I really love going to my Christian Sister's house. Food is always forthcoming and the green vegetables are always served very nicely and in large portions!! For years my Ah Chia (Sister) has been tending a little plot at her backyard and her green fingers are fantastic. She is never short of vegetables. Sometimes she even has enough to salt them!!
She has been growing vegetables since she was a young girl in Sarikei. When she married her then teacher husband (salary $180) she needed to supplement their small income. Finally after a few years of rubber tapping and vegetable growing she and her husband decided to start a mee stall in Sarikei. From there they raised a family of pharmacists teachers and doctors. Now some of their grandchildren are doctors!
And if and when I drop by (without prior notice) I would always have a place at her table be it lunch or dinner. Just like in the old days whenever we walked long distances in the rubber tapping village we would be warmly welcomed by a fellow Foochow for a simple meal. Even if it was just a soup and rice. But my grandmother bless her heart would always ask my uncle to "go catch a chicken" and cook mee sua for a weary traveller!!That was Christian neighbourliness in its true sense in the past in the Rejang Basin.
Whenever I share food with Ah Chia or any other Christians we would signal to each other 5 fishes and 2 loaves to show how much we appreciate this kind of sustenance.
I feel so blessed whenever I am at this home. Look at the abundance and blessings in her backyard!
Potato leaves - excellent stir fry.
Beautiful ketola flowers - soon two of these soft and tasty gourd will be at the table.
This is a red herb which can help to reduce cholesterol. Very popular health drink.
this is Lang King Herng (nan king herng)- brought from Fuzhou. It is used to fry beehoon and it gives a purple colour to the beehoon. Very tasty. Believed to be eaten by the Foochows only. So here is an additional purple coloured vegetables to your health food list besides purple egg plant and grapes!
This used to looked down upon years ago. But now it is a restaurant dish - and given a good name - Emperor Shoots.
This is a hybrid - sweet honey pomelo tangerine (tangmelo or pomerine?)
Two egg plants here can give at least ten fruits - enough for three to four meals.
Bitter gourd - flowering.
Round gourd growing steadily.
Ping pong longan. Very very sweet and hundreds of them.
If you look at these photos you really do believe in the phrase "Your neighbour's grass is always greener." But truth be told...she has really worked on her garden to produce good harvest year after year and enough for many neighbours too. In times of economic downturn this kind of home vegetable growing can definitely help our economy to build up again.
Families must be cautious with their spending. SAving is the key to economic recovery and further take off. Since the family unit is the basic organisation of a society we must all look at strong family units to help sustain our economy. If our families are dysfunctional then our society cannot survive the great tests.