The Importance of Family & Food

Chia family's reunion dinner

“Cheryl, I’m really amazed at your food reflexes,” a colleague of mine commented recently.

According to him, I’m the first person he’s met who is a walking, talking food dictionary.

No matter the conversation, I tend to divert to food topics sub-consciously, much to the amusement of the company I keep. But they’ve learnt to embrace this side of me.

And today, as I celebrate the Lunar New Year with the maternal side of my family, I was reminded of my colleague’s comment.

What ignited this passion of mine?

The answer was right in front of me.


My extended family constantly gathers at each other’s homes for family meals.

On New Year’s eve, at Christmas, Chinese New Year and birthdays. At each gathering, we would have a feast. And mind you, everything was homemade.  A curious and greedy kid at heart, I ate everything and inquired what was in each dish and asked my aunts how they made them.

The rest is one part history and many parts curiousity. If you love to eat, you got to learn how to cook your favourite dishes don’t you?

This post is really to pay tribute to my family and their passion for food. Without them, I might not ever be who I am today. Below is a Lunar New Year pictorial. I am happy to be part of this large family. I love them to bits.

Freshly made yu sheng

My favourite yusheng. My aunts make this auspicious dish from scratch every Lunar New Year. Everything from the shredded carrots, candied orange peel, the sweet and sour sauce, and pok choy are homemade. It’s hard to beat something that’s made with love.

Pouring sweet sauce over yu sheng

5th Aunt pouring the sauce.

Messy messy

I like taking photos of lo-hei.

Lo hei

Oh, the mess!


My aunts posing with the mixed yusheng.

Homemade Yusheng


8 Daughters_Po

My maternal grannie with her 8 daughters.


Me and my 11 cousins. We’re missing one who’s studying in London. Ziliang, we miss you!

The extended Hong Family

My entire extended family. I love big families. Alot of love and alot of food.

6th Aunt_Po_candid

I managed to capture this lovely shot of my grannie. She’s looking at my 6th aunt. I think her expression says alot.

Screen shot 2011-02-03 at PM 06.08.31

Laugh 🙂

My maternal grannie & I

Me with my dearest grannie. Did I mention how good a cook she is? She’s Hainanese and makes amazing chicken rice & garlic chilli sauce.

Chia Sisters with Xiaoyi & Po

Me and my baby sis Christine with my youngest aunt and my grannie.

Papa Chia with 2 daughters

Me, my sis with my dearest father. He is a terrific cook. His ayam buah keluak and kong ba, and sambal prawns and… (okay the list is very long. I will not list everything) … is very very good. I hope to master all his Peranakan recipes one day.

Posted on 3rd Feb 2011 in Chinese New Year, family, Uncategorized


There Are 5 Comments


Wilson commented on February 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Omg… Homemade yusheng? I wanna learn!


Cheryl commented on February 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

You want? I ask my aunt for recipe okay? I love her homemade pok choy. It’s so delicious!


San commented on February 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm

hey Cheryl! This is such a lovely tribute, and a wonderful way to start the (lunar!) new year. Thank you for sharing.


bookjunkie commented on February 20, 2011 at 3:39 am

I love how you captured the yu sheng in mid toss. So glad I found your blog again and the revamp looks beautiful.


Earl commented on July 27, 2014 at 6:09 am



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