His Royal Highness turned 40 yesterday and to herald his transition into middle-age, we hosted a noon-time poolside gathering for his former study partners and their families. So as to ingratiate my way into a nomination to the Hall of Good Spouses, I did all the cooking while His Royal Highness, being the birthday boy, put his legs up.
Using my mother’s frozen sambal, I prepared Nasi Lemak, the de facto national dish of Malaysia for our meat-eating guests and Vegetarian Noodles for the herbivores amongst us. To ensure that none went home hungry, I also fried some soy crackers and baked a whole Atlantic Salmon, weighing a whopping 4.2kg, which I slathered in Nyonya sauce.
Janaki, Mehan’s wife, kindly made His Royal Highness’ birthday cake – his favourite carrot cake with cream cheese frosting – while Tania, who you hear me refer to all the time, brought us two bottles of sparkling Moscato that tasted like champagne. I enjoyed both their offerings so much that I had two slices of cake with 4 glasses of wine. The old boy took no notice of my over-indulgence as he caught up with his mates in the sun. As you can see from the photos, everyone had a pretty good time. Later, after everyone had left, I went to have a well-deserved lie down.