Early this morning, my father WhatsApped me to inform me that one of my aunts – his sister – has just passed away.

She was 90.

She was a great and generous cook; each year, I would look forward to her ayam buah keluak and ngo hiang as well as her bak chang.

Aware that I was a big fan of her ayam buah keluak – a very difficult and laborious dish to prepare – each Chinese New Year, she would cook me a big pot with at least 30 buah keluak and transport the pot to my house!

Her culinary skills were so exceptional that she was even mentioned in the book Cooking for the President.

This year, my dad has lost three of his sisters. Read this.

My dad himself will be 93 on his next birthday. He is still very sharp mentally – he continues to write for a living  – and other than a recent pacemaker implant, and the usual aches and pains, he can be considered very healthy for his age.

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