The Matriarch

grandma photo

The Matriarch of the Poh clan celebrated her 78th birthday last night at Swansea Restaurant. The dishes on the table are the obligatory deep fried boiled egg (each person eats one) surrounding fried longevity noodles and of course, ginseng chicken soup.

grandma fish

I also like this candid photo of my sister peering at the fish (also another essential dish in Chinese dinners).

grandma group

My grandmother is an inspiration to me – she got married at the tender age of 16 (!) and fathered my dad when she was a scant 19 years old. It was an arranged marriage (as was the custom in those days) and she has more than fulfilled her duties as a loyal wife to my deceased grandfather, sticking by him through thick and thin, until he died of lung cancer 15 years ago.

It’s truly amazing to see the sheer perseverance and unquestioning diligence that she exudes, taking the cards life has dealt her without so much as a grumble, and still maintaining a cheerful disposition everyday.

I take my hat off to her, she’s much stronger than me.

I bet she’s stronger than much of the current “Where’s my slice? I want more than equal rights” generation too.

Happy Birthday, popo!

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16 thoughts on “The Matriarch”

  1. Thank you for sharing these happy moment to all bloggers. The food look like something she enjoy very much eating. Did she also have peach buns too? You must go back many generation?

  2. PHB, I AM BACK IN UR BLOG ONCE AGAIN…*sorry for the caps bro! This is a touching post, happy bday to ur grands. Your photos are killing me here in aus, it’s been a while since i had Fried boiled egg and ginseng noodle soup. I hope you are well and ok. See you soon bro.

  3. Happy birthday to your po-po! Wah! So blessed with so many cucuk-cicik. Food any good? Went there once but was not impressed, and quite expensive too!…LOL!!! You really love to pull ur sister’s leg hor – you bully!!! Hahahahaha!!!

  4. Your popo look so young for her age. It look like wonderful time all had at the restaurant. Did she had also long life noodle too? It a dish in San Francisco all have in birthday partries.

  5. Happy Birthday Popo! πŸ™‚ She is sooo adorable! I miss my maternal gramma as well – she’s the one I called Popo; well, she is waiting for all of us in a better place (at least I would like to think so). I remember eating all those dishes when I was back this July for my grandma (my dad’s mom) and my joint birthday (we share the same birthday)…..The noodles almost killed me since they were never ending. I was told that I could not cut it uo and had to eat it in its entirety….that is torture in my books

  6. Amy, there had it but not sure is it what style. Stir fry or just mix noodles. I don’t have any grandparents or parents never celebrate such a birthday party. Happy HB have a close knit family.

  7. Wonderful to see photos of happy family. Never knew my grandparents on both side so not sure what it like but happy to see entry of it. Thanks.

  8. Man dude kept on looking at that fish dish. What kind is it? Is it Fuchow style? You so lucky get a big family and many events to attend.

  9. Dude man, Happy Birthday to your PoPo. I never had any grandparents on both growing up so it special to see how it is from your entry. Thanks.

  10. chefmel: I just bought my tickets to KL for this weekend too. It’s a one way ticket, if you catch my drift. πŸ˜‰
    See ya at the PBIM, I’m going ex-KL now. πŸ™‚
    Vickie: Cheers! Peach buns? I’m not familiar with those, haven’t seen it around here.
    ai-ling: Thanks! πŸ™‚
    That’s Doris standing next to me.
    xin: Thanks xin! I have 2/4 – both my grandfathers died of lung cancer…guess that’s my cue to quit smoking. πŸ˜‰
    Hey, I’ll be in KL from this weekend onwards. πŸ™‚
    janel: Thanks! πŸ™‚
    Myst3: Hello there! I love the fried boiled egg dish with longevity noodles too. Great stuff, very old skool.
    See ya buddy!
    whey: Yeah, I get that a lot. πŸ™‚
    suituapui: Now she expects me to get married and procreate for the Poh clan. πŸ˜‰
    The food there isn’t anything to write home about. I didn’t like the cold dish or the other dishes, the fried boiled egg with longevity noodles is good though. The fish as well. It’s about RM 500+, I think, quite expensive for the dishes.
    Amy: Yeah, it’s customary here to have long life noodles during Chinese birthdays, at least traditionally. πŸ™‚
    Skwermy: Nice! You share your birthday with your paternal grandmother. πŸ™‚
    Hmm…I’ve heard of that pantang about eating longevity noodles but never practised it. I just bite whenever my mouth is full, so I’m probably taking years off my life each time I do that. πŸ˜‰
    Alice: Cheers Alice! πŸ™‚
    Nok: Yeah, it’s cooked Foochow style, lightly seasoned with soy sauce and spring onions and nothing else. It makes the fish taste natural. It works for fresh fish only though.
    Vince: Cheers Vince! Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  11. Congratulaions to your Grandmother. My own paternal Grandmother passed away at age 96, after bearing 9 children to her only husband, who died at age 45. She never remarried (maybe that was quite enough for her.) Whatever the culture, and where ever they might reside, Grandmothers are great examples for all of us, and we would do well to heed their advice and listen to their wise counsel. Wish I could talk to my Grandma once more. Please convey my greatest respect to her.


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