Army of siew mai …and lovely surprises for me

We had a family afternoon tea recently at my parents’ home. Jac and I contributed siew mai to the meal – we bought three or four serves from Fook Kee at Spencer Village International Food Hall (200 Spencer Road, Thornlie) and brought them along. Mum and I placed them in a dish to heat up in the rice cooker – it looked like an army of siew mai! We had gingery garlicky chilli sauce and sweet soy sauce to dip the siew mai in.

Army of siew mai

My younger sister Juji made a banana cake with a thick coating of sticky caramel icing.

Banana cake with caramel icing

The cake was still warm, moist and absolutely delicious. That icing was magnificent.

Slice of banana cake with caramel icing

Mum invited us “kids” to eat this cake – it’s one of Mum’s favourite tricks, offloading leftover food to her hungry children whenever they visit. Do any of your parents do that too? :-P

Mystery leftover cake

My eldest sister CW made this fantastic fudge, with hazelnuts in it.

Fudge with hazelnuts

The banana cake and fudge were very sweet and delicious.

Fudge with hazelnuts and banana cake

It was hard stopping at just one piece of fudge, and I didn’t! No, I didn’t eat every piece of fudge pictured here – I had three or so pieces. Jac and I took home more cake and fudge too, for later. Boy, it was goooooood. :-P

Fudge with hazelnuts/div>

The week or so before, my eldest sister CW had mysteriously told everyone there was to be a little celebration at this afternoon tea. So what was the celebration for?

It was for ME!

My family surprised me with congratulations on the completion of my PhD! :-D They presented me with a gift – a LAMY pen and mechanical pencil set and a Rhodia notepad with a leather cover, and a second notepad. It was very sweet of them all. To be honest, I’ve been completely underwhelmed by the completion of my PhD. My family and friends have all been really excited and thrilled about it, which is nice.

I didn’t take photos of my presents, but the LAMY site has pictures of the pen and mechanical pencil: the LAMY AL-star graphit mechanical pencil and matching LAMY AL-star graphit Ballpoint pen (mine came presented in a gift box), and this is the Rhodia notepad with a leather cover. I’ve been using the pencil to doodle cartoons and the notepad is lovely to write in. I think I kind of feel like I’m spoiling the notepad with my messy scribbles!

I guess the celebration was a great excuse to eat lots of pork dumplings, cake and fudge! :)

My younger sister Juji had a surprise gift for me too, bought on her recent trip to Melbourne – here it is, my newest two-tiered bento box!

My newest bento box

I love it! It has cats on it! Picking apples! Cute! I have used for bento lunch – there will be a post coming up soon featuring my “applecats” bento box (thanks, jetgirlart! LOL).

My newest bento box

The moist, meaty, juicy siew mai was also enjoyed by all…

Army of siew mai close-up

…but mostly, I think, by my little niece Ruby! She just sat there and mowed through the siew mai, eating about eight of them. She would’ve eaten more if there were any left! We’re all good eaters in the family, so we look on this with pride! :) Ruby loves eating most things – meat, fruit, vegetables… but I think like the rest of us, meaty savoury items are her favourite.

Ruby loves siew mai - nom nom nom

As she ate, she kept stopping and looking at the dish of siew mai, as if checking to make sure there would be still more left for her to eat. She didn’t look happy that her mum and dad, grandmother and aunties kept eating that army of siew mai. :) Oh well Ruby, like the rest of us happy gluttons in the family, you’ll just have to learn to share! Haha.

Ruby loves siew mai - nom nom nom

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