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Makan At Mum's - A Family Cookbook

A recipe book to celebrate my Mum's food and uphold her keenly developed cooking instincts – A family memento to pass down favourites

Makan at Mum’s is a celebration of Jeanie’s Malaysian - Chinese heritage and her love of cooking and baking - especially for bringing family and friends together.

With her daughter, Katrina, they have captured more than 70 delightful recipes and photographs, so that they may share their passion for food, with you.

Hardcover Launch Edition

AU$59.95 + Delivery

10% of sales from each cookbook will be donated to the independent charity Australian Cancer Research Foundation, to help them continue to back the brightest minds in ground-breaking, life-saving cancer research.

In 2016, my daughter was six months old and I felt something odd like a small piece of gravel in my left breast

One day I was hand expressing and there was a tiny drop of blood in my milk. I texted my mothers’ group and one of them said, “Katrina hon, you’ve got to go get that checked out.”

I was 34, young, fit and healthy. I was an ESCF Paris-trained pastry chef who had worked for Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi in their Soho restaurant NOPI.

I’d worked for Jason Atherton at Pollen Street Social, his one-Michelin-starred restaurant in London

Back home in Sydney I was a mum to a three-year-old and eight-month-old as well as being a freelance food photographer, food technologist, and recipe developer.

I was reluctant to see a doctor, but I knew she was right.

I went to see the breast specialist who took three excruciating core biopsies.

She said to me, “We can wait for the results, but I’ve seen enough to tell you that you have breast cancer”. I had no family history of it. I was gobsmacked.

I was 34, young, fit and healthy. I was an ESCF Paris-trained pastry chef who had worked for Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi in their Soho restaurant NOPI.


I’d worked for Jason Atherton at Pollen Street Social, his one-Michelin-starred restaurant in London. I’d cycled a clunky oma fiets through sleet and snow to get to my early morning bakery shifts in the Netherlands.


Back home in Sydney I was a mum to a three-year-old and eight-month-old as well as being a freelance food photographer, food technologist, and recipe developer. I was reluctant to see a doctor, but I knew she was right.

The metastatic diagnosis gave me the kick up the butt to get the book out there in the world. You know, in case I died before it was finished.

The Village children's book has now been published, after being released in September 2021

After finishing the children’s book draft, I found I needed to let my creativity express itself again. That’s where this little project comes in.

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For me, it's been four long years of non-stop treatments — from intensive chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, to more chemotherapy and other treatments.

My mum turnED 70 last year. She’s an excellent home cook and her cooking is famous among our family and friends.

She wasn’t really a party person. Instead, I decided I wanted to photograph Mum’s very best dishes, attempt to jot down her forever-changing recipes, and create a cookbook for her as a birthday gift.

The recipes in Mum’s cookbook are mostly Chinese and Malaysian home-style cooking.

It’s packed full of generous, humble, nourishing, welcoming and comforting food. The food that fuelled my childhood.

cha siew

This home-made ‘cha siew’ is easy to make and tastes just as good as those glistening red strips of meat you might have seen hanging in the windows of Chinese BBQ shops. This recipe could be cooked in the oven or on the BBQ .

Har mee

A Malaysian dish that utilises prawn heads to give the soup a rich flavour. So remember to keep your prawn head peelings and store in the freezer for future use.

This dish is usually served with kang kong and bean sprouts to complement the noodle soup, however, the meat and seafood garnishes are interchangeable.

MANGO PUDDING

Often seen on yum cha or dim sum dessert carts, you can now enjoy Chinese mango pudding at home. A quick and easy dessert to make ahead. Pop it into the fridge until ready to serve. It's a great one to make during mango season.

The cookbook wasn't initially intended for a wide audience, though. It was to serve as a memento to pass down old, favourite recipes within our own family. My Mum was dubious at first, but once she understood what I was trying to create — not only for her but for my children — she soon warmed to the process.

Makan At Mum's - A Family Cookbook

A recipe book to celebrate my Mum's food and uphold her keenly developed cooking instincts – a family memento to pass down favourites


Some of my favourite dishes in the book are Assam Laksa, Har Mee and Chicken Satay.


There’s humble home food suitable for the whole family such as Wonton Soup, Caramel Chicken with Potato and Shiitake, or Steamed Silken Egg with Pork.


Mum is also a fabulous baker and we have captured her flawless Chiffon Cake, as well as Asian desserts such as Nine-Layer Kuih Cake and Mango Pudding.

ABOUT MY MUM JEANIE

My Mum Jeanie has Chinese heritage and was born and lived in Malaysia through her childhood and teenage years as one of five kids. Her parents had a Chinese supermarket that sold imported foodstuffs and exotic fresh fruits from different countries. Food has been in our blood for generations.

Jeanie emigrated to Australia when she was 19 and settled into her new home. Our family have owned and run multiple restaurants, Asian take-away outlets (noodle bars, Chinese takeaway, satay, sushi, steamed buns), juice bars and cafes in Sydney for more than 30 years. After decades in hospitality, they should be retired, but they're still feeding Sydney!



Mum is the type of seasoned cook who cooks by instinct; shops almost daily; rarely follows a recipe but is always looking at recipes for inspiration; tweaks the food every time; and comes up with what to cook that night, based on what looks best at the market, or what she has available in her always fully-stocked fridge, pantry or freezer.



Every Wednesday for five months I went to her house after dropping my kids at daycare and school. Mum would cook the dishes – she always multitasks and never makes just one thing at a time – she’d plate, I’d style and photograph them (and try to keep up with her). It turns out we work really well together. We captured over 70 magical photos and recipes. After each week, Mum would scribble down how she had made that dish on that occasion.



After five months of solid work, we had over 70 gorgeous recipes to feel proud of

Working on this book together has, for the first time, celebrated my mum’s food. It has validated her keenly developed cooking instincts and shown her how amazing her talent is.


Mum would never consider what she does as anything remarkable. It’s just what she does. She nourishes the family. She shows love through her food and through her cooking.


While we were shooting, she said “I never knew my food could look this good!” I replied, “It’s always tasted this good; it’s now just making it look as good as it tastes.”

Around the time of wrapping up the photoshoots, I developed breathlessness to add to five months of unexplained, debilitating, burning pain in my left scapula. This has led to my current situation – the cancer has progressed further to my lungs, brain and spine. I’m now on a new third generation chemotherapy drug (for the fourth time) and just finished more radiation therapy (for the third time).

HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVOURITE DISHES FROM THE COOKBOOK

ASSAM LAKSA

This noodle soup dish has a complex and deeply satisfying flavour. It may not be as popular as its better-known cousin, curry laksa, but it still packs a punch. It’s not an everyday food, but is certainly a dish that you yearn for, every now and then. Every so often, when I make ‘Assam Laksa’, the whole family come home to eat.


HAR MEE

A Malaysian dish that utilises prawn heads to give the soup a rich flavour. So remember to keep your prawn head peelings and store in the freezer for future use.

This dish is usually served with kang kong and bean sprouts to complement the noodle soup, however, the meat and seafood garnishes are interchangeable.

CHICKEN SATAY

In Malaysia, satay is a common street-food, popular with both kids and adults. Back in the 1980s in Sydney, our family had a satay shop in the city called “Just Satay”, selling skewers of chicken, pork, beef and prawn satay.


CHIFFON CAKE

A light and moist sponge, this is a tried-and-true recipe that has been made countless times for the enjoyment of many friends and family. My most often requested recipe, I have tweaked it over time to be the best it can be.

NINE-LAYER KUIH

‘Kuih’ (pronounced “kway”) broadly means ‘cake’ and encompasses a wide variety of bite-sized snacks or desserts. In this case, it’s a Malaysian steamed layer cake, made with rice flour, coconut milk and a sugar syrup infused with pandan

.

MANGO PUDDING

Often seen on yum cha or dim sum dessert carts, you can now enjoy Chinese mango pudding at home. A quick and easy dessert to make ahead. Pop it into the fridge until ready to serve. It's a great one to make during mango season.

Makan At Mum's - A Family Cookbook

A celebration of Jeanie’s Malaysian - Chinese heritage and her love of cooking and baking - especially for bringing family and friends together.

There are over 70 recipes in the book, to celebrate my Mum's 70 years of a wonderful life, full of family, friends and food.


There is a full colour photo for every dish to use as a guide, so we can make them how she made them.


The first edition hardcover book comes professionally printed locally in Australia using a full colour offset printing process on 150gsm gloss paper giving it the high quality it deserves

Hardcover Launch Edition

AU$59.95 + Delivery

Here's SOME WONDERFUL FEEDBACK WE'VE RECEIVED

Kat I'm loving you / your mums cookbook! Made the fried rice today. Next week will be the stewed chicken with mushrooms and potatoes. Stan is in cookbook heaven as the book has recipes for everything single one of his favourite Malaysian foods!

- victoria wilkinson

Wow! This is the most exciting and accessible cook book that I've seen in years. Delicious recipes - my family's favourites. Congratulations you clever chicken. What a feat! So happy to be a recipient.

- nikki

I just got my copy too - makes me so happy, as a kid who grew up in Malaysia to have a recipe with gula melaka (Malaysia's national dessert) and pavlova in the one book! I feel seen! And so many yummy things - BBQ pork, mango pudding! Ordering 3 more copies for my family.

- Liana Downey

Katrina I just received my book and I am blown away by it! The photos are gorgeous, the recipes look so delicious. I can't wait to cook from it. You should be so so so proud of what you've achieved.

- Rebecca O'Dwyer

WE ALSO received the "Project We Love" award from Kickstarter

Our cookbook was successfully funded by 810 backers to the tune of $55,000 at the start of 2021.

Makan At Mum's - A Family Cookbook

A recipe book to celebrate my Mum's food and uphold her keenly developed cooking instincts – a family memento to pass down favourites

There are over 70 recipes in the book, to celebrate my mum's 70 years of a wonderful life, full of family, friends and food.


There is a full colour photo for every dish to use as a guide, so we can make them how she made them.


The first edition hardcover book comes professionally printed locally in Australia using a full colour offset printing process on 150gsm gloss paper giving it the high quality it deserves

Hardcover Launch Edition

AU$59.95 + Delivery

frequently asked questions

Are the recipes easy to follow?

We put a lot of effort into formulating my Mum's recipes in an easy to follow format and provide both metric and imperial ingredient measurements.


The feedback and photos we've received so far from cookbook owners are showing that the recipes are very achievable for the home cook.

Can I download a PDF copy of the book?

Whilst we do not have a version of the cookbook available on PDF we have created a mobile app version for both iPhone and Android phones. These are available on the respective app stores if you search for Makan At Mum's.


We do also have available an ebook / Kindle version available for purchase on Amazon if you prefer a digital format book.

Is the book available anywhere else?

As we chose to have the hardcover version printed locally in Australia, inventory for this version is currently only available directly through our own website here.


However we do also have a print on demand paperback version of the book available internationally through book retailers such as Amazon.

How long does delivery take?

Delivery within Australia costs $20 by insured courier with current delivery times taking up to 5 days.


International delivery outside of Australia costs $30 via Australia Post Airmail with currently delivery times between 2-3 weeks from date of lodgement.

Perhaps inspired by my Mum’s lifetime spent cooking for others and refining her recipes, you’ll find that you can "makan" some nourishing, comforting, home-cooked food too.

Makan At Mum's - A Family Cookbook

A recipe book to celebrate my Mum's food and uphold her keenly developed cooking instincts – a family memento to pass down favourites

There are over 70 recipes in the book, to celebrate my Mum's 70 years of a wonderful life, full of family, friends and food.


There is a full colour photo for every dish to use as a guide, so we can make them how she made them.


The hardcover book comes professionally printed locally in Australia using a full colour offset printing process on 150gsm gloss paper giving it the high quality it deserves

Hardcover Launch Edition

AU$59.95 + Delivery

10% of sales from each cookbook will be donated to the independent charity Australian Cancer Research Foundation, to help them continue to back the brightest minds in ground-breaking, life-saving cancer research.

Online versions also available

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