Family afternoon tea
We had a family afternoon tea at my eldest sister CW and her hubby M’s home recently. As usual, everyone brought something for afternoon tea and the result was a feast of savoury and sweet delights!
Jac made pork meatballs and mini scotch eggs. A scotch egg is usually a hard-boiled egg enclosed in sausage mince, covered in breadcrumbs then deep-fried. To make mini ones, Jac used quail eggs instead of chicken eggs. She used seasoned pork mince instead of sausage mince. I must confess I didn’t help at all in the meatballs and scotch egg preparation (I asked Jac if she’d like any help and she declined)! But I did assemble the platter and two sauces: tomato sauce and a Vietnamese-style vinegar dipping sauce.
Jac’s finally discovered the fun and convenience of finding recipes on the Internet! She found the Vietnamese dipping sauce at myrecipes.com.
Mum made a big batch of her famous pork wantan. Her greedy grown-up children noted with glee that there were TWO layers of wantan in the big plastic container. It didn’t take long for us to eat our way through to the second layer, enjoying the wantan dipped in chilli sauce and tomato sauce.
There was a plate of smoked salmon which disappeared rather quickly, even without my help (I don’t like smoked salmon).
CW and M had bought a gorgeous strawberry cheesecake from Fiorentina Patisserie. I have more of a savoury tooth than a sweet tooth, but I couldn’t help gazing longingly that shiny red strawberry glaze and imagining how sticky it would feel and how sweet it would taste. I was sitting directly in front of the cheesecake and let me tell you, it smelled heavenly!
That cheesecake was amazing. It was the continental kind you have to keep refrigerated, and ohhhh, its cold, smooth texture reminded me of ice cream. It was like a creamy, luscious cheesecake ice cream with a sweet syrupy strawberry glaze, like strawberry ripple ice cream with all the ripple in a glistening layer on top of the ice cream. I love my mum’s baked cheesecakes, but this ice cream-like cheesecake was pure pleasure to slice, to sink my fork into and then bite. If only many more foods were like ice cream.
My younger sister Juji made butterfly cakes. She told us the cakes were filled with whipped cream and jam – some of the cakes were filled with St Dalfour four fruits jam and some were filled with Podravka rosehip jam. She used Nigella Lawson’s cupcakes recipe.
Juji says butterfly cakes remind her of primary school. My primary school days, sadly, were somewhat butterfly cake-deprived – though thanks to Juji, I have been making up for lost time. But you know what cake reminds me of my primary school days? Lamingtons! We had a lot of fundraisers at primary school * involving sale of lamingtons – we called them “lamington drives”. I remember how excited I would be on the day the lamingtons arrived and were distributed in white cardboard boxes each holding a dozen lamingtons. I remember looking at another girl enviously when she picked up her order of six boxes of lamingtons – SIX boxes!
I loved those cuboid fundraiser lamingtons. Sometimes there would be sausage rolls for sale too, as well as lamingtons – and of course, being a savoury tooth, I loved the fundraiser sausage rolls even more than the lamingtons! But oh, the coconut and chocolate covered soft sponge cake… just writing about lamingtons now is making me crave them – I haven’t eaten a lamington in ages. Do any of you guys associate a particular cake with your primary school days?
I love cupcakes, but there’s something extra fun about eating butterfly cakes. It’s the fluffy whipped cream, it’s the jam centre, it’s those little butterfly wings!
The butterfly cake I picked had four fruits jam in it! I love food items with surprise centres! Like Cadbury Creme Eggs and filled doughnuts and party pies and scotch eggs!
My niece Ruby had a great time! She started on meatballs and wantan, then moved onto cake and one of the shiny plump strawberries. And then back to meatballs. Then more cake. I’m pretty sure my afternoon tea followed a similar itinerary.
Ruby’s little sister Zoe loved her grandma’s wantan and couldn’t get enough! We were very impressed when she tried a piece of smoked salmon…and then asked for more! I can’t wait till Zoe tries sashimi – I reckon she’ll love it!
* Until I turned 10 years old, my primary school days were in Malaysia. My family migrated to Australia in the year I turned 11, so my primary school days from age 11-12 were in Australia. The lamingtons are from my Australian primary school days. I wrote about my doughnut memories from my Malaysian primary school days in the previous post, Portraits of donuts.
I’ve been sick the past few days…
I’ve been sick the past few days. I missed work on Thursday and Friday and have spent most of the weekend resting. Despite my best efforts to avoid it, I fell victim to the latest dreaded lurgy that’s been doing the rounds: fever, sore throat, snotty nose, headache, blocked ears. All the coughing hurt my head and my tummy. Jac took good care of me. She cooked me Chinese-style chicken noodle soup with fresh greens and bean sprouts, pork rice porridge, and hard-boiled eggs with soldiers. She even got me McDonald’s on Wednesday night when I said it would make me feel better (and it did, briefly! I always crave junk food when feeling unwell. :P).
I’m not back to 100% but a feeling lot better. I get really cross when I get sick – I’m not a patient, I’m an impatient – I’m cranky, frustrated and furious, I’m anxious to get well because I have too many things to do! That probably doesn’t help in the recovery, but there you go. Thankfully I’m fortunate enough to be in pretty good health and don’t get sick very often.
Anyway, as a result of being out of action the last few days, I’m running behind on blogging, emails and comment replies and am doing my best to catch up.