Complimentary Cake with your Coffee
As a young girl, my mother religiously huddled us to the kitchen island at 3PM for a mid afternoon snack. She would yell out TEA-TIME from the kitchen downstairs. I have fond memories of racing down the staircase, skipping every two steps, thinking that I would go down a tad bit faster than my sister. I wanted to make sure that I got the first pick of whatever cakes (kuih in our local language) that was served that day. My mother would always have tea and my father would have a cup of kopi-o, which simple means black coffee.
I grew up in a small town, named Miri. Life was simple and sweet. The predictability and routine gave me a fuzzy warm safety net. As I become an adult and leave the sheltered nests that my wonderful parents have built for my siblings and I, I often reminisce on the simple pleasures of my childhood - if you are a Malaysian, you ought to know how serious we are with food.
Mom used to purchase lots of cakes from the little wet market, about 10 minutes from our house. The "aunties" and "uncles" (we call everyone that is our parents' age aunties and uncles in Malaysia) would wake up at the crack of dawn to sell local cakes at the wet market. Dad would drive mom to the wet market to purchase breakfasts, and some cakes for our afternoon tea. Thinking back, I should have learned to make some of those cakes albeit there was not much motivation to do so as those cakes were sold at dirt cheap prices - 25 cents per piece.
As the saying goes, "the apple does not fall far from the tree", I religiously take breaks at 3PM. I have taken after my dad - a coffee lover. I would either make myself a cup of latte if I was home or drink some stale coffee from the office's coffee maker. To pair with my coffee, I would normally eat some biscuits (cookies in America). What I would really like, is some Malaysian kuih, but I think I can settle on some coffee cake. Baking a cake is much easier than making a Malaysian kuih which takes hours on end. I have tried a few cakes, but my most favorite is Martha Stewart's coffee cake.