All my cookbooks bar one sit tucked away on a set of shelves in my kitchen where they're instantly accessible. Tools of the trade to get dog-eared and splattered with food. One of them is somewhat different to all the others though and so has pride of place on the living room shelves nestled amongst, come to think of it, some pretty random things: a couple of human bones, a nautilus shell, some mementos from The Fat Duck and a pickled shark - to name a few.
My girlfriend is half-Malaysian and a couple of years ago we went over there to visit her family. As far as food goes it's by far and away the best food I've ever eaten on a holiday, or for any two weeks of my life for that matter. As this blog shows I'm pretty partial to oriental food and over there, surprisingly, they tend to eat it all the time. Noodles for breakfast isn't a sign you failed to finish your takeaway the night before, it's just normal everyday fodder. Over the course of the holiday I many dishes stuck in my mind and I took loads of photos.
Later in that year I received a present from my girlfriend and opened up to find the most amazing handmade cookbook. Leah had collated all our food related holiday photos and then scoured the web for recipes corresponding to the dishes in them. It was such an amazing present and so nicely done, yet she still wonders why I don't have it in the kitchen getting greasy with all the others.
Anyway here's a few photos of inside the book, along with some others that are in the book.
One of the dishes that stuck in my mid the most from the trip was kangkong belacan. Luckily Leah got a recipe for it in the book and so I thought I'd make and blog it for you.