October 3, 2023


Free For All Food

Community musician keeps traditions alive by cooking and marketing Eurasian Christmas dishes

a person holding a microphone: Lyia (left) and her husband Zack have had to switch to a new source of revenue since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. — Picture courtesy of Lyia Meta

© Presented by Malay Mail
Lyia (remaining) and her spouse Zack have experienced to swap to a new resource of earnings because the Covid-19 pandemic hit. — Photo courtesy of Lyia Meta

PETALING JAYA, Dec 21 — For neighborhood musician Lyia Meta, Xmas generally meant tantalising aromas wafting out of her grandmother’s kitchen area.

From typical Eurasian favourites like Devil’s Curry and Christmas pie, to sweet-smelling desserts like fruitcake and sugee cake, regular, household-cooked meals was constantly in abundance throughout Xmas.

“During Xmas, we utilised to hang out at my grandmother’s house and get pleasure from just watching her cook.

“She was so speedy in the kitchen, it was like she was on ‘fast forward’ the total time.

“Christmas meal was a significant deal,” claimed Lyia in an interview with Malay Mail.

“We’d have family and near friends over, and the table would be full of all the renowned Portuguese dishes, all solitary handedly organized by my grandmother.”

Even though this 12 months has been notably challenging for Lyia like other circuit musicians all more than the country with are living enjoyment mainly prohibited all over the yr, it has also supplied her a very little extra time to cook dinner and bake her treasured common dishes.

Due to the fact the movement handle buy arrived into spot, Lyia turned herself into a foodstuff entrepreneur, mainly cooking and marketing traditional Eurasian dishes and cakes by using her Fb web site, Pot to Plate by Lyia Meta.

a plate of food: Some of the dishes from Lyia’s menu this week, featuring whole baked chicken and eggless Spaghetti Carbonara. — Picture via Facebook/Pot to Plate by Lyia Meta

© Delivered by Malay Mail
Some of the dishes from Lyia’s menu this 7 days, showcasing complete baked chicken and eggless Spaghetti Carbonara. — Picture by using Facebook/Pot to Plate by Lyia Meta

“I did not truly want to cook dinner and bake for a prolonged time. I only did it for my rapid family members. But you know, the times are as this sort of,” claimed the 49-calendar year-outdated.

“And also, in a way, I consider as we get more mature, we have to realise that we require to continue to keep particular traditions alive. It should not halt with us.

“So that’s what I’m attempting to do, by cooking all of these Eurasian dishes, the way my grandmother and mom utilized to do it.”

The Melaka-born singer presently cooks and sells a wide variety of classic Eurasian Christmas dishes on her Facebook site this kind of as Curry Seku, Devil’s Curry, Curry Feng, sey bak, fruitcake, sugee cake and pineapple tarts — all employing her grandmother’s recipes.

Lyia even designed spectacular brushwork artwork on some of her cake orders this Xmas, as she took fondant art to a diverse stage, by painting Xmas-themed silhouettes on the cakes.

A look at the stunning brushwork fondant cakes. — Picture via Facebook/Pot to Plate by Lyia Meta

© Provided by Malay Mail
A look at the gorgeous brushwork fondant cakes. — Photograph by using Facebook/Pot to Plate by Lyia Meta

“My clients often want me to do icing for the cakes but I don’t truly have the technological expertise to do the icing like cake decorators out there. So I told my buyers if they are alright with it, why not place some of my paintings on the cake as an alternative.”

Lyia is also a proficient artist and sells her extraordinary paintings and practical portraits as nicely as a sort of income.

She said that it can take around two times to end the brushwork fondant cakes, as she preps the cake a working day in progress, before paying the future early morning portray the illustrations.

Lyia also stated that even though she enjoys investing time in the kitchen area whipping up Eurasian delights, the revenue made from cooking are not seriously adequate to spend the payments.

“It’s not feasible. There’s no way it can be since the marketplace is so saturated.

“When Covid-19 strike, a great deal of people today fell back again into cooking, for the reason that most Malaysian homes have at least 1 cook,” she mentioned.

“So every person who can cook dinner went back again to undertaking that and there is just so substantially foodstuff out there. No matter if it’s very good or undesirable, it doesn’t make any difference mainly because it’s nonetheless out there.

“So what the food does is in essence give us sufficient cash to endure that working day, like a hand to mouth type of point.”

Luckily for Lyia, on the other hand, she’s managed to get by this challenging year by pursuing her other artistic talents like painting, and has a short while ago also begun promoting hand-painted Christmas-themed lanterns.

Lyia decided to make and sell more of these glass Christmas lanterns after receiving a lot of positive feedback from her friends and family. — Picture via Facebook/Lyia Meta Visual Art

© Supplied by Malay Mail
Lyia determined to make and provide additional of these glass Xmas lanterns after getting a whole lot of optimistic opinions from her good friends and spouse and children. — Photograph by way of Facebook/Lyia Meta Visual Art

“My art has form of assisted make ends satisfy.

“In these past two months, it is been fairly financially rewarding,” explained Lyia.

“I’ve been generating these lanterns each individual yr for about 4 or 5 yrs, for relatives and mates.

“Then in the previous two a long time, there has been a whole lot of interest from overseas like in the US, Australia, Russia and Singapore.”

Lyia reported that it takes around 10 times to prepare the lanterns, relying on the styles, as she paints on all four sides of the glass and normally has to wait for one facet to dry before painting an additional.

Lyia is just one of the handful of neighborhood circuit musicians who have gained global recognition for her musical exploits.

She has also received a lot of awards for her music, most notably picking up the Earth Tunes Artist of The 12 months award for two a long time running at the 2018 and 2019 Josie Songs Awards in Tennessee, United states of america.

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