Sunday, August 5, 2007

Of Aunts and Cakes

One is seldom moved by a blog post, much less a food blog. But today I read a post that moved me almost to tears and made me think of my aunts and of home.

The blog name is Tea and Cookies and a more appropriate name for a cosy heart and tummy warming blog, I couldn't think of. One post in particular, " In Rome, with Aunt Angela" really warmed me to the tips of my toes.

Here's an extract:

"But still, as I bake my walnut cake I think of her. In my secret dream life I get to live in Rome (and why not?). I wake up in the morning to a brilliant blue sky and make my cake, mixing the egg whites, the sugar, the nuts. And when it is finished and cooled I wrap it up and take it down the street to where Aunt Angela lives, still hale and hearty. We sit and have tea and eat our cake, talking and chattering away (in my dream life I speak beautiful Italian). And when I say something particularly funny (I am very funny in Italian), she lays her worn hand on top of mine and smiles at me."

One of my aunts threw a small dinner party for me before I left Singapore, needless to say, all my other aunts showed up with more food and dessert in tow than I could possibly finish in a week of dinner parties. (Isn't that just what aunts always do?)We sat in her tiny condo speaking a polyglot mix of Teochew dialect, Bahasa Indonesian and Mandarin Chinese and happily digging into all that glorious food. One aunt who happened to have a prior dinner appointment that night, came before her other appointment, ostensibly just to sit and chat and wound up eating a full dinner anyway. I don't recall all the things that were eaten that night, apart from an amazingly simple and delicious fried chicken dish, but I think I'll always remember that evening and how wonderful just being with family can be.

I've included my 6th aunt's fried chicken recipe below and its simplicity still astounds me even as I'm reviewing it.

My aunt's ridiculously simple fried chicken recipe

I kilogram of chicken wings
1/2 a tablespoon of salt
2-3 tablespoons of ground ginger powder

1)Marinade the chicken with the salt and ginger powder for at least 3 hours (overnight marinading yields the best results). Be careful with the salt because for some reason, with this dish, the salt goes a long way as the fluid from the chicken is released in cooking.

2)Heat oil in a wok over medium heat until oil is hot. This is a deep fried dish, so be sure to use plenty of oil, enough to cover most of each chicken wing.

3)Fry the chicken in batches till cooked through.

Alternatively, the marinaded chicken can always be roasted if deep frying is considered too unhealthy or too much of a hassle. The result is also good, yielding a crunchy,tasty chicken wing as well, but will be understandably less oily.


Tea said...

I'm so pleased you enjoyed that post! I find yours quite moving as well. I'm now in the position of getting to be an aunt myself, to two very young nieces, and you made me think about the important role I get to play for them. Thanks for that--and I may have to try this delicious sounding recipe. I will think of you and your aunts!

Cheng said...

tried recipe. nice!