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  • Writer's pictureKay Redrup


An afternoon feast was prepared. Steamboat with so many items to go into a gorgeously rich stock. I love that this Malay family was bringing in the Chinese New Year. This is what made and continues to make Singapore and her surrounds special. We celebrate it all regardless of origin.

To name the few items I remember that went into the stock: several types of mushroom, leeks, garlic shoots, lotus root, spinach, watercress, tofu, chicken, squid, fish, prawn, fishballs, quails eggs, red beans. But we begun with traditional lo hei or yee sang.

Dessert was refreshing longan, rambutans, jelly and almond jelly together with two different but same same pineapple tarts. A very much Singapore thing.

An hour before sunset we embarked upon a walk near the house that was once the old railroad track, now turned into a 'green area', with wild chickens, a few monkeys (I'm told) and a place for not only walkers but runners and pedal bikers. Singapore is working hard to bring in the green spaces. We walked along a path that the train once chugged from Singapore, all the way to Thailand. In 1981 I took it from KL in Malaysia to Singapore and must have travelled on the path I now walked.

Not quite ripe papayas. If ever you think of growing these, do. They are like weeds and sprout fast and produce fruit within a few months (6 at optimal conditions). Of course they like their world frost free (a bit like me).

People had decorated their houses for Chinese New Year and even one had gone so far as to instruct their maid (or gardener) to adorn their tree.

the old railway track that is now an asphalt lane.

When it starts to rain, cut down one of these leaves and use them as umbrellas. they keep the rain off perfectly and are large enough.

We came across the three star gods. Shu the god of longevity.

Fu - the god of good fortune.

Lu - the god of prosperity.

Like most Chinese feasts we were peckish by 9 and went in search of something to eat in nearby Holland Village. We picked Korean. The honey melon tea with jelly bubbles was really very good.

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