Eating at the Table

>> Saturday, 1 August 2009

Conversations that trigger a memory of one’s upbringing and how it has influenced or impacted our lives often yield two reactions – we marvel at the freedom some people had or we are astonished by the discipline enforced. In this week's column I share with you some of the rules my parents (read my Mother) laid down when it came to Eating at the Table, such as seeking persmission to leave the table before everyone was done eating, the turning off of the television at meal times etc. Some of you will laugh as you read, some of you will nod your heads in empathy. Click here to read.

A few week ago, while blog hopping, I saw this dish and recipe (Pepes Ikan Woku) at my friend, Pepy's blog and could not resist making it. I gathered the ingredients within the week and made this dish of fish steamed in banana leaves. It was no ordinary steamed fish. The flavours of ginger, lemongrass, curry leaves, kaffir lime leaves etc will have you going back for more, and more. I even saved some of the aromatic paste mixture and used it to steam some shrimp. Please give this a try if you can. Here is Pepy's recipe.

Here's a kicked-up iced tea that I think many will enjoy, especially in this heat. It's my lemongrass grass iced tea with excellent dark rum, mint and generous squirts of fresh lemon or lime juice. To give my tea the colour, I used Demerara sugar to make my simple syrup.


  • 6 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • Simple syrup to taste
  • 1/4 cup dark rum (or more to suit your taste)
  • Mint leaves, bruised
  • Ice
  • Lemon or lime wedges


  1. Add lemongrass and water to saucepot, cover and bring to boil. Boil until reduced by half, then remove from heat and let come to room temperature
  2. Sweeten with simple syrup
  3. Stir in rum
  4. To serve: bruise mint leaves and place in glass along with ice cubes, pour in tea, squeeze lemon or lime, stir and drink (you can opt to get some extra lemongrass, cut the stalks in half, and serve with drinks to stir)

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