'Hoi Lin' meal at my Mom's place.
At my Mom's place on the 2nd day of CNY, this year, my brother-in-law and sister were contributing their part by cooking for the Hoi Lin meal. Mom could actually sit back for a while and enjoy the food.
The must-have seasoning that must go with each dish. Made of ginger, parsley and spring onion, this is passed on from Ipoh, courtesy of my brother-in-law.
At my youngest sister, as usual, she prepared a spaghetti meal for us. There were also nasi lemak bungkus from a famous stall in PJ. Whatever it was, we were well-fed, not only with the meal but also with the wide array of CNY titbits. I think no one can beat her in terms of the variety of titbits she can offer. Ranging from the normal CNY cookies and crunchy chips, to chocolates, candies, cuttlefish, dried pork, Milo agar-agar (jelly), ice-cream and even wet pickled papaya and not forgetting the dried pickled and sour stuff.
Lastly, at my house, being a novice in terms of cooking, I wasn't able to cook 'a feast' for them. Instead, my sisters kindly volunteered to cook. Thankfully, I had earlier stored some pork cutlet for the CNY season. They made pork-chops in soy sauce, to the liking of the kids and fried rice. My sister faced no competition this time and cooked stress-free for all of us, individually. She actually cooked for 10 of us individually as she explained that it would not taste as good if it's cooked together for 10 of us.
Next year, I would be ready to cook for my big family during festive celebrations. I may not be able to cook up chef-standard food but I think it's not so much the quality or type of food which matters. What matters is the togetherness as the entire family relishes the warm home-cooked meals whilst reminiscing the past as well as sharing 'secrets' and 'tips' to certain family successes. Gossips are not to be forgotten but they are the least malicious as 'words speak louder than actions' applies here, in this aspect.
Forget about expensive food at posh restaurants if you are cracking your head about where to eat. Home is still the best place to bring the family together. Just roll up your sleeve, be prepared to sweat and get dirty and greasy too.