CNY Potluck Gathering, Melbourne Flash Flooding Drama & Girls Weekend Away

(Photo: “Tu Kha Sng” Pork Leg dish I cooked up for Chinese New Year)

I just had a very interesting weekend. So much was happening in the last few days it was crazy! It all started on Friday night, as the rain started pouring at 6pm and I had to drive through areas in Narre Warren that already started flash flooding after less than 15 minutes of heavy rain. My poor little Barina braved through the flooded areas and I somehow managed to get home safely.

But it didn’t end there. As soon as hubby got home, we had to brave the heavy rains and potential flood areas once again to get to our friends’ house for the Chinese New Year potluck gathering I already cooked for the night before. It was still raining very heavily, and the drains outside our house were overflowing and water was everywhere, but we went out anyway. We probably should’ve stayed home, especially after we turned right into Bemersyde Drive and was greeted by water so high our tyres were covered, and there was already a car there stuck! We persevered, and drove slowly but steadily and soon got out of the worst areas and arrived safely at our party house on the hill.

Once we were inside, we had a great time…

The rain stopped later that night, so eventually we managed to drive home without too much drama. We had no idea what we were about to see the next day…

This was a photo of MY street! Just down the road the flash floods were so bad the road was closed and people walked over there to see what was happening and we were just amazed at what we saw. The farmlands down the road were all completely flooded, animals had to be rescued, a few houses were affected but thankfully most of the commercially built houses were up my end of the street at higher ground so our house was safe.

Can you imagine seeing ducks swimming on the road I normally drive on every single day?

So we decided to go on a little adventure and explore nearby areas where we think were highly affected. Hashtags #vicfloods were everywhere on Twitter. I was tweeting the whole time too.

Check out my photo album on Flickr: VICTORIA FLOODS 5TH FEB 2011

One of the major dramas we witnessed while we were out exploring was seeing a teenage boy cling on to his life in surging waters hugging a telephone pole! Apparently, 3 silly teenagers decided to “have a bit of fun” until they realise the water was surging dangerously fast and whilst 2 boys managed to get out safely, one got stuck! So eventually, the rescue teams from CFA and SES arrived and the picture above was when the teenage boy was being rescued in Beaconsfield. I was just lucky to be at the right place at the right time, and took some amazing shots of the rescue in progress that Reuters News contacted me via Twitter and asked to purchase my photos!

So, I was “Citizen Journalist” for the day and my photo got published in news websites all over the world thanks to Reuters. Example here below on Yahoo! News:

(Click for larger image. I’ve circled where it says “REUTERS/Kimberly Peterson” I thought that was really cool. This photo was also featured on SRN News, The Irish Times and 2space)

Click here to see more rescue photos including more flooded areas, the traffic chaos and Channel 9 News helicopter hovering right above us!

After all that drama and the excitement of speaking to reporters and emailing my photos to the local news, my day took another lovely spin of traveling to the coastal areas of McCrae and Rosebud with my sister in laws for our Girls Weekend Away. We were spending the night at The Shores Accommodation at McCrae in a lovely 3-bedroom townhouse.

The Shores Accommodation provided everything we needed and the townhouse is absolutely gorgeous! We were a short distance away from Rosebud shops and restaurants, but unfortunately the weather obviously meant we didn’t get to spend any time at the beach. No complaints though, we were more than happy to stay in the townhouse and enjoy a night in watching movies and just talking and enjoying each others company.

Finally, I am not forgetting the fact that this is indeed a food blog and this post would somewhat be incomplete if I didn’t share my recipe for the “Tu Kha Sng” Pork Leg which I cooked up for Chinese New Year! This dish is one of my aunt’s signature dishes and I am grateful that this recipe has been passed on to me! It’s my favorite childhood dish during our annual Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner back in Malaysia. The Hokkien name “Tu Kha Sng” directly translated means “Pork Leg Sour”. Its flavors are predominantly sweet, sour and mildly spicy from the fresh chillies.

“Tu Kha Sng” Pork Leg Recipe

Serves 12 – 16 people

6kg pork leg, chopped into casserole pieces, skin and bone on
20 garlic cloves, unchopped, thin layer skin on
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup hot chilli sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup caster sugar
4 red chillis, sliced

In a large pot, slowly heat pork leg (covered) for about 10 minutes or until the water produced naturally by the meat starts simmering. Add dark soy sauce. Simmer further for 30 minutes, covered, in medium heat.

Add garlic cloves and simmer for another 15 minutes, covered.

Add tomato sauce, hot chilli sauce, vinegar and caster sugar. Stir gently. Simmer for another hour, or until the meat is tender. Add most of the amount of sliced chillies (leave some for garnish) and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Serve hot and garnish with remaining sliced chillies. Serve with steamed rice and stirfried Chinese vegetables with egg tofu.


29 thoughts on “CNY Potluck Gathering, Melbourne Flash Flooding Drama & Girls Weekend Away

  1. wow, those pics are amazing. thanks for sharing those. i've seen the stories on the news, but nothing like hitting the concept home with the account of a person in the middle of the situation. i'm glad you were able to resume your life to something approaching normal. i'm a vegetarian, but i really liked your photos of your new year spread. the colors are very bright and festive. if i didn't know better i would think you were in California, no flooding outside at all! cheers.


  2. OMGosh that certainly sounds like an adventurous weekend. And very brave of you to drive in the floods. I miss pot luck gatherings, maybe I oughta create one. 🙂


  3. OMGosh that certainly sounds like an adventurous weekend. And very brave of you to drive in the floods. I miss pot luck gatherings, maybe I oughta create one. 🙂


  4. Oh my, more flash floods! We just had ours last week. Thank god, it was all over now. Otherwise, I won't be able to go home to celebrate New Year with my family. But not all so lucky. Some of the riverside houses already covered with flood over the roof. Frankly, it was pretty scary & dangerous to drive through the flooded area during the night. Never ever do that again, girl! Definitely the food will keep everyone warm and glad you enjoyed the night. Btw, congrats on your photo. You just made yourself a 'Fat' new Year. haha….. gong xi gong xiBlessings, Kristy


  5. What an adventure – glad you weren't flooded and glad you didn't miss the feast. I have pork leg on my shopping list – it was going to be simply roasted but I'm taking a detour and making your aunt's Tu Kha Sng Pork Leg. (great photo journalism by the way)


  6. Your pot luck gathering looked to be a success – even with the rising waters!I love the pork leg – it seems similar to something I used to get in Atlanta… it was killer, too 🙂


  7. Getting your photo in the news was incredible! Congratulations! Maybe you're onto something with a side job. This recipe sounds delicious! From looking at the photo I thought it was going to be more complex but the ingredients list was farely short. Yummy!


  8. Happy CNY to you. Your pork dish looks soo good. you had quite a weekend, floods, and then your pictures being taken by Reuters. And then to top it off, you had a wonderful girls getaway!


  9. Blogger today, Journalist tomorrow! How cool is that having the newspapers publish your pics?! Haven't had this “too kar” before … only the stuff with black vinegar. Sounds interesting. Looks fiery!Oh, and I'd like to invite you to my virtual potluck party.


  10. Kimba-You are such a sweetheart, you share so much, such wonderful photos;just such a shame about all that flooding you are getting in Australia.Loved reading your posts, and the photos of the CNY feast, so amazing!Also love your spicy delicious port dish you made. So vibrant with colors, and flavors!Thanks so much for sharing about your past weekend…loved it!


  11. Pork leg dish! This similar to what my mom used to cook for us during our childhood time, I missed those day. Sad that my mom no longer can cook for us as she is now in nursing home. I will keep this recipe and try to find the taste back, I hope.Thanks for sharing.


  12. First of all, I'm glad you and your family fared well during the storm and it's so neat that you captured those important rescue shots for all to see. But I have to admit that when I first clicked on the page and saw that stew, I became a bit distracted. How mouthwatering is that! So happy to see that you shared the recipe with us at the end of your post. I will surely be trying your aunt's (and now yours) signature recipe. 🙂


  13. Hi! Getting your photos on the news was definitely cool! Great job! Sorry to hear about the floods that are going on over there…I have a close friend up in Brisbane who has going through the same thing. Hope the weather will get better soon…for everyone! Love your tu kha recipe! My mum has one too where she uses (I'm pretty sure) seng boi. I never make it though…always just wait for mum to make. LOL!


  14. Glad you didn't forget to post your recipe! :)The floods in Australia have been just awful – glad you got to your get together safely – and get you! Reuters photographer. Not a bad bit of info to be able to throw into a blog post! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s