Irene Hoofs is the creative brain behind two of our favourite blogs: Bloesem Living and Bloesem Kids. She always digs up the most beautiful finds, and her blogs are full of inspiration. Irene lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband Rik and their two cute sons Lode and Kiet. Here is her dinnertime story!
In my house we have dinner in ‘shifts’. We are all together, my two boys, my husband and I, but the boys have dinner first around 5:30pm or so while my husband and I sit at the table or kitchen countertop to have a drink and a snack. We have an open kitchen that directly connects to the dining area. Since we both work full-time, this is our moment to blow off a bit of steam and share the day’s war stories. After the kids have gone to bed around 7:30pm we sit down and have a quiet dinner, sometimes with friends or family who are visiting us in Malaysia. All sounds pretty organized? Not so organized actually; getting the boys to sit still for more than a few minutes and finish their dinner is quite a challenge! As a measure of last resort, we promise a reward, mostly ice-cream or a frozen yogurt-stick, if they finish their veggies. What is a mom to do?
My secret weapon, chef and backbone of the household, is lovely Ruth. Ruth is our live-in nanny and cook in Kuala Lumpur. She is simply amazing. Ruth left Myanmar when she was 15 years old and has been working as a private cook since. First, ten years with families in Bangkok and now she has been with us for almost a year. We are very lucky to have her and enjoy Thai cuisine every day; she also makes wonderful what she calls “non-spicy and a bit boring Western” dishes, such as Shepherd’s pie and lasagna. Ruth’s homemade secret recipe spring rolls are to die for! As you know, it is quite common in Asia to have a live-in nanny. To me, living in Malaysia without the support network of my family in the Netherlands close by, having a trusted pair of hands to help run the household is truly a blessing, allowing me to work at home and run my Bloesem blogs.
Of course, I do dabble in the kitchen myself in the weekends and make a few decent Italian dishes. I really envy the Italians, such a beautiful tradition of food and family dinners. So I try to instill a bit of that traditional family dinner culture in my house – time out for all to simply enjoy mom’s home cooking. If I don’t feel like cooking in the weekends, we eat out in one of the many restaurants in Kuala Lumpur; our favorite one, Chinoz, is only a short walk from where we live; they make excellent fresh sushi that even the boys enjoy; their favorite is the “cucumber maki”. Eating out with the entire family, including young kids or babies is a very normal thing to do in Malaysia and most restaurants are fully equipped with baby chairs, coloring sets and all sorts of other distractions for the kids to help them sit through a long dinner. This is one of the things I like about Asia: kids are allowed everywhere, all the time, the more the merrier.
Thank you ladies from Babyccino for this lovely invitation. I simply love Babyccino and all the inspiring things you do so it is a treat for me to be a guest here. xxirene
Last but not least a recipe… well actually I don’t really have one. But here at BKids you can find some handy ones!