Friday, June 20, 2008

Popiah 2008

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.

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The condiments, deep fried garlic, the hoisin sauce, the very potent homemade chilli sauce, and the deep fried dried shrimp
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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.

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The vegetables, and the peeled bean sprouts. You will never see peeled bean sprouts when I cook!!!

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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....


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

need to sort out ur white balance la..

aiyoh..dis is as exclusive as world cup eh?? if i were u..i would eat 4 n take away 4..if not enough..need to make sure u buy enuf ingredients for godma..

Kenny Mah // Life for Beginners said...

Eh, Joe... good idea except take away popiah not that nice di... soggy what. Gotta have it fresh!

This popiah party reminds me of the crêpe party we used to have in Munich, cooked by a French girl and all us guests just brought our own condiments... Amaretto and sugar, fruit preserves or my favourite: NUTELLA!

A popiah party sounds like a darn good idea leh... ;)

Nic (KHKL) said...

averages are not accurate lah. and seldom do we hear men die in their 70's. it's either in their 60's, 80's or the impossible 100's. hehehehe....

chicken instead of prawns, that's so ipoh hor fun, hor? glorious!

i HATE canon! i HATE canon! i HATE canon! oh, them grapes so sour dei.

snowdrop said...

my mum silces turnips by hand too! and guess who had to de-tail the bean sprouts?? grrr...

Flower said...

Hi fatboy, apa kabar?

I've watched once in one of the Aussie programme, some Singaporean ladies have some popiah party. Could be your saudara ke? Didnt know its too time consuming to make popiah. All I know is makan saja.

boo_licious said...

Kow tow to the great lady - your kids' Godma! She's amazing as popiah parties are so hard to make. At least, your parties are held every 4 yrs. We had a long break between the one we had before ( I think at least 6 years?) I wonder if we can wangle Auntie Daisy to have another one soon????

Jaded said...

I think the last time we had home made popiah was a decade ago!! Anyway, fresh popiah skin darn hard to come by. Where to buy ah?

btw, saw your blog on Oriental Spoonn featured in Sunday Star Metro today... Grats! :)

Henry Yeo said...

very very homely.

fatboybakes said...

henry, yup, couldnt be more so.

jaded, the article in sunday star, omitted important facts like, 1. lemongrass's lack of social life, 2. the restaurant name, 3. my blog address....i didnt know they were publishing it either. but well, free publicity la.

boolicious, really ah? i think its hard for the perfectionist la. otherwise, most of the stuff can be done using a magimix...

flower, lama tak jumpa. hilang ke mana? no la, def not my saudara on tv.

fatboybakes said...

snowie, errr, who had to circumcise the sprouts?

nic, really? these days they seem to be dying in their 30s too!!! hmm, [perusing the obituaries to see if your theory is correct]. why you hate canon? pix still suck, havent gotten the hang of all this complicated white balance, black balance, bank balance...

kenny mah, ooh, we should have a crepe party hor...

nipples, yalar, its hard work, all this manual camera photo the time i get my focus the food's gone.

The Cooking Ninja said...

Every time I go back home, I always ask my mom to have a popiah session. :) Now you had me craving for it. Unfortunately for me, they don't sell turnip here. I have to find an alternative to that. :(

Simon Seow said...

wah see the ingredients, I can imagine why once every 4 years.