Wednesday, October 31, 2012


One airline recently offered free seats to various destinations. The year is ending and many people are planning their holidays.  Some may desire to go somewhere exotic, some to go to less traveled hideaways,  some prefer to escape to the winter wonderlands.  The holidays maybe a brief  visit or a short week or perhaps more than a month. 
For some, the journey has been a happy and memorable trip while some may feel that the holidays has been disappointing or  totally unsatisfactory journey.  These experiences depends in whose company we have chosen to travel with.  Some may find that they have got into the wrong car and chosen the  wrong "key" (ie person with no common interest).

At the end of  every journey, we have to go home.

We just said goodbye to the  Mr. Macgyver in the family - my brother in law met with a car accident on Hari Raya Haji.  He went into a coma and passed away on Saturday without regaining consciousness.
He was a down-to-earth person, always willing to help and a true "Mr. Macgyver"  in the family- a very handyman - fixing this and that and improvising whenever needed. I am thankful of  these very "constructive" lessons that he had taught my son.  He was also very active in his diving and fishing trips.  He had cared and cooked for my mother-in-law throughout her illness despite himself being a dialysis patient.   

Life lessons to be learned from the butterfly. Brief  yet colourful!

Church members saying the final goodbye

At the Cheras crematorium.

Relatives and friends saying their goodbyes.

His son and wife saying their final goodbye before the casket was lowered for cremation.
The ashes will be collected and put in the columbarium at the Nilai Memorial where his parents were- to welcome him. 

The flower bloom and wilt and our journey on this earth may be as brief as the flower, so whom do we want to accompany us on the way and to which home we are returning at the end of  journey.

May you rest in peace, Sam Yoong.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On the 12th day ...

I have been looking forward to tasting delicious Vinegared Pigs Trotters and Chicken in Rice Wine since my niece has given birth to a baby boy.   These 2 dishes are traditionally cooked on the 12th day after birth and it becomes the staple diet for the  new mother till the full month.

Rockabye baby, sleeping comfortly on his bed.

I recalled when my mother was alive and whenever she became a grandmother over again,  she would make sure that these 2 dishes  would be cooked on the 12th day and delivered personally  to the aunties and uncles (her brothers and sisters) to announce the birth of a newborn. The father of the newborn had to make a journey all over the city for this delivery. They could gave an angpow as blessing for the newborn in return.

Nowadays,  all the "aunties and uncles"  ie my siblings and myself, all come together at the newborn's house instead.   For this event, my sister in law had ordered  4 pig trotters (hand) 2 pig trotters (leg) and 4 chickens and more than 1 kg of Bentong-grown ginger! Not a lot considering such a big family!  So I helped her to prepare these before hand especially the ginger and  pig trotters got to be cooked at least 1 day beforehand for the flavour to develop on Friday. Of course, the cooking was done by the great grandmother, a accomplished cook.

 Yummy Chicken in Rice Wine.

My favourite Pig Trotters in Black Vinegar and bonus - hardboiled eggs as well.

I also  cooked another popular dish normally served during confinement period.  Since there are so many taboos on what you can eat and cannot/should not eat during confinement, this is a "safe" dish - Sweet and Salty  Mui Choy with Pork. A splash  of rice wine is added at the end of cooking.

Next I made some Steamed Yam (Taro) Cake- this is not suitable for the new mother as Taro cannot be consumed during confinement as it cause allergy and itching of the wound.

I still had some pre-fermented sponge and decided to bake some bread too.

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll

Again some Butter Buns- this time, I mixed 100 gm of butter with 60 gm of icing sugar instead of just a cube of butter.

I also make some Pan-fry Steamed Paus aka Taiwanese Paus aka momos.

1. Minced soft lean part of pork.  Season with soya sauce, pepper and some egg white.   Do not add salt at this stage as it will draws out the juices and make the meat tough. Leave to marinate.
2. Meanwhile  process  a small cabbage finely.
3. Mix together with the pork and now add a teaspoon of chicken stock powder and salt.
Important:  Only mix together when ready to steam the paus otherwise the salt will draw out the juices from the cabbage too.

Prepare the dough:- (can be prepared overnight and rest in fridge)
200 gm of plain flour
160 gm of pau flour
1 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening.

Mix all dough and lightly knead the dough till smooth  and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 20 gm each ball.   Roll into thin circle and filled with 1 tablespoon of the meat filling.

Pleat the paus and seal the tops properly. Remember to dust the bottom of the pau with some flour to prevent it from sticking until you are ready to pan-fry them.

Heat a non-stick pan/wok. Add a bit of oil and on low heat, pan fry the paus till the bottoms are golden brown. Add about 1 cup of water ie cover half way of the pau and cover and let it simmer till paus are cooked and water has evaporated.     

Dish up and served warm with chili sauce or julienned ginger in black vinegar sauce.  

So here's to you, May and Vicky who are presently in Nepal/Bhutan for holidays. Tell me about the momos that you have eaten over there when you come home.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Last weekened, we went for a BBQ Poolside Buffet dinner at the Zon Residence Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.    

The poolside.

My sister with the Twin Towers in the background.

The Dessert table inside the cafe.
The buffet line also inside the cafe. The food is mediocre.
There are freshly grilled/bbq lamb, chicken, beef near the poolside.
Since we were seated outside/poolside, we have to go up and down to the cafe, rather inconvenient.

The mosque is just beside the hotel. 

Maybe you can drop by during this  long weekend! Selamat Hari Raya Haji. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012


The local newspapers have been encouraging the people to do good and volunteer for various charities.
I was lucky and thankful for the opportunity to put into practice some volunteering service last weekend.

In collaboration with the breast cancer awareness month, Softlan has organised a few roadshows around the major supermarkets.  Their promotion "A Touch of Love, a touch of Life" pledge to raise RM100,000 toward breast cancer charities, including the BCWA, Makna and the National Cancer Society. For every photograph taken (by the way it is free of charge), Softlan will donate 10 cents towards these charities. You can also buy their promotional bottle with the pink ribbon  at RM8.99  and cents will also go towards the charities.

This is my first time as a volunteer for the Breast Cancer Welfare Awareness society  and I was lucky to partner with Madam Choong Poh Geok for this event at the Jusco at AU2 at Setiawangsa.   Madam Choong is a cancer survivor and she is such a wonderful and jovial person.   She is very patient to explain to the shoppers that drop by the counter and she make sure that she did not missed out any important particulars to share with them- she even run after them!  Her earnestness, passion and knowledge to spread the importance of early detection by way of self-examination is  really an eye opener to me.  I truly enjoyed learning from her and at the same time sharing with the people.

We were working together with 2 promoters from Softlan company.  We  approached the shoppers to get their photo taken and at the same time to talk to them about breast cancer awareness.  These are some of the responses from the shoppers:-

1.  some would straightaway refused before you even finish explaining what it is all about and walk away.
2.  some are too shy and refuse you politely
3.  some are so willing to participate and do something for charity.
4.  some detour when they see us approaching
5.  some just come forward to enquire about breast cancer
6.  some are not aware of importance of doing self-examination.
7.  some dropped by to share with us their own survival experiences - gave them hugs for their bravery.

The numbers of pledges ie the photographs taken.

Men too can be at risk of breast cancer.
We received some free samples from this promoter hehehe.

Time flies and soon it was time for the next shift of volunteers to take over from us. I was really glad of this opportunity and am gladly looking forward to the next time.
Do check out the Softlan facebook on this programme.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Welcome to the the Chan Family, you are number 52 and the youngest member!

I have become a grand-aunt again, thanks to my niece who gave birth to a cutie boy yesterday.

May God bless him and be with him as he continues to grow up healthy and wisely and also the parents to nurture and bring him up accordingly to Your will. Amen.


After the Mid-Autumn festival, I have extra salted eggs leftover. I had long marked the recipe from Elinluv's Tidbits Corner which requires around 10 salted  egg yolks.  So high time to try out the recipe. Please visit her blog for the complete recipe.

It is better to prepare the filling the night before so that it will be easier to handle.
Steamed salted egg yolks- mashed them while hot finely.

Melt the butter and mix in the evaporated  milk and flours and cooked till a thick batter is form. Refrigerate the cool custard overnight.  

Scooped around just a teaspoon each and roll them into rounds.

Divide the dough into 20 gm pieces and wrap them with the filling (her recipe does give a very soft pau!) I do not have the Hongkong flour and use the Pau flour instead.

I proof the pau for around 30 minutes before steaming them.

Ready and I can't wait for them to cool! Very soft and fluffy and the custard filling is slightly salty and sweet - very good combination.

Thank You Elin for the recipe- the buns were great only that I would not the filling to  a "flowing"  consistency. I must have done  something wrong somewhere.  But some  do "flow" out alright during the steaming process!

I also made some Coconut Buns.  I love these buns - childhood memories - we got them from the Roti Vendor on his motorbike! But these buns seems to be of a bygone past.
I like eating these and kueh using fresh  coconut. However when it comes to baking, it is not my favorite ingredient. Maybe it has got to do with the "oily" rancid smell that you get when you baked them especially the dessicated coconut.

Freshly grated coconut mix together gula melaka and evaporated milk over low heat till dry.

There were a few blogs doing Roti Paun and I picked the one from Honey Bee.  I mixed in some wholemeal flour instead of  all bread flour.

I did not egg wash the buns before baking, but instead I like using butter to go over the crust when the buns  come out from oven- you get soft crust this way.

Goodness me- this is very delicious.
The buns remain soft the next 2 days though on the 2nd day, the coconut filling has gone sour and lucky it was just one left.

Enjoy your weekend.


Monday, October 15, 2012


Do you want to hear the good news first or the bad news.

I  prefer to hear the bad news first so that when I hear the good news hopefully  my emotions will be stablised and be more positive.

Here is the bad news.  Last weekend, this is what I found inside Jeremy's room!

I was mopping the floor and when I pulled the chair, I can saw this and at first I thought it was a large caterpillar. However, when I tried to pull it out of the roller (with some papers, thank God) it was stuck! On closer inspection, something is not right, can see the scaly skin and that's when I freaked out and ran outside to get help from my neighbour.  Mr. O (the heavyweight) was not at his fruit stall, so, no choice went next door, get Mr  K (the scholarly one). 

This is what he helped to pull out of the roller.Urgh.... it was dead by then with the rolling around. It must came into the room so unsuspectingly either when we were removing the old the washing machine (yep got a new washing machine finally!) or from the septic tank when the contractor opened it to repair the pump. 

Now both Sarah and myself are still scare to use that room for the time being.  
The good news?  I have won a prize from the Food & Travel Magazine. Hip Hip Hurray!

Frankly I am very very happy - the prize is one thing but finally after years of trying at all sorts of contests or giveaways, I am lucky this time.

Thank You very much to the Food & Travel Magazine.

Whenever I buy Nasi Lemak from the Kakak from the market, I could get her to pack the sambal separately.   I could stored up the leftover sambal and use it to  stir fry vegetables (Kangkong, french beans, ladyfingers etc) or mix together with dried prawns for stuffing the fish!           

This is what I have won. I am really looking forward to receive them and using them too!


I had a lovely late night out on Saturday. 

It is another event for the Pink October month organised by the Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur in conjunction of the International  Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

When Mei Quin of BCWA asked whether I am interested to go for this Charity Gala Musical Night, I jump at the offer, not that I am crazy about classical music but rather the opportunity to visit the famed hall of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) at the Petronas Twin Towers.  

Even though I had no muscial juices at all  in my body, I have always been interested in dramas (Cantonese operas too) and musical shows. In  school I have been declared tone deaf and was kicked out of the choir.  Instead, they gave me a very minor part in the school drama (you know- one of those extras hanging around in the background! :). 

Wear it Pink was the dress code- these are my accessories for the night- pink evening bag and shawl. 

I am so glad that Sarah has offered to drive me down to KLCC inspite of the road closure due the  Nike Run. Thankfully the road was not that jammed by the time we reached KLCC.

The Twins Towers - photo from inside the car, taken at the most strategic position. Many tour buses would stopped here for the  tourist to take the clear view of the twin towers. 

So we were early, the performance starts at 8.30 pm. and it will last  around 2 hours at least.  After walking around, we decided to take our dinner at Ben's. 
As I did not want to be sitting on  full stomach, I ordered a Hearty Vegetable Soup with parmesan crisp and toast. There are lots of pieces of brocolli, cauliflowers, carrots, zucchini and chicken swimming in the clear broth.   

The parmesan crisp slowly melted in the hot broth and you get to eat the cheesy bits.

Sarah ordered the Duck Confit with Spaghettini.  The duck confit was slightly salty and she loves the rocket salad that goes along with the dish.

Something to amuse you should the conversation dies!  But nowadays there is always the iphone etc to amuse you while you dine.

At the foyer of the MPO- I met the requirement to wear pink! In fact, most of the crowd were in pink or with a dash of pink,  the men wearing pink ties or pink batek.  The pink ribbon can be seen everywhere - brooches, tie pins; penchants.   

This is the programme for the night- Spanish Sensations.

Photography is not allowed inside the auditorium which is very impressive with its high chandeliers and the huge organ pipe in the background  (now is it real instrument or decoration, I am not sure).   

The performances started promptly at 8.30am with an introduction from the Spanish Ambassador to Malaysia H.E. Maria Bassol.
The orchestra is lead by Mr. Edmon Colomer and I sat back and begin to enjoy myself as the first note hit the audience. By the way, we were seated in the first few front rows and infact see more legs than the faces of the musicians. But from what I can see, there are mostly foreign musicians! However the music was bewitching and  mesmerizing, especially the trinkling of the harp and the beat of the flamenco !
The handsome Mr. Rafael Serrallet then came on stage and entertain us with the Spanish guitar.   The Spanish guitar (classical guitar) is a 6 stringed instrument.  The common technique to this classical guitar is that individual strings are plucked with the fingernails!  I am sure most of us had at one time or another tried to learn play the guitar and most would also gave up it due to the pain.   So to see this expert plucking and strumming again so seemingly effortlessly was indeed an eye opener.  No wonder he receive encore and encore!

We had an intermission of 15 minutes.

There were pastries and cakes and drinks for sale.  

We were told to come out for a group photograph but it did not

The second part of the concert took another 20 minutes before it came to end. 

Till we see each other again. Good night.