Laura giving a hand at spreading the jam onto the tart base.
This year I finally managed to spend the Christmas with Laura and her family in Ipoh. Previously Christmas almost indefinately means in Sabah as the holiday period is too short to justify flying back for a few days. The last Christmases, Laura family came down to Kota Kinabalu to visit her and last year we spent it together having a nice dinner out. This year as her Birthday present I decided to give Laura a return ticket to her hometown and since I'm working in KL it was just a matter of a few hours drive to be with her. It was my first time to Ipoh and through miscommunication of directions from my cousin I ended up taking the old road for almost half the way passing Gombak, Sg Buloh, Rawang, Kluang, Batang Kali and finally managing to exit from Tanjung Malim back to the PLUS highway.
Laura's mum preparing the dough base.
Christmas in Kuantan wasn't really that big an affair, usually only going to church and eating out, but for Laura's family it certainly was a major thing. I thought she was joking when she said that they prepared preparations nearly a month before the appointed date; cleaning, shopping, setting up the decor, atteding church functions etc. No wonder she was in a rush as she only got back a day before Christmas eve and had to finish her X'mas shopping within the day. One nice thing that tickled me was that Laura and her mum went and baked their own homemade cookies, this time it was pineapple cookies with home made jam and dough.
The finished tarts coming out pipping hot and ready to eat.
It's been a long time since I had a taste of homemade cookies and these pineapple tarts were scrumptious with the jam sweet and the pastry soft and fluffy. In addition to this Christmas won't be Christmas if there was no feast to pig out on. Laura after much trouble with the Air Asia customs people (long story meant for another post some other time) managed to get back several kg of fresh prawns from Sabah in which her friend who's working at a shrimp farm got her cheap. After that much hassle it should taste great and it didn't dissapoint at all. When I got there lunch was already being prepared and on the menu, sambal prawns and braised celery. Man the hot and spiciness was a welcoming taste, a Malayan Christmas if you ask me, if it were snowing this is one dish to get your temperature high.
The sambal prawns and celery we had for lunch.
Christmas dinner was no different. We had tons of prawns and even after giving some to her grandfather, there were a lot left for Christmas. So this time it was fried in batter to give a nice crispy and succulent dish. You should see Laura's brother wipe them off at record pace indeed.
The tempura prawns straight from the frying pan.
In addition to this a lot of other dishes were prepared since they were expecting other guests to arrive and share in with the lunch. Two other vegetable dishes were prepared with green vegetables and another plate of mushrooms and peppers.
Rest assured that no Christmas was ever complete without the main dish which was the stuffed turkey that was brought from Jusco. I can't believe a single bird like that cost RM160! This must be the third or fourth time I had this, still think its only ok, tough and not as juicy. Goes great with the chestnut sauce though. There you have it, meals after delicious meals and dang I'm going to gain weight after this. More writeups on my trip there if I've the time, thought I'd concentrate on the good stuff first and let everyone drool a bit from all these foodstuff. Merry Belated Christmas to all.