A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
‘Harlow. Here got food ah?’ he asks.
Mrs. Graves, upset at the rude interruption to her lovely daydream about nasi lemak with sambal sotong and lots of ikan bilis, gives him an irritated look and scurries to the kitchen to check on supplies and emerges with a triumphant look.
‘All gone already,’ she proclaims. ‘Only got strawberry tart. How?’
‘Aiyah, strawberry tart only ah?’ he sighs.
‘Ya lor. Today got Siti Nurhaliza concert, everybody go to JB to see her, so we don’t prepare so much food here lor.’
He hesitates. His stomach rumbles. A strawberry tart isn’t much of a consolation when one expects to eat mutton peratal.
‘Harlow, we don’t have all day to decide! You want or not??’
‘Okaaaay la,’ he says. ‘Sure don’t have mutton peratal ar?’ he continues hopefully.
Mrs. Graves snorts in disgust and yells the order to the cook. ‘ONE STRAWBERRY TART. TABLE FOUR!!’
Fifteen long minutes go by.
‘One KAYA KOK!’ the cook says as she plonks the pie in front of the hungry nobleman.
‘But I order strawberry tart wor,’ he says.
‘I heard “kaya kok”, okay!!!’
The nobleman wonders which part of “strawberry tart” sounds like “kaya kok” and looks to Mrs. Graves, hoping to get some support. But Mrs. Graves is fast asleep, dreaming of curry laksa with plump, juicy kerang.
He takes a bite of the kaya kok. His eyes widen in delight. ‘Mmmmmm, so tasty!!’
The cook looks at him and thinks he’s a little crazy. She decides not to tell him that she had forgotten to stir the egg mixture into the pastry for the strawberry tart (which she had heard clearly enough), and in her haste to cover up her error, she had spread it on top of the pastry instead.
‘What you call this ar?’ he asks. ‘Kaya kok?’
‘Ya lor. Why? Never heard before izzit?’
‘Cheh. Kaya kok sound obscene lah.’ he says.
The cook rolls her eyes, ready to dismiss him and return to her reverie beside the fireplace in the kitchen.
‘I know,’ he exclaims. ‘Since we are in Bakewell, we call it the Bakewell Pudding LAH!!’
She walks away, muttering obscenities under her breath.
The nobleman leaves the inn, happy at his new discovery. The next week, droves of people turn up at the inn to taste the wonderful new dessert called the Bakewell Pudding.
Well, not quite. And whatever happened to Mrs. Graves and the cook? They couldn’t handle all the extra workload, so they sold their recipe to one Mrs Wilson who turned it into a million dollar business, and I can assure you that at least Mrs Wilson lived happily ever after! For the version of the story unadulterated with sambal belacan or kari kepala ikan, check out their official website HERE.
The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop,
The Square, Bakewell,
As always, for residents of the glorious nation of UAE who are unable to access my flickr photos, click HERE for pics.
Note: For a quick and easy recipe for kaya (not kaya kok, but hey, half’s better than none), check out Argus World.
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.