Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Scones In Ireland and A Little Bit of Heaven


She baked me scones.

Growing up in Klang, we'd meet up in our residential "tamans" and cycle past parks and houses, sometimes accompanied by the neighbourhood dogs that chased us but hardly ever caught up with us as we sped along the tarred and potholed roads. I am not quite sure if we had a mission then, other than the pure bliss of feeling the wind blow against our faces and through our hair. Our skin bore evidence of falls; scars and scratches reminded me of a distant and carefree childhood.

Those tomboyish years didn't prepare me for an adulthood of feminity and grace. But grow up we did.

view outside Wei Sim's farmhouse

She now lives in a farmhouse in Ireland. As we drove along the narrow, single-laned road fringed by tall brambled bushes covered with blackberries, I couldn't help but yearn for the past in my more nimble childhood where I'd maneuver my flimsy bicycle to avoid cycling into shrubs or falling into camouflaged ditches (similar to the brilliantly camouflaged road signs along our legendary Malaysian roads).

She greeted us at the door. "I baked you scones!" she exclaimed with glee.

And this is how it is, isn't it? I am reminded of one of Shakespeare's famous soliloquys in As You Like It:

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.....

".....Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow.....

".....And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part......"

We move from stage to stage, and if we're "lucky" enough, we shall see the final stage where we are sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

fish pie

Thankfully, our tastebuds were still intact as Wei Sim cooked us typical Irish stew, fish pie and wonderful salad plucked from her tiny vegetable plot. The freshness of ingredients made all the difference as I relished the earthy taste of the vegetables (and if you know me really well, you will know that I am no fan of vegetables). I also learnt that I had lived in the illusion that Irish stew had to be dark and thick; the typical Irish stew is very much like the Chinese ABC soup - clear and light.


We are truly blessed, not so much for the wonderful food that we got to partake at her home in Ireland, but for being accepted with open arms into her beautiful family and to share in a little bit of her heaven.


NOTE: The little angel in the picture above is only 6 years old, so don't get any funny ideas!!

For the wonderful people in AD who are unable to view photos from flickr, click HERE to view pictures!


Mallika said...

I love you blog. Gorgeous photographs and really punchy writing. I will be back...

maninas: food matters said...

you really are lyrical, lemongrass! :) beautiful post.
i sensed nostalgia in the first sentence: 'she baked me scones'

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

mallika: Thank you!! I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. :-)

maninas: Thanks for your sweet compliment. Yes, I felt a whole load of nostalgia spending time with my friend and then writing this post.

Precious Pea said...

So nice of your friend. I love the last picture, the girl is so pretty. And i just love satisfying and contented look. Proven food was yummy. :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

yeah haha a very nice "moment" picture towards the end..

hey i also had the impression that irish stew is that thick black lamb stew..i guess i was wrong..and cheated!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Precious Pea: That's her 6-y-o daughter. So cute hor. Children can't fake it. :-)

Nipples: That makes two of us!

k.t.x said...

i 1 scones!!! lol.

for a while i thought u were in newzealand...lol. yeah, farms look similar everywhere huh?....even in Universiti Putra/Pertanian Malaysia..lol, except that it's way warmer and humid and without the scene of cottages at its horizon...........

can i hv a look at the farmhouses? i imagine taking a nap at the mezzanine of the straw yard with kate moss or siena miller...lol.

Paprika said...

Lovely pics as always. Nothing beats a home cooked meal with an old friend. Think you captured the mood really well.

jason said...

That's really heaven :)

Xiu Long Bao said...

Okay...the pix are killing me...president, how do u managed to master ur photo shooting skills so so well???

fatboybakes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tummythoz said...

*In awe*. Incredible capture of 6yo's bliss.

MeiyeN said...

wow.... da food looks so good and beautiful! you are really lucky to have a friend staying in Ireland... and da gal, awww... so sweet looking! :D

Kenny Mah said...


Nostalgia and wistfulness and blissfulness all wrapped up in one perfect little lemongrass knot. Dear, reading your blog these days have a feeling of coming home, wherever home is for your readers. More, my dear, more. You gotta write more...


Gard said...

Hi Meena. Great pictures :-) The picture of the little angel was very nice. How many shots did you have to take to get the "right one"? :-)


Neko Hime said...

Such lovely pictures! :) And the angel really looks like she is enjoying her food! Perfect Shot!

Chubbypanda said...

Awww... I really love that story. I can just imagine two little girls racing down the road on bikes.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

k.t.x: the question is whether or not kate moss or sienna miller wants to take a nap in the straw with you. :-P

paprika: see next post for more homecooked food. Yummy!!

jason: you said it, dude!

xiulongbao: practice, practice, practice!

tummythoz: She's adorable, isn't she?

meiyen: she's a dear friend. :-)

kenny: aiyoh...pressure!!

gard: two. :-P

neko hime: thanks! she's really sweet!

chubbypanda: hehe...I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :-)