Monday, July 29, 2013

Sweet Home Soap

It was after work.
It was Friday evening.
Trafic was horrendous
We were stuck in the middle of the highway for an hour.  I almost wanted to give up going but we cannot turn back so keep moving, braking and moving till the trafic cleared after Mid-valley!
Normally, I would not choose to go out on a Friday evening.
This was a meet up event - Soap making workshop at the Sweet Home Soap. We finally reached just in time before the workshop started.

The double storey terrace house is located within Section SS2 in Petaling Jaya.
This Sweet Home Soap Enterprise was founded by a group of parents with special needs children.  The main objective was to provide "employment venture, self sufficient and self reliance" and through the workshop train/give  them employment opportunities. The monies from these workshop and the profits from the sales goes towards building a shelter home for them.  

 These are all natural organic hand made soaps.  All the ingredients used for the soap are from natural resources- the sweet almond oil; pure essential oils (not fragrance)  and clays, charcoal powder etc.

Some of the beautiful hand made soaps- suitable for gift packs and they can be made to cater for any seasons or occasions.

Ms Mun- the teacher showing us the soap base- 
made from olive oil, palm oil and coconut oil

Method:  150 gm of soap base to be melted over boiling water.

Choice of silicone moulds for the soaps.

Once the soap base is melted, remove from heat.  Quickly (you've got to work pretty fast otherwise the mixture will set) add in 2 drops of the sweet almond oil- a moisturising agent.

Next choose your own fragrance and colour.  I have chosen Lemongrass essential oil for relaxing (20 drops of the essential oil are required)  and a cheerful yellow colour.  Stir to mix well but not too vigorous otherwise it will create bubbles in your soap.  Pour it into the moulds and leave to set. 1st Mission accomplished.
 We moved on to make facial soap next.   Again the red clay and charcoal powder are natural ingredient.

When the soap base has melted, quickly pour a small amount into the red clay or charcoal powder. Stir well and then pour the remaining mixture together. Add the sweet almond oils and essential oils.  No colour is required. Pour mixture into moulds and leave to set.
Finally the moment of truth and everyone was so excited. Squeals of laughter and surprises can be heard as each of us unmould our own creation. 

I think the first prize should goes to the Pink piggy taking bath - 
by Mr. Wong Kee Yew (organiser of Meetup) :D!

Sarah's Blue Angel and  my yellow Love Message soaps.

 Even a yellow Bunny appeared!

We have to give praise to those silicone moulds for each unique and awesome soaps.  
Of course, we have to give thanks to Ms Mun and her assistants for their patience and loving coaching and answering our numerous questions for this happy and fulfilling workshop.

Here are my purchases: from top: Honey and one type flower (cannot recall the name) soap- look and smell so good you feel like eating it!; Lemongrass and Lavender Essential oil for aromatherapy; the Red Clay with Lemongrass essential oil and Charcoal with Rosemary Essential Oil (these 2 were made by ourselves); hand soap (round ball) (it is free gift from Ms Mun) and French Clay Exfoliating Soap.

Sweet Home Soap Enterprise,
Address: No. 78 Jalan SS 2/6
47300 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
TEl: 016-3325223   

Do drop by, learn something new as well as enrich someone's life!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


First of all - Congratulations to my nephew Wai Kit and his wife Choi Hyejung who got married on 28/7/2013 at the Old Treasury Building in Melbourne. A case  of "thousand miles love" again- he from KL and she from Korea.   Wai Kit went to Melbourne to do his Masters in Business and met Hyejung over there.   

May God with you both together as husband and wife

Congratulations to my sister Yoke Mae and her family. 

They were down in Melbourne to witness the registration ceremony.  The Chinese wedding ceremony will take place next year in Kuala Lumpur - hurray!    

The Chan clan were represented by my brother KK and family who went along for a family vacation as well.

While over here in KL,  I cooked one of my mother's easy one-pot meal- Wan Ton Pei (Noddle) Soup.
This main ingredient is dried wanton pei (also aka as wanton wrappers).  Well that's what they were back in my mother's days as I remembered. They were pieces of the dry wanton wrapper of course especially made for this type of soup.  However the packet that I found at the market were just plain dried square pieces- texture just like the pan mee. 

The ingredients:  packet of the wanton pei; 
chives cut into 2 inches length; 
sliced shitake mushroom (use the dried type for more flavour)
minced pork (season with salt, pepper and sesame oil)
dried prawns (soaked till soft)
minced garlic and
stock/water- I used the stock which I had made by first  frying prawns head and shells (save these whenever you are cleaning prawns)  till golden.  Add a slice of ginger and water. Bring to boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Strain and this can keep in the fridge till needed.    You can use water or any other stock.

closeup of the brand of wanton pei

Sorry for the blurred photo- taken with my handphone.
Saute the dried prawns till fragrant.  Add mushroom.   Remove and set aside.
Add minced garlic to wok and add the minced meat and fry till fragrant.  Add the dried prawns and mushroom. Add the the stock/water. Cover and bring to boil and then let it simmer on low heat.

Meanwhile, blanch the wanton pei in boiling water till just cook, Drain under running/cold water.
When ready to serve, add the chives and cooked wanton pei to the stock. Adjust seasoning. 

Old fashioned Wanton Pei Soup.  Sarah give it thumbs up!
 This is the first time, I try making hummus.  

Roasted eggplant, cooked chickpeas, roasted sesame dressing, EV olive oil, garlic and yogurt.

The flavour is good and it makes a nice dip with biscuits.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


as at 20/7/2013

I was shocked and saddened by the demolition of the Merdeka park with its iconic buildings namely "The "Mushroom", the "Rock Garden" and the large playground too.   These buildings were part of our growing up years.  
Our father took us there for annual photographs during Chinese New Year and many of his generation used the park for their morning gathering of taichi, walk and exercise.  It was also a recreation center for us when growing up and later  it was one of the popular dating venue for us.   When we were young parents, we took our children (those older ones) there to play around that rock garden and the large playground during the weekends.
It hold so much memories for all of us and now it has gone forever.   My daugther Sarah have not even seen this place- only the photos of  what have been. Our  next generation have been bereft of their open spaces and sense of heritage too. 

This open park and spaces have been acquired for a modern 118 storey buildings/office/shopping malls. (do we need more shopping malls???)  

This is the only green open space in the area now- hardly larger than an office space and moreover it is  a paved area,  not with  green grass though! 
The Rakan KL is a voluntary group of enthusiastic people who are so zealous and passionate  about the preservation of the heritage/prominent  sites in KL organise this heritage walk and I am lucky to be able to join them last weekend.  The guides for the walks are doing this voluntarily as most of them have full time jobs as well.  Please support and like them on their facebook.  

This heritage walk encircled the Petaling Hill area which is located east of the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers where early Kuala Lumpur was founded.  It is also the site of the 3 stadiums ie Chin Woo Stadium, Merdeka Stadium and the Stadium Negara.  Here I have tried to recall whatever information I can remember from the walk (stupid me, should have recorded on my phone instead!).

Mr. Adrian, the guide for the day. He is amusing and informative relating the history  as well as witty and humorous anecedotes relating to these sites.

We began our walk from the Gereja Gospel Hall - a brethen church founded in 1889.   It was initialy an education centre and  is the first Hokkien-speaking church in KL.  

The Chin Woo Athletic Association Building.

Next we move along up uphill towards the first stadium- Chin Woo Stadium.  I am sure the visions of wushu or kungfu will come to our mind and we cannot be all wrong.  Chin Woo was first started as a school and only on 31/8/1950 Chin Woo Stadium was completed and officially opened at this present place.  The motto of the association  was to cultivate good morals; healthy body, mental thinking and good discipline. The Chin Woo Stadium was the first to construct an Olympic size swimming pool which was considered the best at that time.   This is where my sister May had taught all her nephews and nieces how to swim (whereas all the mothers are non-swimmers!).            

The reception area  of Chin Woo Association.
Do you know that the Chin Woo stadium is direct facing Bukit Aman opposite across  the river?
We came down the hill and walked towards the next stadium.  Along the way, Adrian introduced us to the schools along road.  There is the Methodist Boy's Primary and Secondary School, the Davidson School, as well as the Victoria Institution. Can you visualise how conducive this area  have been  for schools? Nearby was the  recreational park (Merdeka park) as well as green spaces with all graceful hundred years old trees and the Chin Woo swimming pool, indoor Stadium Negara and the Merdeka Stadium too. Will the schools benefit from the 118 storeys building/shopping mall and the MRT station?  

We were told that the surrounding area here actually were a cementery.  It was acquired by the British for the first golf course to be built.  Later the golf course were moved to the present Royal Selangor Golf Club in Jalan Tun Razak.  

Being an alumnus of Methodist school, Adrian asked us whether we know why the school was called "Hor Li" (chinese pronunciation which can mean marble) school.  It was so called because one of the principals of the school, a Mr. Horley went around asking for school building funds from the hawkers/vendors of Petaling street (Chinatown) and he promised them in return that every one of their son could have a place in the new school.  Hence the Chinese call it the "Hor Li" school. :D! No wonder my brothers and later my nephews too became the students of this school!
She was so enraged by the demolition/acquisition of the parks that she was teary-eye when explaining to us to support their mission.

The parks may have gone but there is nothing to stop them from planting trees in silent protest! Do drop by next week to support them!

This is the MRT station opposite the schools- imagine the noise, the vibrations effects and the traffic.

Sarah listening attentively and I am glad that so many young people turned up for the walk too.

The Stadium Negara was first indoor stadium finished constructed in 1962.
The present dome roof that you see today isn't the original roof.  It was covered by a flat roof with supports radiating from a central hub that Adrian so interestingly the called it "the inverted nipple" and it made from some sort of compressed paper(?) which can last around 20 years.  It was replaced by the present dome roof in the 1980s and  provide better acoustics for many musical concerts held here.  Air-conditioning was  also introduced. 
The batek murals on either side of the entrance.

Have you passed through these revolving gates before?

 The dome roof of the stadium.

Victoria Institution-It was name after Queen Victoria.  After the celebration of the Queen Victoria Jublilee, the British goverment used the excess funds (wow they have excess funds back then!) to establish this school.   The Japanese surrender was formally signed and witnessed in the hall of this school - hmm... heard any ghost stories?  And this is the first school with its own swimming pool. 

Finally we reached the Stadium Merdeka- the fastest stadium to be constructed within a period of 13 months as it was to be completed for Malaysia's declaration of independence on 31/8/1957. 
It had held many major sporting events (SEA Games, Muhammad Ali vs Joe Bugner etc) as well as concerts for numerous artists (Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Jacky Cheung etc). 
Interesting features which were "the first" :-  the shell roof over the grand stand, the 4 floodlights and the construction of the field itself to prevent flooding in this tropical weather. 

The black scoreboard with the emblems of the 10 states of the Malaya.

We relaxed a while at this only "green" park beside the Stadium Merdeka.

We ended the walk opposite the Chan Shi Tzu Yuen- the Chan Clan temple.

As I have said earlier Rakan KL is a voluntary group and a donation was collected to support their work. 

If you have any photographs of the Mushroom, Tunku Park or the rock garden please share with them.  
Let us all support the reclaim of Merdeka Park. 

Now let me go to my photo albums and see what I can find. 

Monday, July 22, 2013


Sabye de rue (How are you)
Sabye dee (I am fine)
So I guess the Restoran Thai Sabye Sabye is place for good company and food.

This Thai Restoran is located in the Central Plaza along Jalan Kelang Lama has been around for a long time. It is a family-oriented halal restaurant.

Inside a few intricate wooden craving decorated the walls, nothing garish and together with the warm lightings lends a subtle charm to the interior.  

We were notified by the assistant chef that the restaurant will be shifting soon so we decided to go for dinner as well as to celebrated the belated birthday of my niece (center above picture) with my siblings. 
We arrived around  7.30pm and the place was busy with many families breaking fast together.
Anyway it was alright as we have to wait for my sister to arrive. 

So we were able to go outside and walk around the shopping complex.   There is a wet market as well as a supermarket on the ground floor and the food items are cheap and and fresh too. Upstairs are more shopping lots as well.   

Finally we had our dinner and everyone was hungry by then. Service was prompt and efficient.  The food started to arrive hot and fast. 

Deep Fried Soft Shell crabs- crispy and fresh

Otak-Otak- creamy custard with pieces of tender seafood as well- delightful!
Fried Kangkang with sambal.

Claypot Prawns with transparent noddle (tung fun). 
The prawns were very succulent and fresh.  However we find that there were too much peppercorns in the noddles, with each bite it like an fiery explosion  in your mouth. In the end, we have to pick them out.  

Sotong Fried  with Salted Egg Yolk- 
very tasty and aromatic with the curry leaves and egg yolk  

Steamed Siakap with minced garlic and ginger crisp -
I was a bit sceptical at first because normally the flesh of  the Siakap tend to be soft and mushy.  However this fish was fresh and firm.   

Tomyam Soup- hot  but  not too spicy with the right sourish edge. 

Kerabu of chicken feet- 
The chicken feet was crunchy with a very potent douse of chili padi! But it lacks the flavour of lime juice. 

Pandan Chicken - moist tender chicken very aromatic

Fried Kway Teow with beef.  
The beef was slightly overcooked and hence chewy but the kway teow was good 

The assistant chef that I mentioned is my niece husband, Ah Lek and he gave us a complimentary dish of Green Curry Chicken.  I loved this dish (too busy eating and forgot to take photo), the creaminess of the santan with the basil.  Surprising not everyone was happy with this dish- they don't like the flavour of basil!    

We could not finish all the food and have to takeaway.  Thanks to my sister Jennifer who paid for the bill.
Thanks to Ah Lek who ordered for us such an  interesting array of dishes with the freshest ingredients too.

What more can I say but Sabye dee with this wonderful meal.