“M” is for the million things she gave me,
“O” means only that she’s growing old,
“T” is for the tears she shed to save me,
“H” is for her heart of purest gold,
“E” is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
“R” means right, and right she’ll always be,
Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER”,
A word that means the world to me.
– Howard Johnson –
I call her by many names: Mummy, Mother, Mum, Mumsie, Tina, but she’s one and the same special person in my life.
By the way, it is not my mother’s birthday today. It was not a belated birthday greeting either, but rather, the post is late (sorry!)
I must admit that this year had been, undoubtedly, a very special year for me. My mother visited us in Belgium. It has been 13 years since her last visit and what appropriate timing at that! It was the school summer holidays and my mother’s birthday fell in between. Perfect timing!
I remembered the times we had when celebrating my mother’s birthday(s) in Kuching. We were never short of fun, laughter and noises!! With all her 6 children (and spouses) and 11 grandchildren around to celebrate, well, that could only sum up to a hell lot of decibels! Frankly speaking, I miss all that 😀
The birthday we had for my mother this year was more calm and low-pitched. I would like to walk you through that very special day.
Wednesday, 25th August, 2010.
Everyone woke up early that morning to wish mother the classic greeting of “Happy Birthday, mummy” and “Happy Birthday, Ah Ma”.
We had a rather simple, light breakfast that morning, as I warned those present that we would be stuffed at lunch time until the end of the day!
Mum put on one of her best outfits that day, smiling gleefully, and all set to go.
We were the first to arrive at the restaurant, De Wiering, in Leuven. I had earlier made a reservation for 5 people at 12 noon. The Flemish brasserie restaurant may not have the most stunning front façade. If you remember the English idiom, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, De Wiering befits the metaphorical phrase almost perfectly.
As we walked through the entrance hall, we heard the chants of old cloister music. Sounds weird? Wait until you hear this. As soon as we walked through the hallway into the restaurant, we felt the charm of the renaissance period. With the aged deco’s of vintage collections of smoking pipes, accordions and clogs, you certainly would want to acquaint yourself with the place a bit more.
By the way, if you’re expecting the latest culinary experience and fancy designer tables and chairs, I’m afraid you’re in the wrong place!
Someone commented this on TripAdvisor, “If Pieter Brueghel (the Elder) has his own restaurant, it would be De Wiering. Flemish food, Belgian beers in a warm set up”. Unquote. How true…
That was one of the main reasons I brought my mother to this brasserie restaurant, id est to have a taste of Belgium 😀
I am very sure I have added two very satisfying customers – my mother and sister – onto the Kriek fan list 😀
Then came the soup. The fresh seasonal vegetable soup was simply divine.
I was quite certain that the soup included the following ingredients: courgette, broccoli, peas and carrot with hints of parsley, fennel and celeriac, all blended together with a generous sprinkle of grated gruyère and then finished off in a broiler until the cheese was lightly melting. Yummy!
De Wiering is well-known for her oven-baked spareribs. My mother had hers done ‘op de wijze van de chef ‘ or simply, oven-baked spareribs à la chef’s secret recipe. Hmmm…. intriguing, if you asked me.
I agree that it was not the daintiest looking dish, but at least somebody was not complaining, eh?
After licking our platters, or rather, wooden plateaus clean, and gaining some kilos, we stretched our legs by taking a stroll along the Brusselsestraat, and, hey presto, the back façade of De Wiering actually looks quite charming, don’t you think?
And the result was written all over her face. Yep, one satisfied customer 😉
On our way back home, we stopped over at Stonemanor, a British Store located at Everberg. With our Malaysian roots, we are more familiar with British products, like Spam, Jacob’s Cream Crackers, Horlicks, Marmite, Mint sauce, Cheddar cheese and Bagels! So, yes, it was a big relief for my mother to experience Great Britain in small town Everberg!
Our final pit stop was at a bakery. You got it! A birthday is simply not complete without a birthday cake.
But I must admit that it was a tall order, because my mother is not much of a cake person ;-( . My sister told me that there is one type of cake that she would want to eat. And here it is….
Hmmmm….. a difficult one to resist!
The day ended with my mother opening some of her birthday presents….
And by the way, I made mum’s kek pasir rubuh (ref Birthday Treat(s)….sequel), a day after her birthday. This piece was specially for mummy dearest 😀
Happy Birthday, mum!
I’m afraid all good things must come to an end 😦 …. but I shall end it with a memorable touch. This is one of my favourite songs and Il Divo did it so well. It gives me goose bumps each time I listened to it. I’m sure you’ll like it. I’m sure anyone will love this song. Just listen to it until the end and you’ll know what I’m getting at.
Hugs and take care xxx