Saturday, August 27, 2011

Give and you shall receive

I told you in my last post that I had not decided what I would do on my birthday this year. When I got up after a good night’s sleep, I knew what I wanted to do! I told my Quay Lo that I wanted to spend my birthday with the old folks at Persatuan Rumah Caring Kajang Selangor.  

He immediately replied that he thought it would be a fantastic way to spend my birthday. So my mum and I went off for a nice breakfast, and headed to the nearby Careffour to buy the household items and food that they are always in need of at the home.

I sent a text message to a few of my close friends to ask them if they would like to make a donation and thus armed with donations from my sister in law Jennifer, my god daughter Cheryl, my best friends, Peng, Rina and Fernand, the gift money from my brother Vic and sister in law Jenny, my niece Christine and her boyfriend Sim, my step-daughter Erin, and my Quay Lo, I drove to Kajang where the old folk home is situated.  I also brought with me my birthday cake to share with them. It was so heart warming to see the smiles on their faces when they received us.

Me and the oldest aunty who is 95 years old, 
She is the cutest!

This lady is autistic, 41 years old. 
Her development ceased at a young teen age. 
She is one of the star singers at holiday times.

It was a wonderful birthday gift for me to see them enjoy my birthday cake. 

This old uncle has been living in this home for many years

Obviously this boy is not old. 
He is here because his parents need to work
and there is no one to take care of him so 
Wendy agreed to provide day care  for them. 
He is a handful as he is an autistic child 
and gets agitated very easily.

The aunty eating cake in this photo was  a factory worker in a paper factory.
She could not work after she hurt her back. When Wendy learnt 
of her plight, she took her in so that she has a place to live and 
food to eat. The rest of the uncles were there for many years.

We chatted during a long visit.  A few of them kept on telling my mum how lucky she is to have a daughter who cares for her and do things with. I told them that I am the lucky one.

I met one of the social workers, Xi Le who helps Wendy take care of the residents. Her story is so touching. She was homeless and a street urchin when Wendy found her. Under her guidance,  she is now a capable, caring social worker. If you want to know more about her, here is the article:
Can I shamelessly ask for a belated birthday gift from you? Would you mention the home on your blog, or link to this post, and help us spread the word about the Caring Old Folks Home in Kajang, Malaysia so that more people are aware of it? Those who might wish to make a donation, here is the information you need.

The operation is not funded by any corporations  or government grants. It exist solely on the determination of Wendy who has devoted her life to caring for others and those individuals that support her efforts. Even a small donation to them makes a big difference.  Here is the link to get to know Wendy.

Her dream is to build a four-storey building on their own land to provide shelter for the needy, including old folk, orphans, single parents and the mentally challenged. And I have to add, this visit to the home was for me. Every time I visit, I reaffirm how fortunate I am, and I learn again how expressing your care for others pays you back ten fold.

I did not do any cooking on my birthday but when I arrived home after spending a day in the old folks home, I could smell the fragrance of spices in my home. My Quay Lo had cooked a dinner for us and not only that, I got some surprise gifts from him on top of the pasta machine he bought me a day before my birthday. He had taken me to Pantry Magic in Bangsar to let me shop for kitchen goodies. Oh I would like to thank Mel of Through the Kitchen Door for telling me about the shop. 

Check this new toy out, Yippe!
These are the surprise gifts from my Quay Lo - I LOVE them all!

My home cooked birthday dinner by my Quay Lo
Note: these photos were taken with a point and shoot camera under low light settings. It did not do justice to the actual dish. Although my Quay Lo thought he had slightly overcooked the sausage but I give it 8/10 on the taste and we both enjoyed the meal very much.

Here is My Quay Lo’s recipe for Sauerkraut and Sausage, if you are interested.

1 jar 600 - 700g of pickled red or white cabbage (sauerkraut) reserve 1/2 cup juice from the jar
4 large sausages of your choice
2 slices smoked bacon (I used American bacon but pancetta would do very well)
1 medium apple cored and diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium onion diced
1 small  - medium fennel bulb diced
1 rounded tspn carraway seed
1 level tspn coriander seed
pinch of sea salt
Olive oil
1 tspn brown sugar

Set oven for 180C (350F)
Use mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to blend the spices, and sea salt, then set aside.

In a frying pan add a tblspn of olive oil and sweat the diced apple, onion, carrot, and fennel. Just before the onion goes translucent add the reserve juice from the sauerkraut jar. Leave pan on the flame for another minute, or until the steam dissipates and the pan contents begin to simmer. Turn off the heat and add the blended spice mixture, stirring until well mixed.

Put contents of the frying pan in the bottom of a  covered casserole.

Wrap sausages in 1/2 slice of bacon each. Position on the sauerkraut mixture in the casserole. Drizzle with olive oil.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatos and brown gravy

Great with a Mosel Riesling or an Australian Riesling for the slightly higher acidic levels for a rich meal.


  1. A wonderful post, Veron! Happy bday again & may u stay young & sweet :) U've indeed a kind soul. Will also try my best to follow more of your posts. Looking fwd to more sharing!

  2. I whish you a happy belated birthday!! and what lovely and seet post, I love like you celebrated, loads of love dear Quay Po!! gloria

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful present for yourself and for the residents! I'm definitely going to help with spreading the word about kajang (although it's a little far away for me).

  4. Hello Quaypo,

    It is really thoughtful of you to spend your birthday at the old folks home. It is really heartfelt looking at the old folks spending their days at the home. Oh, your birthday gifts the RED pasta machine looks real stunning! So, pasta recipe on your next posts?

  5. What a generous and caring way to spend your birthday!

  6. You are not only lucky, you are blessed too. This is really an awesome way to celebrate your birthday. Xi-Le's story is really touching, especially she is about the same age as me.

  7. You are such a beautiful wonderful to spend your bday caring for others...


  8. Certainly a meaningful way to spend your birthday. God will bless you abundantly. It certainly is better to give than to receive...but hey! You got a whole lot of nice pressies for your birthday too. What goes around somes around. Belated birthday greetings from me.

  9. Its such a great deed of spreading happiness to other on your birthday and a big salute to you. That little pasta machine means I can look forward to some home made pasta recipes from you. A lovely recipe too attached with you post.

    Hi, thank you for your comments on my blog, I tried a couple of time to leave comments on your blog, somehow it did not load up. Nevertheless, its working fine now and you have a great weekend and will catch up with our sharing of recipes.

  10. Even I do not really know you,but I am not surprised at all that you did all thsi things on your birthday.You have something over you,your look the way you wright about your family in friends taht sparkles.Happy birthaday it was and I wish you many more like that one;)Give and you will receive..I belleive in that too:)

  11. You are very "Keng"! Birthday normally people go to fancy restaurant but terbalik you went out of your way to make the folks happy.

    Have mentioned your blog in FB and Twitter. will try draft a post on this.

  12. A very tuoching post. You are a caring soul. God bless you.

  13. Happy Birthday greetings! What a beautiful way to celebrate your birthday by spreading happiness all round.Your kind gesture will be remembered for a long time and bring you and everyone sweet memories.

  14. What a beautiful birthday for lovely lady who is beautiful on the inside as well as the outside~

  15. I'm touched by what you'd done on your birthday. Feel ashamed to admit that I'm only doing 'tiny charity' compare to you.

    Happy belated birthday to you :)

  16. What a beautiful way to celebrate your birthday. I love that you did this. Wishing you a very blessed year to come.

  17. Happy Belated Birthday...
    My name is Claire and I came by via Kathy's blog.. she mentioned your blog in her post and I thought of doing the same in my post as well.

    God bless you..

  18. I seen this ads b4 . . .

    and it reminds me something about it. My thought . . .

    dun ask, is a nightmare :)

    of course will try my best to assist them . . . was planning to do something similar like paying a visit or something, guess that I need to speed up my feet!

  19. @Shirley, @ i-ilostinausten
    I think I am doing very little to help. The kind soul here is Wendy.

    Thanks for the belated birthday greetings. Love and Hugs.

    I am very happy to hear that you will help spread the words. I thank you on behalf of the residents of Caring Home Kajang.

    Thanks to you that I get this lovely pasta machine. I will probably play with my new toy after the renovation of my condo.

    @yummychunklet, @Davids
    The best birthday I had:D

    @Sheoh Yan
    Oh yes, when I read her story, I could not contain my tears. I can believe her family can abandon her. She is very blessed to be found by Wendy.

    Thanks for the belated birthday greetings. You are right when we give, we usually receive more.

    I am sorry you have problem posting your comment. This is a common problem with bloggers. Thanks for not giving up and have your comment posted. It means a lot to mean. Yes, I will play with my new toy as soon as I am less busy:D I will have definitely share a homemade pasta recipe soon.

    So kind of you to say what you said. THANK YOU for your belated birthday wish.

    @Small Kucing
    THANKS A MILLION your kindness for helping to spread the word about Caring Home Kajang. You are SO FAST with putting up a post on this. I am sure with more people aware of the place, Wendy can realise her dream of having a 4 storey building to house all the needy and when that happens, the joy is yours too. You and your family will be blessed abundantly. LOVE and HUGS!

    Yes, that was a sweet memory for me.

    AWW!! so kind of you to say that. Thank you.

    Thank you for the belated birthday greetings. Please don't feel like that. There is no comparison in doing charity or giving. Most important, what is given is from your heart without expectation on having anything in return. "Tiny charity" to you had probably make a BIG difference to the life of those in need:D

    Thanks for the birthday greetings. I find that this is the most meaningful birthday I had. The joy I felt was much more than before.

    Thanks for the belated birthday greeting and dropping by to tell me that Kathy had put up the post to help spread the word about Caring Home Kajang. She is very kind to do that. I thank you in advance for doing the same. I am sure the residents will be very grateful too. I am sure you and your family will be blessed abundantly for your kindness. HUGS.

    @Kian Fai
    I am sure whatever you do will be of help to residents in Caring Home Kajang. Your kindness will be remembered and appreciated.

  20. You are such a kind and giving person to share your birthday with others.

  21. Happy b-day, and sweet that your Quay-lo made you that meal and got you cute gifts!

  22. @That Girl
    Thank you. We are being kind to ourselves when we give or share things with others because we receive joy:D

    Thanks for the birthday greetings. Yes my Quay Lo is is for keep hehe.

  23. such a meaningful birthday ;-) you're such a kind soul. may you be blessed with all kinds of happiness, om ma hum

  24. What a very special birthday for such a special person!!! That is a great idea for any birthday! Thanks for sharing. Love your birthday gifts!

  25. What a noble act you're doing on your birthday! The world certainly needs more people like you. :) I'll definitely support what you're doing by linking you in my FB! :)

  26. @babe_KL
    Thanks for your kind words. Like I say my dear, the kind soul her is really Wendy!

    I am very happy to share this because my hope is that my blogger friends and readers will help spread the words about the Caring home.

    Thanks a million for linking this post to your FB. That will sure help to create more awareness of the Caring home and hopefully they will get more support from kind donors. You are very kind to do that. HUGS

  27. Quay Po,

    You are such a kind-hearted soul. It's no wonder you are blessed with so many loving friend's and family.. I think both you and your mom are lucky to have each other. I am so honored to have such a sweet friend as you. Don't ever change, my dear.

  28. @LeQuan
    You always say nice things about me and my Quay Lo. How can I change? I have to strive to be a better person to earn more praise from you! hehe.. Honestly the honor is mine.

  29. This is one of the most beautiful posts I've ever read...such a lovely birthday request!

    Happy belated birthday my friend - I hope you had a lovely one. And thanks for sharing this with all of us.

  30. @Ameena
    Thanks for the belated birthday greeting.I had a very happy birthday and the most meaningful one. I am so glad I spent time with the residents at the caring home.

  31. Glad that you did something much meaningful on your big day. This is something good. I used to go to my hometown's old folks home during the CNY. My family & I will give them red packets so that they can have extra spending money rather than food. They have enough food already. All they need is just a small amount of spending money and someone to take care of them.
    For food, they've all the resources they need from their local residents for instance from the wet market, cake house, kedai runcit or whatever the resources.
    Thanks for sharing such thoughtful and wonderful idea & experience on such special day!
    May god bless you & your family.

  32. @Kristy
    You are very kind and may you and love one blessed with good health, peace and happiness! HUGS

  33. So sweet of you. Can I join you whenever you visit old folks home or orphanage next time? Lets talk more via email - mine

    Nice meeting you.

  34. @hankerie
    Sorry for this late reply, I have been really busy with the renovation of my Condo. Oh yes, the next time I go there I will let you know.

  35. Happy Belated Birthday. What a wonderful way of spending your birthday with those unfortunate.

    Thanks for dropping by my humble site.

    eh.. your quay lo is a German? he can cook as well, you got yourself a gem!! Sauerkraut and sausage - so German!



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