First, it is the start of a new year and I would like to wish all of you good health and may the new year bring happiness, health and joy to your family. Hope you had a wonderful break re-connecting with relatives, family and friends, both here and overseas.

I had a wonderful time spending quality time with my children and reconnecting with family friends all over the world. I have to say a HUGE thank you to social media; media has made connections much easier and brings people closer, wouldn’t you agree?

I had quite a lengthy talk with my parents, especially my mother, and we discussed our elderly relatives who had passed away during the past few months and other family issues, and we always end the conversation discussing food!

My mum has many recipes that she would like to teach me, and I personally have an unfinished recipe book that I started at the beginning of last year, covering the dishes that I grew up with. After careful consideration of my options for 2017, I have decided to dedicate my time this year to learning more about my family / Malaysian recipes and sharing this with you guys via TokPanjang.

My blog posts will be published on Mondays and Thursdays via TokPanjang website as well as via the eNewsletter.

But before I start, I thought I’d share with you what tok panjang is what it represents:

“Tok”, means Table in Hokkien, and “Panjang” means Long in a Malay term. Tok Panjang in Malaysian / Baba Nonya ( means Long Table.

In traditional terms, when we mention Tok Panjang, we usually refer to a type of feast associated with weddings and special occasions. Thus, in my family, we had a “Tok Panjang” (long table), where family members would gather during special occasions, festivities or during meal times and serve delicious baba nonya dishes.

To me personally, I chose the theme of Tok Panjang to represent my message – it is about sharing wholesome traditional dishes with your family and friends at your Long Table.

I will be sharing with you the dishes I grew up with and how to cook them in under an hour. I understand cooking traditional dishes requires time and plenty of raw ingredients; however, due to our busy lifestyle we look for short-cuts. I will be on the hunt for readymade ingredients that you can use, and explain my favourite kitchen utensils that will make cooking your dishes faster and more efficient.

So, let’s reconnect and bring those wholesome traditional childhood dishes back to your Tok Panjang! Then enjoy home cooked meals around your Long Table with FUN and joy!

Lay Ean

>> In the meantime, head to GoKids for over 600 articles about family and parenting issues.