Monthly Archives: August 2016

Planta of The Poor Man’s Butter

We, the poor kampong kids, relished on the slightly saltish, rich smooth taste of the yellow greasy stuff that we spread on our roti.  Added a small sprinkle of fine sugar, and wow that was a wonderful breakfast treat.   Of course, there was always that big pot of hot black coffee to turbocharge the oomph for the morning.

Butter was beyond our reach, but to us PLANTA was the “goo ewe” (牛油 – minyak lembu).  Of course these days, margarine has been vilified and many folks have been cowed into the butter camp.   Good or bad, we did not know, but when one was poor, there was no time to think.  Just opened one’s mouth big big and makan lah !

Photo shows the packaging design of the late 50s~early 60s.  Nostalgic !

Come Rain Or Shine

These sturdy old-fashion bamboo frame Oiled Paper Umbrellas could be counted on to offer all-weather protection with 100% confidence.  The earlier ones were plain, with no decorations or colourful patterns.  Only the ribs were painted, with a dark green color on the outside. 

These were far cry from flimsy modern double-collapsing or triple-collapsing contraptions (which are waterproof only if the rain is not serious and, threaten to be gone with the wind in face of strong gusts). Two or even three children could easily be sheltered under one of these brollies.

But they were heavy and bulky (length was about 1 metre) —  thus a hassle to lug around everywhere. The last time I used one was probably in the middle of the last century, on my way to school during rainy days.

Kueh Sera Sera…

In those days in Penang, it was customary in Chinese weddings for the bride’s entourage to accompany the bride to the groom’s house for the second half of the ceremonies, and the traditional nonya kueh reception. Various kinds of local delicacies such as the nine-layer kueh lapis, pulut inti, bingka, etc, would be served. Each kueh type was cut into a parallelogram shape and arranged in a star pattern on a plate.   Wonder if the practice is still observed.

Oh yes, the must-have F & N Red Lion fizzy drinks too.

It was a bit hard to accurately estimate the number of guests who would turn up, and if there was enough kueh to go round.   My sweetheart asked me, and I said, “Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be”.

Note : photo from my own wedding