Every four years, Godma (as in the kids' Godma) hosts a Popiah Party. Why four years? Because, according to her, there is so much work involved, so much so she takes a day to shop and chop, a day to cook and host, and a day to rest. So, unless there is some luminary in town, (usually either Woman I am Scared Of, GMO Lawyer, or His Royal Highness King of the Chinese in Melbourne), we usually just have to wait patiently for that precious invite. In her heyday, perhaps we had it once in two years, but NOW, it's once in FOUR. Heck, another 8 more popiah sessions and we might be dead. Afterall, the average lifespan of the Malaysian Male is 72, by the eighth popiah session from this year, I'd be 73.
Why so rare? Afterall, people sell popiah everyday. When you are a perfectionist, a Bree Van De Kamp, popiah preparation can be exhausting. Peeling off the beansprout root, (WHO DOES THAT THESE DAYS!!!???), the chopping of the garlic to standard sizes, the grinding of chillis with a pestle and mortar, the slow deep frying of the garlic to get it just right, etc etc etc.....GOSH, if it were me, and I had to keep to those exacting standards, I won't even host it once a decade.
Once the announcement has been made, for that hallowed date, then speculation begins. Who are on the guest list? You can be pretty sure who definitely are, but there are some lacunas... so best not to ask, and be surprised on the day itself.
The condiments, deep fried garlic, the hoisin sauce, the very potent homemade chilli sauce, and the deep fried dried shrimp
And I think the turnip was manually sliced....coz apparently a grater makes it soggy. Brrrr, can you imagine slicing turnip and making sure the size is uniform? Tenderly and lovingly cooked in a superior mushroom stock, the turnip (sar kot) is good enough to be eaten on its own.
The vegetables, and the peeled bean sprouts. You will never see peeled bean sprouts when I cook!!!
The stuff for the filling; shredded free range chicken, french beans, taufu (look at how uniformly they're chopped, you'd think she used a ruler to measure each one), and omelette.
In addition, there's her trademark scallop congee, comfort food at its best. I really believe that food made out of love tastes better. (than those without).
A piled roll waiting to be rolled. Once rolled, however, I could no longer take a picture because I was too busy tucking into it.
Altogether, I had 4 popiahs. In our heydays, I think I could scarf down 5 or 6. But anyway, she had also run out of chicken. The chilli paste was ABSOLUTELY divine.
For dessert, I contributed my usual, and by the looks of it, this is my Cake Du Jour or Cake Du Month. Pear and Ginger Upside Down Pudding. With a large dollop of Bulla's 45% Milk Fat Pure Cream, it really is a slice of heaven, if I may say so myself.
So, until THIS event below, I guess we won't be having the legendary popiah party again .... unless WIASO or GMO lawyer manages to wrangle a Winter Olympics popiah party....