Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To Aunt Mary

Last Sunday when I was all ready to post a recipe for Mother's Day, brother dropped me a message about my beloved aunt Mary critical condition in the cancer ward back home. She was admitted to the hospital on Sunday afternoon, the day when mothers around the world received tribute and recognition from their children.


Aunt Mary, my father's younger sister is one of my favorite aunts. Growing up, she used to tell me that I bear resemblance to her in so many ways. We share the same love for dark chocolate, romantic novels, TVB dramas, traveling and good food. Both of us are vocal, and wouldn't hesitate to give the rest of our family members a piece of our minds when the necessary occasions arise.


There is one story which I always request her to repeat. It was about her brother (dad) tearing up her textbook because aunt Mary refused to lend her immaculately completed homework to him! She gets all animated everytime she recounts the story(opps, sorry dad!)It makes me laugh so hard that my stomach hurts.

Aunt Mary is more than an aunt for me. She is a good friend who listens and understands me. She would secretly shove money into the hands of her needy college niece whenever I came home for vacation. It was a gesture of love and generosity and understanding. And I would never forget the love she has bestowed upon me.


As I look back, I realise that I have never told her how much she means to me, and that I love her so much. Sure, we catch up whenever I go home. Always remember to get her the imported chocolate that she loves but couldn't find in KK. We would chat for hours, and she would update me on the gossips of our extended family, until it's the airing time for her favorite tv show, then she would leave. But I never once utter the three magical words. And I kept to myself the disappointment when she couldn't attend my wedding due to the chemo sessions, and the fear I felt 3 months ago, when I visited home for Chinese New Year. The fear that it would be the last good bye we bid.


I wish I could tell her all of these now. I wish I could hear her laughter that bears such curious resemblance to ah po (to aunt Mary dismay). I wish we could hang out, gossip and pretend to be chocolate snobs, criticizing the inferiority of Kitkat and Cadbury made in SEA . But all these are just wishful thinking.

Aunty Mary, this one is for you. For all the memories, love, laughters and tears we share. Thank you for playing an important part in my life. I couldn't ask for a better aunt. I love you.

Strawberry Friands
adapted from Donna Hay's Modern Classics Book 2

9 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 cup almond meal
1 2/3 cups icing sugar, sifted
3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 large egg whites
5 medium size strawberries, hulled and quartered.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook until melted and a very light golden colour. Set aside.

Place the almond meal, icing sugar, flour and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the egg whites and stir to combine. Add the butter and stir to combine.

Grease 10 x 1/2 cup capacity muffin tins. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each tin and carefully place the berries over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and springy to touch but moist in the centre.

note: I find the friands to be too sweet for my liking. I will probably decrease the amount of icing sugar used and incorporate some chopped berries in the batter next time.


MPG said...

What a sweet tribute...These look lovely!

Manggy said...

It's so difficult to find someone in your family who can also be your close friend and confidant. I am sure she appreciated all the time you spent with her and the love you showed her. You are more than just her niece :) I'm sure she also would have loved your friands. I hope you feel better soon.

dp said...

Beautiful post. She knows. Words aren't required.

Now you've got me sniveling at work, of all places.

Veron said...

What a fitting tribute. She reminds me of my own Aunt - my dad's sister. Those friands look so tasty!

RecipeGirl said...

What a lovely tribute to your aunt. And those are beautiful treats!

Sarah said...

Amazing! I love the little flecks of almond. And such a sweet post...your aunt sounds as wonderful as these sweets you made in her honor!

LianneK said...

its never too late to utter the 3 magical words for she knows deep within.

am sorry for your lost.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your aunt. Close relationships like that are a two way street, so I'm sure you were also her favourite niece. These friands look so warm and comforting.

bp said...

That's a wonderful relationship you have with your aunt, and she must know how much you love her, and you too, must mean a lot to her.

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

I am sorry to hear about your aunt. Hugs out to you.

Gretchen Noelle said...

What a sweet post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mandy,

Thank you for visiting my website, I'm so glad I found yours. This tribute is absolutely loving. Your aunt is so lucky to have such a wonderful niece who can keep those stories alive.

Thank you for sharing this with us.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful entry. I'm sure she knew how much you loved her, without you needing to say the three words. And she'd be smiling down from above to see such lovely friands :) My most sincere condolences for your loss. *hugs*

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry to hear that. Keep a positive attitude!
I hope and pray for your dear aunt to get better soon. And I'm sure she wouldn't ask for a better niece as well. Beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful dedication. I hope your aunt gets better and you get to say to her the three words you want so much for her to hear.

Great recipe! They look so delicious.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! What a lovely adorably tasty gift!

Rasa Malaysia said...

Thanks for your kind email about my recent loss. I hope your aunt marry is doing well. I have an aunt that I grew up with and very close to, so I totally understand how you feel. Good luck.

Sophie said...

Your blog is a beauty. These 2 most recent posts are so cute! I love the happy faces, and the cake is so sweet!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about your beloved aunt. My own mother passed away after being succumbed to cancer. I know what it is like.

Anonymous said...

suegsfI read your post on my Sunday Mom's birthday - she died a number of years ago and I still miss her.

what a sweet tribute - sometimes we can gain a new perspective on human relations by remembering the older ones.

thank you for a nice memory.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

mandy, sucy told me about visiting ur aunt. then last week she mentioned she went to the funeral 2days later,n it was a sudden loss tt was hard for her. my condolences...

Mandy said...

thanks everyone for your kind words and thoughts. My aunt passed away a day after I posted this entry. I am feeling a bit low the past weeks, but are slowly recovering now.

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