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Monday, December 27, 2004

The non-halal post

This was a weekend of good food. Having a hearty steak 2 days in a row was really something. Steak and coronas, they seem to be a pretty good combination. Anyway I also embarked on another cookout, and this time I was experimenting with the more basic elements of Italian food. Pasta, fresh herbs and olive oil. Its such a delightfully simple combination, and it's just so good, especially with a properly matched wine.

And then come dinner time, it was plain old hokkien mee. All black, all good, all the time.

My family went to Petaling Street yesterday for some new year shopping, so naturally they'd bring back some of 'em goodies from there. Its always interesting to find out what new items they have for sale. The last time they went they had individually packed 'long yuk', or barbequed pork slices. Individually packed means that you can carry around bite sized pork (that should be listed in Time's Invention of the year), and eat it wherever and whenever you want. Of course that meant that I, being me, would naturally have the tendency to stash it everywhere possible. So some went into the glove box, some went into the drawers of my office...you get the idea. But 2 years later, which was just a few days ago I did some spring cleaning in my room and I found a few packets in my Out tray. The old me would've left it there and had them for snacks at 4pm with coffee. The new me sensibly threw it away.

This year, there was an even better invention. Streaky bacon 'long yuk'! My sister told me that last night and how good it was, but I pooh-poohed the whole thing because frankly I am, and I need to get on a diet. But this morning, void of any other breakfast-on-the-go foodstuff, I popped open the container and saw the glistening slices of meat. It was glistening! Either from the glucose or the abundance of animal fat, but whatever it was I just popped a slice and it was quite unlike anything I've had before. That slice probably had 1/3 of my daily fat intake and required 140 Watts of energy to burn off, but right at that moment I realized that its not always about statistics and simple Italian cooking with fresh ingredients. Its about how being Chinese means that you just have to get as much 'zhu yau', or pork fat as you can in any dish, because just like anyone familiar with good Hokkien mee will tell you, 'no zhu yau, sure not good one.'