Caring For Curry

LAST WEEK, LAWRENCE (one of our local staff) brought us a pot of curry plant. He had transferred it from another staff’s home, re-planted and cared for it while we were sorting out our home.

Seeing the plant brings back a flood of memories from our days in Moscow, Hong Kong and home.

I can’t begin to stress how important curry plant is to our lives; suffice to say it’s an important ingredient to our home-cooking and entertaining as well. We’ve kept one (we try) wherever we were.

Sad but true, I once measured my life achievement to the survival of the plant! And being able to do that in extreme-weathered Moscow was indeed an achievement! I was even able to grow some 10 little plants to give away to friends and neighbours by the time I left Moscow at the end our 3-year stint in February 2008.

Shima who inherited a pot of curry plant and a pot of pandan plant from me, emailed me a photo in 2009; while another tree followed its new owner, Kathrin to Germany! Kathrin emailed last month a photo of her curry plant sitting in her lush garden, with a message “I really do my best, but I’m afraid our climate is not what the plant expects”. I think she’s done a great job the very fact that the plant is still alive (after SIX years), having made the journey from Moscow, crossed Polish borders into German soil!

Our numerous curry plants in Moscow, January 2008.

Our numerous curry plants in Moscow, January 2008.


Photo of the pandan and curry plants emailed by Shima in August 2009.


The curry plant we gave Kathrin in 2008 that eventually followed her home to Germany (photo emailed to me in August 2014).


Our curry plant in Hong Kong, August 2010. It grew so healthily, parting with it was hard to do!


Our curry plant in Malaysia… despite conducive environment it didn’t really grow well (January 2013)


Our curry plant in Accra, September 2014.

Our next “mission” is to get hold of a pandan plant (screwpine). If we could successfully keep one alive in Moscow, I think we will do fine in Accra that has similar weather conditions as Malaysia.

Speaking of pandan, when we were based in HK, I “smuggled” in a pandan plant from Hainan, China. I recall the Chinese immigration eyed my hand carry very suspiciously. Thankfully the “C” on our baggages stood for “Consulate” and not “Criminal”!!! While I successfully brought it home to HK, sadly, it didn’t survive long.


My prized pandan, courtesy of Pak Colin in Hainan (Nov 2009)


Em’s First Playdate

EM’S BEEN WANTING to invite friends over for a playdate ever since we identified the home back in April… mind you, it was a time when she didn’t even have many friends, other than the children of Papa’s colleagues and the two children of Mommy’s friend.

When we finally moved into the house in July and she started school in August, the desire to invite friends over grew stronger… mind you, her room was still in a mess, unpacked boxes still scattered around, and some toys were still in them!

The week that we finally agreed to her earnest request, she fell ill and was absent from school for three days. When she finally recovered and returned to school on a Thursday, I went with her and hastily made contact with the parents of her classmates whom she wanted to invite.

And that’s how her first playdate came about on this date, Saturday, 6 September 2014.

(Top, left) Little Em hosting her first playdate, queued up last allowing her friends to have a go at the food first.

Little Em hosting her first playdate, queued up last allowing her friends to have a go at the food first.


Bored of playing toys in her room, they came downstairs… (L) Nafisa played the piano; (R) Playdate or play dead?


Big M had her share of playdates back in HK with two of her closest friends then, both of whom were in Netball Club with her.


Little Em got a tiny teeny taste of playdate back then when she was included by Big M’s friends, at home on 9 April 2010.