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Cold crab claw, Sauteed Prawn, Baked Cod with garlic, Char Siew and Fried Bee Hoon, eaten with a dollop of Mom’s sambal belacan on the side

I don’t remember how or when it all started, but we’ve been celebrating National Day at my parents’ place for years.  We all show up in red and white, watch the Parade on tv, and have dinner. It’s something we look forward to.

For a long time, we did barbeque.  But of late, we’ve had steamboat-barbeque or just steamboat, and this year, a red-and-white potluck.

Mom had said she would prepare crab. That’s always good news because she gets really good live crab which she slaughters at home on her own before cooking.  It’s all rather heroic.  I’ve never even bought live crab, let alone try to slaughter one myself.  I’ve only ever cooked the frozen kind, all cleaned and shelled.  She bought 8 crabs this time round.  Yes, 8!  She does spoil us.

“Patriotic” Fried Bee Hoon, cooked with an ikan bilis stock

Anyway, she suggested I make a red-and-white fried bee hoon and some char siew, and I was happy to oblige.  Between the parents and my sister’s family, there was also prawn and baked cod.

Char Siew

To be honest, I stopped paying much attention to the Parade on tv some years back, only stopping to actually watch when it came to the National Pledge and Anthem, and maybe the finale. But I have to say it’s usually quite spectacular, especially the fireworks display.  Against the backdrop of our beautiful night-time city skyline, it’s enough to bring tears of national pride to one’s eyes.  Check out this album by Cam Rolling Studio for some photographs.

I know of some Singaporeans who love not just watching the Parade live at the venue, but being a part of it as well.  On my part, I just realised I’ve never once watched it live, and I think it’s time to change that.  Now I just have to figure out how to get myself some tickets for next year’s.

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