Luncheon, Auntie Sarah’s House

The first of many farewells.

My favorite auntie’s husband, Uncle Victor is a real life Ryan Bingham. In a case of art imitating life, my uncle’s a business traveler in the truest fashion, shuttling between Europe and China, and occasionally, Singapore. After re-resettling in Singapore about a good three or four years ago after long term residence overseas, Shanghai beckons once again. My uncle takes off next week while my Auntie Sarah and her daughter, my cousin, leave aside whatever life they’ve built up in Singapore, and tag along for China at the end of the year. Will they ever return to Singapore as Singaporeans? Who knows, really? The family’s been vocal about their wish to migrate to Switzerland, and I suspect that goal is far closer than anybody thinks.

This afternoon, there was a small gathering at my Auntie’s house. Uncle Pat’s family, including his wife, Auntie Sharon and their children joined my mother, my younger brother, myself to grace this simple luncheon. But with Auntie Sarah, there’s never just a simple luncheon. When we reached, preparations for the meal had just started. One thing I appreciate about the maternal relatives side of the family is that it’s still very communal, and still very Peranakan in a sense. The menu may not always be Nonya food, but the women are still in charge while most of the men sit outside over drinks and home-cooked snacks and talk about “manly” stuff. Some of the guys do help in the kitchen, but it’s always under direction by the women. Of course, able-bodied non-married “young” from early teens to late tweens are expected to help in any way possible, no matter how small a contribution.

Pizzas being made…from scratch.

Mushroom soup being prepared…

Ravioli with care…

Yes, we make our own char siew too.

All in all, it was quite a quick affair. Time always passes when you’ve got multiple kitchen hands. It was now time to eat…

Begedil with sardines.

The ubiquitous salad served with a choice of Japanese or Caesar dressing.

I must say my Auntie has perfected the mushroom soup.

Never, I repeat, never underestimate the ravioli. These Italian wantons may be small but they pack a huge punch.

Then the pizzas. I must admit they weren’t as good as the previous time, mostly because the dough this time had risen much higher than expected.

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