for a lot of people.

A feast is meant for many good friends and relatives.


Greenspot said...


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Lots of cheers!!

Robert Rizal Abdullah said...

Yes. There are more than 5 churches in Taiping. There are also a number of missionary schools - Treachers, Methodist....

william wang said...

You must be really tired, cos your X'mas tree photo was taken with shakey hands. I believe you are still using 35mm film camera? why not give digital a try, it can turn out to be quite a professional shot without you knowing it. Besides, it helps in loading onto your blog.

sarawakiana said...

Greenspot - Belated Merry Christmas...and in just a few days..
Happy New Year....May your world be always green and full of luxuriance.....

W. Wang - thanks for visiting my blog...will try to improve my photography. Happy New Year.

sarawakiana said...


Thanks for the info....I have been to Taiping only once but only remember its beautiful scenery and unique history. Cannot remember much of the modern fixtures....

Do also do a bloglet about the place and show us pictures of beautiful people and food too apart from brave soldiers.

linda said...

Looks like I missed yet another christmas at home mama.

Love Linda

sarawakiana said...


I hope you had some good time too...and have a good rest before the new year begins. We miss you both too. We were thinking of you both...and we stocked up tempuyak too.

A belated merry Christmas and happy new year.

love mama


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