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Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Confinement Menu

If you are curious about what I ate throughout my confinement, this is my weekly menu. I've received emails way before I even started posting about confinement,  asking about the food I eat or the food I recommend.
So, here is my menu for your reference. It may not be acceptable to some. So, do refer to the menu at your own discretion.

During my 2nd confinement (Lyanne's time), I prepared a menu too. My Confinement lady then took my menu back with my permission. She tried asking her other clients whether they want to follow my menu. They all shook their heads and said my menu is too modern for them, and stuck to Ginger Fried Rice and Ginger Wine Chicken. Much to the dismay of my confinement lady because she will be stuck to eat the same boring food as well. My confinement lady always enjoys her employment with me as she gets to enjoy variety and good food during these 4 weeks, and she always get to learn something new and brings new recipes back with her. My hubby says, I pay her to learn from me, haha. Well, depends on how you look at it. I'm pretty much ok.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Turmeric Stir Fried Pork - Confinement Month # 10

A dish I created during confinement. But suitable for any occasion.
My confinement lady prepared everything I told her and I cooked this myself.

Some may say, don't consume turmeric right after delivery, as the baby's jaundice might get worse. My mom told me to wait for 2 weeks.
Yellow = Jaundice. ????  The myth is due to the colour. Is is true??
Well, turmeric is a type of ginger and doctors here do tell, not to consume too much ginger as it effects the baby's speed of recovery from jaundice.  So, believe the doctor to reduce consumption of all gingers or believe old wives tale due to the colour of turmeric and continue with all gingers. I don't believe the latter. But I am quite moderate in ginger consumption and turmeric is good for you and good for expelling wind.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Miyeok Guk, Korean Seaweed Soup - Confinement Month # 9

My brother went to Korea lately and bought a large pack of Korean seaweed for his wife and I.  My SIL just had a baby, Arianna 5 weeks before Reuben came by. Yes, he is Reuben for life now. It's black and white in his birth certificate. My dear brother then bought the beef stock powder from Jaya Grocer, googled up a recipe, passed to my mom and taught my mom how to prepare it for my SIL who was in confinement at that time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ginger Egg Fried Rice - Confinement Month # 8

One of the traditional confinement dishes.

I hear, it's the standard "confinement breakfast".

My confinement lady told me, most of her clients will only eat this for breakfast, FOR ONE WHOLE MONTH!!!
I'll die, die not from the ginger's heat, but from boredom.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sesame Oil Beancurd Stick Chicken - Confinement Month # 7

When I saw this recipe on Little Inbox's, I knew, I'll cook this for my confinement.

I don't like to eat the same thing over and over again, so I am eager to try out anything suitable during this "restricting" month to broaden my menu. And it's a family friendly recipe. I dine with my family every night, therefore I do not consume real confinement dishes at night. Real confinement dishes are like rice wine chicken or ginger fried rice. Super heaty food! I do hear of people eating ginger fried rice every morning and rice wine chicken for every meal. KILL ME to eat like that. I never will.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fennel and Onion Chicken - Confinement Month # 6

Looks like a Chinese stir fry? Haha, no this is a recipe from a Westerner.

I've bookmarked this recipe way before I knew I was going to have a baby. It was at the same time when I did the double fennel roasted chicken. Back then I was searching for ways and methods to use up the first fennel I bought and this recipe was KIVed. And now, it's into good use.

Fennel is a galactagogue and onions are good for expelling wind, as it causes you to release gas. Fresh fennel when cooked until tender is far more delicious then when roasted. I'll definately cook this again even if I'm not in confinement.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fennel Thyme Honey Roasted Chicken - Confinement Month # 5

Sick of chicken soups?  Sick of braised chickens? Try roasted during confinement or not.

Fennel is a galactagogue, meaning, it helps you by giving you more milk. Whereas thyme is one of the ingredients in DOM. And thyme has oxytoxin-effects meaning, it helps with contractions. After delivery, the uterus needs to contract back to it original state. I read in wikipedia, thyme tea is often given to post partum mothers in Jamaica to help with uterine contractions, but then again, no need to worry about what Sheila said about the placenta, it is already removed long before you are eating this at home. Don't worry, anyone can consume this, even men. As the spices are really common, in curries, in garam masalas, in stews, in Murukus, in lots of Indian snacks and so on and so forth. But pregnant women need to be cautious and not consume this too often.

I roasted these chicken parts in a roasting dish, to catch all the juices. The juices are wonderful to be spooned over rice, but do take care to remove the excess oil on the surface of the juice.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Steamed Chicken with Red Dates - Confinement Month #4

For confinement, the menu is always chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken. Almost daily it's chicken.

From what I know, the Malays do not consume chicken for confinement as they believe it causes itchiness. My colleagues were surprised we eat so much chicken during confinement. But when I told them, we believe it's the male chickens (rooster, cockerel) that causes itchiness or other allergic reactions, and we only ask for hens during this time. And it's only virgin hens or hens that has never laid eggs.

I don't really like consuming chicken in rice wine.  And confinement menu always consist of sesame oil, herbs, wood ears and ginger. Any type of ginger.. be it turmeric or even galangal. So, far I like these to be in my food, so I find no problem when it comes to eating during confinement, as long as it's not too alchoholic.

This time, I tried a few new confinement recipes and this will be one of the new chicken dishes. More to come in this week. It'll all be about chicken.

If you ask, who cooked this? I was by the side of my confinement lady, instructing her this and that. That's how I did it this time. Or she'll prepare everything I tell her to, and I'll be the one cooking and she'll clean up everything. But it's not for every meal. It's just for new dishes or dishes I don't trust her doing it. Yeah, I'm that fussy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lactating Red Date Tea 发奶红枣茶

Haha, Yeah, I'm all into anything that gives me more milk. Just anything!!!

This time around I changed my red date tea formula. After reading on the internet about galactagogues, I got to know a common Chinese herb is one of it. It's astragalus root , 黃耆 or  北耆. My mom will sometimes put this into her soups. And then I went searching for 发奶茶 (lactating tea), and got to know another herb that is used, which is Rice Paper Pith, 通草.  It is commonly found in herbal teas that promote urination like "Hui Sap Sui 去湿水".

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Double Boiled Papaya in Milk 木瓜炖鲜奶 - Confinement Month #2

Confinement should be an enjoyable time.
Bonding with a new baby, and getting pampered by the people around you after delivery.
Gastronomically and emotionally. So why not have some dessert!!

My friend, Wai Wai came to visit me on June 4th and told me about this dessert that she encountered during her stay at a confinement house. The cook prepared this dessert to aid her lactation. And coincidently, I encountered this recipe while surfing that night itself. It was perfect since I had 2 slices of papaya in the fridge, leftover from my self labour induction. I wouldn't want to eat them raw since they were almost 6 days old in the fridge, so I made this delicious dessert with it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Homemade Fenugreek Capsules, for more milk - Confinement Month # 1

Last time, when I had Lydia, I didn't know much about breastfeeding, and yet the inexperienced me didn't do much to have more milk. Now don't tell me, the more the baby sucks, the more I'll have. Oh yes, but I do believe that comes to a certain limit for different individuals. I've one relative whose baby has never suckled and yet can pump 6 oz of milk on first attempt, and thereafter 2 bottles each time. The baby never suckled for at least 3 months because the baby was the the incubator. She had so much milk that the milk was all thrown away due to super excess. How I wish I had that much.

When I had Lyanne, I was determined to give her more, and knowing of my past mistakes, I certainly did better. But to me, how I wished I still had more. I then searched on the internet on ways to increase my supply, and one of the methods is to consume fenugreek.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet Mr R??


First of all, thank you for all the well wishes and concern conveyed. I truly appreciate them.

Secondly, I'm fine, alive and kicking, fed well, resting well and everything's well.

Thirdly, sorry for not posting Mr R's picture for so long. His name is actually............ not confirmed, but then again, I'll still give out the gift according to the original intended name.

The winners are..................... *drum roll*

Elin and Mary Ng. Please email me for mailing address.

Reuben 尚文, that's his name. But my dearie is going to change them, BOTH. Sigh, it's really brain cracking. 
I really loved Reuben, ever since I had Lydia, if she had been a boy, I would've wanted to name her Reuben, which meant "First Son", but she is a girl. So, when I finally got a boy, I wanted Reuben. But alas, few days back, I realized, when combined with his surname, he could be given a very vulgar nickname in Cantonese. Something that I truly want to avoid. So, had to settle for another name. We still have  5 days to dateline to name him and hopefully we will be able to come up with it.

Now, since he will not be called Reuben, Let's call him Di-di, which meant little brother in Chinese, until he gets his name.

Di-di was good to me. The day I was supposed to be induced, June 1, I was dilated and having mild contractions(detected on the CTG), very very much to my delight! The doctor wanted to burst my water bag and put me on drip to induce me. I told him, "No". Being a third timer, haha, I knew what I want. I told him, I want to wait since I'm already dilated and contracting. And so, he only inserted a tablet in me to help with dilation and allowed me to wait...... it was 830am.

3pm, Doc came and checked my dilation, going on very well. He wanted to burst my bag again, I said no! I was having contractions, every 5 minutes. Still bearable. I want the pain to slowly build up rather than come too fast too soon too quick for me to handle.

4pm, I told my hubby to call the nurse to give me Pethidine. The pain seemed to be getting worse, and I'm not holding it well. Nurse then asked me why I didn't allow doc to burst my bag at 3pm just now. She said, it might take a long time until I get into labour and will be in pain for a much longer time. 

430pm, the Pethidine seems to be not working. I told the nurse. I wasn't groggy, the pain is still the same.

445pm, I asked for Gas. Pain is getting stronger.

5pm, 8cm dilated. Absolutely groggy with gas. Midwife found that my membrane was missing, so I have actually burst my own bag sometime ago. Well as you all know, I was low on water. How would I know. I wasn't wet at all. I might have had it gone when I went to the loo.

5.21pm, Di-di came to meet the world in his birthday suit with 2 pushes! One push less than both sisters. He's 3.16kg, with his father's nose and lips.

June 6, I went back for a check up, Doc said, "Wow, everything came so smooth and quick."
I told him, "Actually the few days before I came, I ate all the forbidden foods. Watermelon, papaya, fennel, and fenugreek, all foods that will cause contractions."
Doc laughed and said, "No wonder you were 3cm dilated when you came."

Maybe it was a coincidence that I dilated. Maybe not. I was so scared to be induced by drip that I induced myself first with foods that are supposed to cause early labour. To me, it's ok, since I'm already full term, so what's with early labour? I want to go on labour!

Haha... so, that the story. I do not know if I will get complains on this article like I did for mine on Lyanne's birth. I was told behind my back that I shouldn't have written that on my blog and it was unnecessary. But then, for those who said that, Ooooopps, I did it again! LOL.

Some of you might want to know the sisters' reaction. Whether there is any sibling rivalry or jealousy.
There is none. They both love him to bits. Sometimes too much. Lyanne always want to lay her head next to Di-di, rubbing her face against his. I just worry that she'll bang her head on him, as she is famous for her "tit tou goong", which meant, steel head kungfu.
Lydia will always want to carry Di-di. So, I asked her to sit down on the couch, firmly sitting deep with back rested, and place Di-di on her lap, teaching her to support him with her arms. But one thing I do worry is that she attempts to carry him from his bouncer whenever he cries. 
But so far, they both show deep affection for him, which is great.

Both pictures taken the night that I came back with Di-Di.


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