Sunday, February 26, 2012

Broken glass and empty bottles

Last week, I took my mum and my god-sister’s former maid to lunch.  I call her "Kiew jay". Since she is a vegetarian, we went for vegetarian food in a little restaurant near her home.
Here are what we had:

From left: black pepper udon, sui kow soup, special fried rice

I do not think I want to tell you where this restaurant is because it is one that I will not go back to. Their food is forgettable and it is rather expensive and service was not very good. 

Kiew jay is someone I admire for her positive attitude and outlook on life despite adversity. She is a widow. She married rather late at the age of almost 40 but her marriage was short lived. It lasted only ten months. Her husband was a construction worker and he fell to his death from a building. After her husband passed away,  she returned to my god-sister’s family to work as a maid again. A few years later, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Fortunately, after she went through a major surgery to remove the tumor, she fullly recovered. After the surgery she quit the maid’s job and started her own business selling vegetarian food. It is amazing for someone who is illiterate and had never done anything other than being a maid in the past. She seemed to be able to support herself and lead a simple life with the income from the business. Although her life has been a challenge and tough in many respects, she said she is at peace and her policy is to live like there is no tomorrow. She said tough times made her a stronger person. That was exactly what my son, Nick said when he shared a piece of short music that he composed and arranged recently. He gave the music the title,  “Broken glass and empty bottles”. He explained that this piece was about the tough times in our lives and how we are all challenged to reach inside for endurance and stay strong to get passed it. 

Broken glass and empty bottles - composed and arranged by Nick Davis

When I listened to the music I felt some tears swelling in my eye. The music and Nick's comments sent me back in time. It reminded me about the tough time of being a widow and a single mum. I remembered an incident where I came home late at night after a visit with my step brother and his family. Nick was only 3 years old. We were staying on the 4th floor of  a walk-up apartment and there was no lift.  My baby was asleep and I could not bring myself to wake him up. So I carried him and walked up the stairs. When I reached the 2nd floor, I broke down and began to cry silently. I was hurting and angry. I asked no one in particular  "why?". Why had someone I loved been taken away from me? Why me? I felt an impulse to scream out loud but instinctually curbed myself from doing so. I did not want to awaken my baby or frighten him. It was a moment of deep self pity. It took me a few minutes to pick up the pieces and continue climbing the stairs. It was tough but those tough times that I have gone through have made me a stronger person. The beautiful thing is, I always got past those moments. Looking back I've learned that we human beings can endure a great deal and can be remarkably adaptable.  It seems to suggest that when life throws us a curve ball, don’t duck it but catch it and run with it! We never know just how wonderful it might be at the end of that run.

There is a bestseller book that I have yet to read, called “A Widow's Story",  a memoir by Joyce Carol Oates. I am sure I will be able to relate to her story. I will probably need a  box or two of tissues beside me when I read it.  It has a good review from Ann Hulbert in Sunday Book Review in The New York Times. You can click on the photo if you want to know more. 

Grief is something I wish none of us had to experience, but it is an inevitable and universal part of life.  None of us will escape its intrusion and when you think about it, grief is among those experiences that define who we are. To all the widows out there, I salute you for your survival and your strength. I hope you may draw some comfort from reading this. It is another beautiful writing by Khalil Gibran.

The Widow and Her Son XXI

Night fell over North Lebanon and snow was covering the villages surrounded by the Kadeesha Valley, giving the fields and prairies the appearance of a great sheet of parchment upon which the furious Nature was recording her many deeds. Men came home from the streets while silence engulfed the night.

In a lone house near those villages lived a woman who sat by her fireside spinning wool, and at her side was her only child, staring now at the fire and then at his mother.

A terrible roar of thunder shook the house and the little boy shook with fright. He threw his arms about his mother, seeking protection from Nature in her affection. She took him to her bosom and kissed him; then she sat him on her lap and said, "Do not fear, my son, for Nature is but comparing her great power to man's weakness. There is a Supreme Being beyond the falling snow and the heavy clouds and the blowing wind, and He knows the needs of the earth, for He made it; and He looks upon the weak with merciful eyes.

"Be brave, my boy. Nature smiles in Spring and laughs in Summer and yawns in Autumn, but now she is weeping; and with her tears she waters life, hidden under the earth.

"Sleep, my dear child; your father is viewing us from Eternity. The snow and thunder bring us closer to him at this time.

"Sleep, my beloved, for this white blanket which makes us cold, keeps the seeds warm, and these war-like things will produce beautiful flowers when Nisan comes.

"Thus, my child, man cannot reap love until after sad and revealing separation, and bitter patience, and desperate hardship. Sleep, my little boy; sweet dreams will find your soul who is unafraid of the terrible darkness of night and the biting frost."

The little boy looked upon his mother with sleep-laden eyes and said, "Mother, my eyes are heavy, but I cannot go to bed without saying my prayer."

The woman looked at his angelic face, her vision blurred by misted eyes, and said, "Repeat with me, my boy - 'God, have mercy on the poor and protect them from the winter; warm their thin-clad bodies with Thy merciful hands; look upon the orphans who are sleeping in wretched houses, suffering from hunger and cold. Hear, oh Lord, the call of widows who are helpless and shivering with fear for their young. Open, oh Lord, the hearts of all humans, that they may see the misery of the weak. Have mercy upon the sufferers who knock on doors, and lead the wayfarers into warm places. Watch, oh Lord, over the little birds and protect the trees and fields from the anger of the storm; for Thou art merciful and full of love.'"

As Slumber captured the boy's spirit, his mother placed him in the bed and kissed his eyes with quivering lips. Then she went back and sat by the hearth, spinning the wool to make him raiment.

My mother gets all of her vegetarian food supplies from Kiew jay. I know it is easy to get vegetarian food from supermarkets but somehow, those we buy from her are of a more superior quality. Shown here are the vegetarian roast goose and vegetarian fish that we bought from her recently. I deep fried the goose and my mum made fried fish in garlic and light soya sauce for dinner last night. Both were VERY DELICIOUS! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Deadly words used by Women

This is SO, SO TRUE!
1. FINE: This is the word women us to end an argument when she knows she is right and you need to shut-up.

2. NOTHING: means something and you need to be worried.

3. GO AHEAD: This is a dare, not permission, don't do it.

4. WHATEVER: A woman's way of saying screw you.

5. THAT'S OKAY: She is thinking long & hard on how and when you will pay for your mistake.

BONUS WORD - WOW! This is not a compliment. She is amazed that one person can be so stupid.

Hey ladies, tell me you never use any of the above words!! I got to confess that I have used every single one and the two that I use very often are No.2 and 4! LOL! It will be interesting to know what is yours.

Guys, do you get the drill now?  The smart ones who do get it will probably get delicious roast vegetables from their woman (like these below), whereas those who don't, might just get roasted themselves!  OUCH!! LOL!
(I am woman, hear me roar!)

Roasted Vegetables

1 green capsicum
1/2 butternut squash, sliced
1 medium sweet potato, wedged
1 medium onion, cut into six portion
1 medium carrot, chunked
1 medium beet root, chunked
1 head garlic
1 sprig of sage
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
salt and black pepper to taste

Make an aluminium foil paper cup in the center of a roasting pan. Put the green capsicum on it. Place all other vegetables around it and add olive oil cumin, salt and black pepper. mix well. Preheat oven at 220 degrees C or 450 degrees F and roast for 20 - 25 mins. Remove foil paper cup and green capsicum and remove skin and seeds. Slice capsicum and place onto serving plate together with all other roasted vegetables and serve with freshly bake crusty bread.

Monday, February 20, 2012

No Money No Honey

There many ways to show someone gratitude and appreciation for what they have done for us. It can be expressed in a simple gesture like sending a small thank you note or a sincere compliment. The sincerity of gratitude is what gives the gesture its dignity and worth. Nowadays, we can express our thanks via social networking like Facebook, Twitter, ecards; or if you have a blog, you can express it there as well. Whatever method is used, the expression of thanks has a profound effect on the receivers when it is given sincerely. My Quay Lo is an expert in expressing gratitude and appreciation in very special ways.  Four years ago, he bought air tickets for me and my three best friends to Bangkok for a holiday. He knew all the ladies liked to shop; and in Bangkok, you not only can shop till you drop, but there are so many delicious foods to explore, especially when one is big into spicy food and desserts. In short, it all adds up to a venue for a wonderful "Hen" party.

When we arrived at our apartment in Bangkok, we were greeted with the scent of fresh flowers, a new tea set that Quay Lo had purchased, and a pantry stocked up with tea, biscuits, chocolates and my favorite tid-bits.  Some brightly colored cushions had been splashed about. There were equally colorful Thai silk shawls for us each of us to cuddle in when the sometimes difficult to control but needful air conditioning became too chilly. His small, spartain, business apartment had been converted into a well stocked  and cosy resort room. There were four envelopes on the dining table, one for each of us. Inside was some shopping money and a hand written "thank you" note. In the notes he expressed his gratitude to the ladies accompanying me, for being  there during a hospitalization I had undergone earlier in the year. In my note he thanked me for being me, and urged me to enjoy myself with such wonderful friends. We all were dumb founded! None of us had quite experienced such a heart felt or lavish expression of gratitude before. I don't think it could have been better expressed. I knew that he had wanted to make us smile. We all knew he was sincere in his gratitude, and not just because of his generosity. His personal effort was clear to us.We all did not just smile, but we grinned from ear to ear, exclaimed excitedly, even as we glowed inside.

During our visit we laughed at the signs of the infamous Bangkok night life that were readily apparent.  It is often joked that when man gives money to a Thai lady, they will tell him, "I love you long time." However, the joke goes, if a man goes broke, she will say to him, "No money, no Honey." Darling, not to worry, got money, no money, your Honey still love you LONG time! LOL!

Showing off the new slippers we bought.
Guess which one is Quay Po's new slippers, I will give you a prize!

All dressed up in our new clothing with new costume jewelery for dinner.
We had dinner at my favorite Thai Restaurant Ban Kuhn Mae.

The making of Khao Niaow Ma Muang (Thai mango sticky rice) today, brought back sweet memories of the "all girls" fun trip to Bangkok. When I looked at those photos above, especially the ones in which we played with the wigs we bought at the Platinum mall, I could not help but laugh out loud. My mum commented that if we add the age of the four of us the total is more than 200 years, yet still we behaved like kids! I laughed and said to her;"Why not? Age is only a number." Body old, heart not old ma!" My mum smiled with a nod to concur with me. I guess we should do this again soon but for now, I am looking forward to my trip to Sibu next month. I am eager to meet up with some awesome blogger friends again and meet some new ones. We are going to have a ball and I am counting the days!

My version of Thai mango sticky rice (Khao Niaow Ma Muang)

1 cup glutinous rice
2 ripe mangos, cut into bite-size pieces
6 Tbsp. gula Melaka (palm sugar)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups thick coconut milk
1 ½ cup and 1 tbs water

Soak the rice water for 3 hours. Drain the rice. Simply add 1 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp water, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 tbsp. brown sugar and stir this into the rice. Bring to a gentle boil, then partially cover with a lid (leaving some room for steam to escape). Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the coconut-water has been absorbed by the rice. Turn off the heat, and leave the pot on the burner with the lid on tight. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. To To make the sauce, heat (but do not boil) the rest of the coconut milk over medium-low heat (about 5 minutes). Add 6 tbsp. sugar, stirring to dissolve. Taste-test the sauce for sweetness, adding more sugar if desired. (note that it will taste less sweet when added to the rice).

To assemble, place a "mound" of sticky rice in each serving bowl. Top with cubes of the mango, then pour sauce over generouly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love hurts

I have a several lady friends who are young enough to be my daughters. When they faced problems in their relationships with their partners, they have often come to me and poured their hearts out . Perhaps, they felt safe to confide in me because they knew I would not judge them. Very often, I have urged them to read this beautiful poem about love by Kahlil Gibran and try to begin to understand what love is all about. It is one of several poems my Quay Lo has introduced me to. From my first reading of it I felt that if we can gain an understanding of this passage: "love crowns you... so shall he crucify you", perhaps we will not be so surprised when love brings pain. We may even be able to blunt that pain with wisdom, understanding, and when neccessary, forgiveness. I hope you might see what I mean when you read the following.

On Love
(From "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran)
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips

Today is Valentine’s day, a day which we have always celebrated every year. It is a very SPECIAL day for Quay Lo and I. We declared our love for each other on this day 16 years ago.

To celebrate our love, I started the day by giving my Quay Lo a Valentine’s gift at 1.45 a.m. in the morning. I bought him a new music player for use with the ipod and iphone. Yesterday I was busy loading his complete music library into the ipod. Just before bed time, I turned on the player so that when he walked into the bed room last night he would notice it immediately. He has always loved to have some music on at bedtime and takes great care to prepare elaborate playlists for relaxation. However, a few weeks ago his favorite ear phones quit working. 

When it came time to retire for bed he hung back saying he wanted to do a final email check and see the stock prices before retiring. I went ahead upstairs and waited. Almost 30 minutes later I had to go back downstairs to urge him to come to bed. As I had guessed, he was absorbed in his work, but a gentle nudge was all he needed to switch off the lamp and the computer.  When we got upstairs it was a BIG SURPRISE for him!  He was so pleased and he loved the player. He kept saying it was SO COOL! and WOW!! What a nice feeling for me to hear him say that and see his obvious delight. To my Quay Lo music is the salve that soothes a man's soul. (Well, maybe that and a good meal.)

Today I knew my Quay Lo would not want a heavy lunch because he has plans to take me to a nice romantic dinner at our favorite French restaurant in the city this evening. So, I made a simple brunch for him - home made grilled pork burger, with egg and cheese on ciabatta sandwiches. What do you think?

2 pcs ciabatta bread (cut into different size heart shape)
4 pcs of cheddar cheese (cut into different size heart shapes)
2 eggs for frying (stir with a fork and fry flat, over medium)
cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
pork burger

For the pork burger:

10 ounces hand chopped pork shoulder
2 tbsp duck fat
1 tbspn finely chopped spring onion
1 tbspn finely chopped fresh coriander
2 tbspns finely chopped fennel bulb
1/4 tspn chili powder
1/4 tspn ground carraway seeds
ground black pepper and salt to taste
1 raw egg, stirred with a fork

Mix ingredients in a bowl by hand until all are well distributed throughout, cover bowl with cling wrap, and place in the fridge for thirty minutes.

Remove from fridge and make patties to the desired size.

Heat duck fat in skillet over medium flame and fry until the meat is slightly pink inside. Turn down heat to low and place slices of cheese on each pattie. When cheese just starts to melt remove patties to a plate topped with paper towels to drain. Cover with aluminum foil. Prepare grilled ciabbata bread and assemble sandwiches. Serve with stone ground corn chips, cole slaw, sweet gherkins, and an ice cold beer (tip: place beer glasses in the freezer for 5 minutes before pouring the beer.)
Serves two 

Though quite simple  to make this is one of my guy's  favorites. He literally moans with pleasure as he bites into the sandwich, LOL.

Hope you too will be having a wonderful and memorable Valentine's Day and remember -
"Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love"

I'm submitting for Valentine Hearts: Heart-shaped dishes for Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hard Headed Woman

A man doesn't fall in love with the woman he can live with. A man falls in love with the woman he can't live without. Your man will not necessarily love you for what you do for him. He will not be head over heels for you just because you bend over backwards to please him.  Some of the reading I've done suggests that a woman who is willing to sacrifice her wants and needs to please her man isn’t appealing to him, but is just convenient for him to have around, a fact he is likely to take for granted. The reverse is likely to also be true. For an intellligent man, it is the hard-headed woman, one who will stand up for herself and challenges him, that he most appreciates and respects. A good man doesn't want to have a doormat as his woman. He likes to make his woman happy and that in turn will make him happy. I believe we all fall in love with how our partners make us feel. So ladies, remember it is not the things that you do that put your man on top of the world. It is the how you make him feel that turn him into an addict for you.

There is a song called "hard headed woman" by Cat Stevens. This is a great song with awesome lyrics. I was introduced to this song by my Quay Lo during the early years of our marriage, and to be honest, I fall in love with him all over again each time I listen to this song, largely because of what he told me about how he viewed me, and what the song presents so poetically. Why do I feel so lovey dovey? Aah..perhaps love is in the air. Valentine's Day is around the corner. May I wish you all an ENJOYABLE and LOVELY Valentine's day and let's enjoy the song for now! 

↵ Use original player
← Replay

Hard Headed Woman

I'm looking for a hard headed woman,

One who will take me for myself,
And if I find my hard headed woman,
I will need nobody else, no, no.

I'm looking for a hard headed woman,
One who will make me do my best,
And if I find my hard headed woman
I know the rest of my life will be blessed -- yes, yes, yes.

I know a lot of fancy dancers,
people who can glide you on a floor,
They move so smooth but have no answers.
When you ask "Why'd you come here for?"
"I don't know" "Why?"

I know many fine feathered friends
but their friendliness depends on how you do.
They know many sure fired ways
to find out the one who pays
and how you do.

I'm looking for a hard headed woman,
One who will make me feel so good,
And if I find my hard headed woman,
I know my life will be as it should -- yes, yes, yes.

I'm looking for a hard headed woman,
One who will make me do my best,
And if I find my hard headed woman...

So ladies, are you one hard headed woman? And, guys, how are you going to spend this Valentine's Day with yours?

I could hear the song playing while I was in the kitchen cooking green bean and creamed corn soup for dinner last evening. Very naturally, I found myself singing along and cooking at the same time but when it comes to the part when Cat Stevens sang, "I'm looking for a hard headed woman..", I sang, "I'm looking for a bull headed man.." LOL!

Here is the simple yet delicious soup we had for a one dish meal last evening. I had mine with rice and Quay Lo had his with freshly baked crusty bread. Try it!

Green peas and creamed corn soup

1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 green onions, chopped
1 can corn
1 can green peas
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup cooking cream
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a pan at medium heat. Add onions cook till translucent. Stir in corn and and green peas and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I smelled the food but I lost my way

I was excited. I always am when our local bloggers plan a get together. While blog sharing in cyberland is what we all love and revolve around, I love the chance to get up, close, and personal with my pals. It is all the more festive & fun if we have a solid excuse to party. What better a reason than the Chinese New Year?    Wendy of Table for two and more was the bright light of recognition that we all would be silly to pass up this chance and very kindly organized a Chinese New Year  (CNY) lunch for local bloggers. Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover generously opened her beautiful home to host the lunch. I was looking forward to this lunch scheduled for fourteenth day of the traditional CNY celebrations . When the day finally arrived, I woke up early that morning to prepare the cauliflower and potato in chilli tuna salad. I left the house early at 11.15am (though the lunch as set for 12 noon).  If a person blessed with a normal sense of direction drove it, they would probably reach Sonia’s house within 20 minutes. It took me 1 hour to reach her house and would have taken longer if not for Sonia’s hubby who was so kind to patiently direct me by phone on how to get there. My Quay Lo said he is very grateful that I can find my way home every night. Oh Darling, how blessed are you!! LOL!

When I arrived at Sonia's home, Lena of Frozen Wings was there already. Sharon of Feats of Feasts arrived shortly followed by Wendy of Table for two or more and Swee San of The Sweet Spot. Although all had arrived, there was still a little last minute cooking and plating for all of us to do before we could sit down and enjoy an array of home cooked delicious food.

The above photo shows the lovely table setting by Sonia 
and below photos show her famous
nasi lemak with peanuts, hard boiled eggs,
boiled kangkung, deep fried anchovies, fried chicken, 
sambal prawns and the best sambal belacan I have ever had.
Sonia also made us a special drink that was so yummy and refreshing.
She called it Lychee lime soda

Food by Wendy 
beef rendang, kamquat almond mini cake and 

Food by Quay Po
Cauliflower, potato, romanian lettuce in chilli tuna salad,
Swedish wedding balls and pheasant pate and cheese on mini toasted bread

Food by Lena
Pandan kueh, sweet sour crab and scallop kueh

Food by Sharon
stuffed you tiau with pork and 
apple salad/slaw

Food by Swee San
Sicile (top l. & r.) an entremet of pistachio and blackberry cake,
and a Plum frangipane tart (below). Exquisite!

Last year, our CNY Blogger's lunch was at the home of Reese of Reese Kitchen  and you can see we had lots of wonderful food then as well. Time flew and one year passed already.

Reese was supposed to join us but she could not make it. Though her plans were changed, it was so thoughtful of her to send the chicken wings that she had marinated through Sharon. 

Reese, thank you so much for the delicious chicken wings. We wish you were here with us and we all missed you.

I am sure everyone will agree with me when I said we all felt connected even though some of us were just meeting for the first time. We didn’t seem to have any reservations; instead chatting like old friends. Our lunch lasted for almost four hours because we had so much to share. I am glad I can fit in despite the age difference between me and all the lovely young ladies. Most of them could be my daughters. 

Like the saying goes, All good things must come to an end, we took a group photo to remember our fun day.

Back row: Wendy, Lena and Swee San
Seated: Sonia and Quay po with
Wendy's two sweetie pies! (We missed Sharon in the photo as
she had to rush off for another appointment.)!

Just before I left Sonia’s home, I quickly caught hold of Lena and told her that I need to follow her car to go out onto the highway.  I know, it was so embarrassing that someone who is not from KL (Kuala Lumpur) had to show me the way out. I had to confess I have no sense of direction and if you blindfold me and turn me around, that would be enough to confuse me where I am.  No kidding, I am that hopeless. For being able to return home safely, I had to thank Lena for leading me to the highway from Sonia's house. Having said that, I can proudly announce that I found my way home without much fumble. APPLAUSE!! 

I would like to thank you again, Sonia, for being such a fabulous host. I am very grateful for your generosity in opening up your beautiful home to host the lunch for all of us. It was so thoughtful of you too to present me those gifts of ingredients any food blogger would be delighted to have.

Oh Lena, you are so sweet to give me the lovely little ceramic bowl and the pretty apron. I love them! Like how I look with the apron on (below)? I am holding the ceramic bowl you gave me also, I need a bigger one to ask for more of your out-of-this-world delicious sweet and sour crab lah! "lay sik joe lor" (You know what to do). LOL!

A big THANK YOU to all the "kitchen goddesses" who were there,  for your delicious food, great company and an enjoyable afternoon. That was a million times better than to have a lunch at a restaurant. You ladies sure can cook and bake! Three cheers to you gals! Keep on cooking, baking, blogging and sharing!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Make the cork stand, HUH??

I don’t know if I have shared this story with you before. There was one evening, we had dinner with some of our close friends. I have blogged about this loving couple before. She is Singaporean and he is Australian. There were six of us. We invited my sister in law (SIL) and they invited one of their good friends which was an bachelor Englishman. While waiting for the food to be served, my SIL and I were playing with the cork from the bottle of wine we were drinking. It is a game my Quay Lo taught us to play sometime ago and we love it.  While we were having fun playing with the cork trying hard to make it stand, we were not aware that the Englishman was watching us. I guessed he finally could not resist his curiousity but asked us what we were doing. He asked, “May I ask what you ladies are doing?” Quick and Easy, I answered him with my Malaysian accent and I said, “I am trying to make the cork stand.” HOLY MOLLY!!  His face turned all red and I can see that he felt very uncomfortable on hearing that!  GOODNESS GRACIOUS God help Lucy!! She did it AGAIN!  My Quay Lo quickly jumped in to explain to him that it was a game we were playing whereby if the cork is dropped at a correct height, it will stand upright and who ever make it stand with the least number of drop will be the winner. He further explained that his wife could not pronounce the "R" very well so it may sound like something else. Lucy, next time, think before you speak, pronounce the words with the “R” properly. You must really ROLL and not LOLL or NOT ROLL your tongue for the "R" sound in the word, so that it will not sound like what it is not suppose to be, especially, when you speak to a proper and polished Englishman. LOL!

Here is the dessert I made for my Quay Lo to thank him for saving my skin. Otherwise, Lucy would have to dig a hole in the ground and stick her head inside.

Banana Crumble
Adapated from

4 bananas , sliced (in circles)
rind of one orange
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats or 1 cup granola cereal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter , softened

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Evenly distribute bananas among 4 ramekins, lightly sprayed with Pam. Place all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, add the butter and work mixture with your hands till crumbly. Sprinkle over bananas, crumbling further with your fingers, enough to cover. Bake till crumble get firm and golden in color, about 10-12 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.