Thursday, March 29, 2012

A promise is a promise

I am sure you have heard this phrase before, “Promises are meant to be broken.”  This concept does not exist in my book. For me, a promise is a promise and demands fulfillment or at least a best effort. I have no respect for people who make empty promises. To me, people who make empty promises are not much better than a con artist. Like my Quay Lo often says, such people are "all talk, no do". On close examination people that casually break a promise, or worse, make promises with the full intention of not keeping to their word, will repeat. Some people approach pathological behavior, and will lie through their teeth to get what they want. Sometimes, their moral decay is so great, they will lie or misrepresent even when they don't have to.  I have been thus "conned" many times throughout my life as I am sure many of you have as well.  I have come to believe that this is all because of my own weakness. I too easily trust so called "friends". 


Just recently, I trusted one of my son’s friends who is pursuing a career as a real estate agent. I should have known I should not have trusted him when he asked me to write the commission to his name instead of to his company. That was a clue right there and how stupid of me it was to ignore that sign and comply. I think I did that because he is my son's friend and because the deal involved another agent, a relative of his. I favored this young man when I was shopping for an investment property. I felt like I wanted to encourage his career and to his credit he had done some leg work in finding a property suitable. So subsequently, I was pleased when he got a tenant for that property even though it was for a six month lease instead of the year term that I wanted. As it turns out I now know that he had not represented me well and in fact, he and his relative caused a lot of misunderstanding between the tenant and me. I "rolled with that" however,  so all was ok because I gave what the agent promised (without my consent) to my tenant and he was happy. 


The tenant who is an expatriate had stayed in my property for three months, when he text messaged me yesterday. In the text he said he had left the country in a hurry, citing a "death in his family" and had left the keys with his agent (the relative mentioned above). The note told me to get the keys from that agent (who is not my agent). I called the agent and told him to put things right, and at least get a termination letter from his client but he asked me to "speak nicely to him with the right tone of voice." I argued that I was and was intending to be firm. I was already feeling victimized by his client and him. Then, he told me he was "not in the mood to talk to me" and hung up on me. 


Now I have to roll back a bit. This guy was angry with me from the very beginning of the deal. The reasons initially involved not agreeing to some of the terms he had submitted to us with this client. (Little did I know he had already mis-represented the terms to the client in the first place.) In addition, he wanted me to pay my agent another half month commission on top of the half month paid to him for the six months lease should the tenant renew another six months. The commission was shared between my agent and him. I found out from other agents that there was no such rule that the Landlord had to pay commission to real estate agent for renewal of lease and my lawyer confirmed that. Furthermore my Quay Lo pointed out that the agent was asking for a commission promise without assuming any risk of the outcome.  Of course I told him that I do not agree. He made his displeasure very clear. I suspected that was why he behaved so badly with me when I called him. I was VERY upset and almost exploded but then I remembered what my Quay Lo told me. He said we will always make the wrong decision when we get mad but if we stay cool, we will be on the winning side. 


Haha so, I stayed  very cool and here I am writing this post, sharing the demo by Chef Ryan Khang (click to find out more about this young handsome promising chef) at Jaya Grocers last Saturday and his Berries Pie recipe with you.  It was a promise I made in my earlier post to share the recipe. A promise is a promise and I have to keep it. Moreover it is better to feed my eyes with Chef Khang's beautiful pie and feel happy than to feed my soul with anger and feel bad, don’t you think? 

Blueberry and Raspberry Pie (8 inches pie)
By Chef Ryan Khang (with slight amendment)

Pastry Dough:
250gm plain flour
40gm sugar
15gm walnut, roasted and blended
110gm butter
50gm water
10gm salt
1 cup blueberry
2 cups raspberry

Almond Cream:
4 tbs unsalted butter
4 tbs suger
4 tbs beaten egg
3 tbs almond powder
¼ tsp vanilla essence paste

Custard Cream:
4 egg yolks
50gm sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2/3 cup milk
2 tbs unsalted butter

Method:
Pastry Dough:

Mix all the ingredients together until a dough is formed. Roll out dough to 3mm thickness. Cut dought with a pastry cutter and place into the pie pan.

Almond cream:

Cream unsalted butter and sugar with a wooden spatula. Add beaten egg and almond powder and vanilla. Mix well and make almond cream paste.

Custard Cream:

Mix egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until creamy white. Add lukewarm milk and unsalted butter and cook over high heat until it becomes thick and creamy. Leave aside to cool.

To Assemble

Pour almond cream onto pie pan.  Add the custard cream and spread evenly. Add in the berries and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 35 to 40 mins. Cool on rack.

64 comments:

  1. This is not the first time and i guess wont be the last time that such things happens. There is an acronym for these people "N.A.T.O" No Action, Talk Only. Cheer up...at least now you know his true colors.

    Aiyo...the pie really makes me drool

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    1. Yes, these things happens all the time and the victims are usually people who stay true to themselves. So not fair:D

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  2. Certainly sounds like you got a raw deal :-).

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    1. haha ya lah, hopefully my agent got some conscience and put things right for me soon.

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  3. Well, that's just terrible when people take advantage so horribly of others. I'm glad you shared your tart recipe, though. Here's to better days!

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    1. Thanks my dear. Yes, got to feel better to clear up all the mess. haha

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  4. It sucks to be cheated, to be taken advantage of, to be lied to, and so many more things. Wish some people were nicer to make this world a better place. Anyway, guess everything teaches a lesson.
    The pie looks great & the pictures are very helpful. Too bad I can't use eggs at home; will just feast on it with my eyes. Cheers to you for keeping the promise :)

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    1. Yes I do learn something from every mistake I make but then there is always new mistakes. LOL! No wonder my mum always said, we never stop learning. The pie look great because Chef Khang made it:D Oh you can't use eggs at home? I am sure there are recipes on eggless pies.

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  5. Sad...real sad that when if comes to money, sometimes you find that you have neither relative nor friend. I've had my share of incidents but I would just let it pass and tell myself that after all, it's only money...and what goes around comes around...and for sure, they will get it back someday. Good is all seeing and all knowing.

    Hmmmm...haven't made a pie for a long time. So lazy...

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    1. Arthur, cannot agree with you more. I just told my Quay Lo that some people look at one sen like as if it is a bullock cart's wheel. hahaha, he does not understand what I said till I explained to him. Correct, me too let these things pass after feeling upset for money is not everything. Money lost can be replaced. Credibility and integrity lost can never be redeemed. I feel sorry for my son's friend who does not seem to know that those are important attributes to have to be a respectable person.

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  6. Wow, Lucy. That pie sure looks great! Enough to get the most disturbing stuff out of my head or heart and right into my stomach ... the good stuff, of course :)
    Is that what's been getting you all worked up lately? Awww ... it's so sad that there are such people out there just out for the money and themselves. These people should have their licenses revoked. We've had our share of them in our time. Feel better soon. Smile! Don't scare me tomorrow :)

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    1. Lucy, the pie looks great because Chef Khang made it, not me. I was very worked out last week due to another story and will tell you all about it when we meet tomorrow. No worries, you will see a happy Lucy tomorrow, hahaha

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  7. Can sense and feel your fury when reading your post... when it comes to money, there is no such word as "friendship" for some... Money to them is much more important.. I have gone through before, at that moment of time, I felt so "mmm tai" and "heartpain" but after some time, I push it aside..
    Quay Po, go and bake more pies! They look so Seductive! :)

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    1. Yes, we are human, we definitely will be upset at the moment but as long as we can let go, I think we are okay:D The pie does look seductive so is the handsome chef he made it! hehehehe

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  8. Quay Po,we all make mistakes & learn something from it, may be yours are more expensive than us. Just hope that someone can give a big slap on that agent but only in your imagination, not the real slap, hope this will make you feel better in this way!

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    1. hehehe, I try to dream what you suggested. Work for me! I guess I will wake up feeling very happy.

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  9. aiyoh.... hope the issues get resolved soon! but meanwhile, stay true to yourself! I just hope that your friendship between you and your friend who recommended her son is not soured because of this incident. You had kind intentions to allow your friend's son to represent you. Just that he misplaced your trust. So that's why I usually try to steer clear of friends and relatives whenever it comes to matters dealing with money, e.g. insurance, property etc. But then again, that's just me la!

    Lovely tart by the way. The tart pastry looks quite easy to manage?

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    1. Alan, it will be resolved but surely take some time and some loss. My agent is my son's friend, not the son of my friend lah:D You are wise not to deal any monetary matters with friends and relatives. I should learn not to. Yes, the pie is lovely. Chef Khang did a great job. Ya the pastry is quite easy to do. A piece of cake for you.

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  10. Sigh... sorry to hear about your ugly experience. Some ppl are plain selfish and think only themselves.

    The pie is gorgeous and handsomely made by the young *drooling* chef. Plus, you've include the step by step process which is easier for me (a baking dummy) to understand. Nice!!

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    1. Thanks Yvonne. Glad the step-by-step photos help you and you going to make one soon? hehe

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  11. The blueberry and strawberry pie is too beautiful. I am drooling at it. Sorry about the incident. God has eyes, Quay Po. Not too worry.

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    1. I would say the pie is as handsome and appealing as the Chef himself! hahaha LIke what Yvonne said, a young "drooling" chef! hahaha.. Yan, you are right. God has eyes! I believe in that 100%.

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  12. Real estate agents are suckers...relative and friends included!For this very reason, we have not rent our properties in Malaysia for quite a number of years.Not only you feel so cheated, taken advantage of but at the end of the day, you lose sleep, money and sanity.We would rather let the properties remain empty and get a caretaker to look after the places....sigh!
    On a happy note, the pie look so good although I don't think I'll bake it anytime soon.Berries season are over and most importantly my boys hate fruits!!!

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    1. Shereen, AGREEEEEE! BIG TIME SUCKERS!! This is an expensive lesson. I still cannot believe that agent are SO EVIL but still cannot figure why he does that. I wonder if he knew that by holding my apartment keys and not return them to me, he is liable for any loss or damage to items in the apartment that belongs to the tenant (if any) and the landlord. What fool will put themselves at risk like that? LOL!

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  13. same here! I always believe that a promise is meant to be kept (: There's a Chinese saying which mean if you were to be angry with the person who agitate you, you fell into his trap. Great job that you didn't (: HUGS!! And the tarts look so yummy and pretty!!!

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  14. I could not agree more a promise is not to be broken except under very unusual circumstances. When a friend lets you down it makes me wonder what the world is coming to.
    Love your recipe it looks delicious. Diane

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    1. Diane, the world is going bonkers! I am not kidding.

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    1. Both are tempting? You mean the pie and the chef? LOL!

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  16. Sad to hear of your recent distress. Hope all will be well. Over the years, I've also learnt that anything that involves $$$ shouldn't be dealt with a relative or friend, or friend of friends and relatives. Morfe often than not, the result will be much less than desired.

    Oh the pie looks so wonderful. The berries sold here are so expensive though. I'll try to substitute with other fruit and see how it turns out. Thanks for sharing!
    +Ant+

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    1. You sounded like Alan:D .. but you guys are wise.

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  17. I was involved with a similar scenario when I bought my car...still angry when I think of it! Sometimes too free still call up his hp just to annoy him:P
    Love the look of that pie, so many berries!

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    1. haha, you cracked me up. You mean you called him now and then to give him a piece of your mind? That is funny.

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  18. I can relate how you feel as I was once cheated by a real estate agent too. The tart looks delicious!

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    1. You too. I have a friend who had been cheated by a real estate agent and now she swears she will not buy any property in Malaysia.

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  19. This tart is sure to be real delicious!

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    1. They must be but we did not get to taste it. The oven in Jaya Grocers that day was acting funky. All the pies were under baked. I feel so sorry for Chef Khang but I am sure they are very tasty.

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  20. I got angry just reading your post - we have had some frustrating tenants also. That pie is sure to make you feel better!

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    1. I think anybody will be upset if being victimised. I am now very afraid to rent out of apartment. Yes, writing this post and sharing the pie recipe with you all makes me feel much better.

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  21. Hope you get formal contracts drawn up next time so you can pursue legal action if things go wrong!
    Thanks for the step-by-step photos, you must either be standing very close to the 'handsome, young chef' or had a long zoom lens! ;-)

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    1. I have a legal tenancy agreement but that cannot prevent the agent to behave badly can be nasty. He is obviously trying to make things difficult for me but not knowing that he is putting himself at big risk by holding the keys and be liable to any loss or damage to the items inside the apartment. Not smart at all.

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  22. Seems like you had a day. But that bright pie would brighten any day.

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    1. Oh I had a long and tiring day trying to put things in order but it is getting there:D Thanks for your kind comment.

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  23. Hey, good things happen to good people. Just leave the nasty ones out and they shall get their just "dessert". That pie looks great but I am not a big fan of almond anything, can I just bake the pie with only custard cream or is there a good replacement for the almond cream component in the pie? If you are here, I will give you some of the jambalaya I have cooking in the pot right now. Forget the uneventful incident and just let the good times roll! Speaking like a wannabe NOLA resident :p

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    1. Reese, you absolutely right. Hey if you don't like almond, how about replacing with peacans?

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    2. Don't like pecan either. I can tolerate walnuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia. I do, however, love cashew and pistachio :p I know, I am very picky.

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  24. Veron, it is such a shame that we can trust people anymore at face value. I agree on keeping a promise. I also seem to be the person that people like to talk to when they have some woes. They know that I am not a gossip and what they tel me won't go anywhere. As far as keeping promises I believe it was the way I was raised...so that's a no brain-er. I do feel and understand your frustration...and disappointment. What people won't do for money! :P

    I think we need to meet for drinks :) Happy Hour on Friday!!!! :)

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    1. I guess the upbringing is very important. We are what we are and I am glad I am what I am. hehe I would love to meet up with you for Happy hour on EVERY Friday if we are staying near to each other. I believe we will have lots to share.

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  25. Oh...that's the reason behind it when you posted in FB earlier. As I read your post, I feel so angry but after seeing the beautiful pie and the leng chai, feel happier now...ahahahhaha

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    1. hahha, I think the "leng chai" makes you happier than the pie.

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  26. Your calmness in the face of such adversity is really remarkable. I need to learn to think before I speak! I let my anger get the best of me all the time.

    Kudos to you my friend. I'm sorry you have to deal with this but I hope things sort themselves out soon.

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    1. Oh it is only lately that I am learning to be calm when faced with adversity. I do lose it sometimes. Hope to get better at it though. Things look like it is sorting itself out. Hope everything is all good by end of next week.

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  27. Oh I feel so angry for you! I absolutely loathe promise breakers. If there's valid reasons that prevent him from fulfilling the promise it's still ok, but sometimes people are just out there to take advantage of kind-hearted people like you. :( I wish you the ability to Keep Calm and Carry On (a slogan from WWII)! Take care (: -Jasline

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    1. Jasline, thanks for that slogan, I shall keep in mind.

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  28. big hug for you, hope everything can be settled...
    the pie looks really delicious and yeah, the chef is handsome...LOL...:)

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    1. Hugs back Sherleen. Looks like these mess will be settled by next week. haha... which one attracted you more, the pie or the chef? hahaha

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  29. Honestly, I dislike people with empty promises. I always remind myself, never make promises I can't keep & I stay true to it. Another wonderful share, Veron :)

    Of course, not forgetting the lovely recipe you've treated us with. Thumbs-up!

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    1. Shirley, I respect people who stay true to themselves. It was great knowing you and hope to meet you in person someday soon.

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  30. i know i'm late again reading this but i hope this will be resolved very soon. It's just very frustrating when the agent themselves set conditions behalf of you. Mmm, i see some toasted walnuts are blended into the pastry as well, sure this is tasty one!

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