It's a pity back then that one could only take monochromatic pictures. I was too young to remember but one thing's for sure, that four-panel cabinet is light olive green with white outline. I know because it still sits at the same spot today even though most parts of that area had been upgraded through the years. That cabinet is my mum's arsenal of sauces, spices and seasonings. The door panels can be fan-folded to the right for easy access during cooking.
Growing up with a mum who's capable of cooking anything contributed to a very delicious childhood. Bringing up six kids was not easy when one was a full-time school teacher and had to feed the whole family. Did I mention cleaning and washing after all of us too?
My favourite childhood snack was none other than her "stuffed tauhu" -- squares of tofu deep fried, cut into triangular halves, where its white inner part was slit to make a pocket. Then, only would my mum allow us kids to continue on our own: stuff the pocket with blanched bean sprouts and freshly julienned cucumber. That's not all. Mum would have made her special peanut sauce for us to spoon all over the pocket. It was literally something we sank our teeth into! Crunchy (crispy tofu skin), soft (white parts inside the tofu), crunchy (crushed peanut bits), soft (blanched bean sprouts), crunchy (fresh cucumber), repeat. Mum would just make these in large batches and we'd eat them all day long.
I never really had the chance to cook under my mum's supervision. I think we were such playful kids that she was afraid we'd cut, chop or fry ourselves by accident if we hung around the kitchen when she cooked. Our only form of "cooking", me and my brother S, was what we called "Rojak Bubuk". Rojak being the type of salad commonly found in Malaysia and Singapore; Bubuk was simply a kiddie word derived from the word "tumbuk" (to pound). So we basically collected assorted leaves from the garden and pounded them with stones. Thank God no one ate them.
These days, mum doesn't cook as intensely, except on special occasions or when one of us is back at her house. But thanks, mum, for all the years of ensuring that no one went to bed hungry. And I suppose I did inherit some of your wonderful cooking genes after all ;-)