I'm sure most of you would have heard, read and even talked about the recent PSLE leave initiative offered by local bank OCBC. As a bystander, it's easy to dismiss this as some hyperbole adding to the already-stressful education system that we have. When I first read about it, the first word that came to my mind was "ridiculous"; but after giving it more thought, I'm inclined to say that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
My own mother took half-days off too when my younger sister and I sat for major exams (my elder sister was always the disciplined, focused one) and deep down inside, I secretly enjoyed it when she did so. Sure, I'm certain she took leave to supervise us but she didn't watch us like a hawk; instead, she would pick us up from school and take us out for lunch (a rare weekday treat) to un-wind while we filled her in on the papers. The PSLE leave initiative ain't all that bad - it's how parents choose to use that time for the benefit of their children.
Speaking of rare treats, over coffee at PS Cafe, we reminisced about our childhood weekends and naturally, the food we had prepared by my still-working mum.
One of these weekly treats was a congee contains fishcake, tau kwa and minced pork as well as dried scallops and cuttlefish - an unusual combination that is oddly comforting. In good fun, my mum offered to make this congee again for Sunday lunch.
Along with the congee, my parents bought a behemoth load of roasted pork, duck and char siew from Fu Shi Traditional Roasted (Blk 320 #02-25 Shunfu Road Hawker Centre). It was hedonistic lunch, alright. Fatty, replete with a sweet caramelized glaze, the char siew was easily my favorite - I did, after all, bite into a couple of pieces that were pure fat, making this a real to-die-for dish.
To balance the meat sweats (wasn't it a disturbly hot weekend?), they also bought chee cheong fun, yam cake and soon kueh from Mei Zhen Hakka Delicacies 美珍客家美食 (Blk 320 #02-26 Shunfu Road Hawker Centre). I didn't care much for the chee cheong fun but the soon kueh was life-changing - well at least for the soon kueh as they were completely and ruthlessly obliterated.
The very unceremonious-looking rojak is from Te Wei Popiah Rojak Otah (183 Upper Thomson Road Long House). While it doesn't come close to knocking Hoover Road off the top (really, not even by a whisker), it was very very decent, thanks to the toasted you tiaos, toasted ground peanuts and thick balmy sauce.