Monday, February 23, 2009

Mari memasak

For the most part this is a place to find down-to-earth advice on everyday cooking, eating, food shopping, cooking equipment, and nice things to put on your table.
Arthur Schwartz

I always hate when it comes to Domestic Science class, one of the reason is simple: I was afraid of the heat..!!..especially when frying fish and chicken..and I fried my fish like char koay teow until my teacher screamed at me..'jangan kacccauu ini bukan sayurrr...!! I thought that being in the kitchen was not the best moment, too many protocols to follow..White clean aprons, hair to tied up,clean shoes and different utensils are meant for different purposes etc...

I do help my mom in the kitchen but I was assigned to only cut the vege,clean the tomatoes and sliced some onions, we were never allowed to cook.

The passion of cooking and the enjoyment of being in the kitchen came naturally when I was no longer di bawah ketiak nak tak nak I have to cook...being a student means that we only cook on certain days so does the duty of cleaning the was a disaster..a plastic bag hang at window grill with ulat-lat berkeliaran...yuck.!!

As time passed by I started to appreciate the art of cooking and dining..and always wish that I have a nice, sleek, contemporary design kitchen that comes with kitchen helper who could wash all the dirty dish after I finished cooking..legaa.. are some photos for those who loves cooking, baking, dining..entertaining :-

Modern and posh kitchen with island decorated with pressure pot that cost RM1000 plus. I love Nigella Lawson's kitchen..maybe it is because of her presence..but I also like Jamie's which is smaller and cosy and the way he cook made my husband tried his skill in preparing nasi goreng and I end up cleaning his mess...the kitchen does not look like a cooking place anymore and the fridge door were painted with cili boh.

Orange was an 'in thing' few years back..especially for those who loves to create Balinese mood and ambience, the colour create an impact and force..The glass panel allow ample natural lighting but we need to consider about glare and privacy.

English kitchen...plain and soft and soothing

Talking about mechanism : specially design banging anymore

Sleek and curvy...

Lomg and square multipurpose kitchen sink

Push and was design with smooth motion, so we just have to push the cabinet door with one finger.

Stylish and uber-chic coffee an oscar

Chef at home....ewahhh...berangan berangan

Looking back..I don't regret being in that Domestic Sc class anymore.. :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Beauty of nature

Feast for your eyes...

Enough of eye sore from Alor Star..lets soothe our mind with these gift from nature

'Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!
~William Wordsworth, "Lines Written in Early Spring," Lyrical Ballads, 1798

The contractor just changed this corner with these lovely flower..they looks refreshing compared to previous plant which was just green and white.

The petals are soft and the colours are harmony and they dance smoothly with the breeze

'Rose rose I love you, with that aching heart..' Rose from my mom's garden in Alor Star..

Fresh flowers from Cameron Highland..various palette of petals

Birds of Paradise from Putrajaya....they are a good subject for oil painting

Have a nice weekend everyone..take a deep breath and 'smell the roses'

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

St Nicholas Convent

'Listen to our motto, guiding us as we go...'

This is my first visit after maybe 15 years or more I left this place. The changes are dramatic and an eye sore, this is the worst thing that could ever happen.


Primary school..the excitement of everything new and a dream of going to England (En Haffis---> jgn kata i perasan..)

This is current entrance from main road to Kopitiam parking, this is the exact spot where school chapel used to be and where sisters stayed. The chapel has a white trellis with purple flower and used to be our background during photo shoot at year end with kakak and adik angkat :-P

There was a long covered corridor with timber bench connecting the school canteen and primary school, but it has been demolished. I remember while waiting for my beca to come, I will watched and amazed by looking at the secondary student, they were tall and pretty with long hair and speak very fluent English. There was one Chinese girl who have a long thick hair like Rapunzel and her face is round and fair...

Former site of the chapel and access to the secondary school. On the left was a garden full of carnation and some vegetables and beans were crawling up the chainlink fencing.

Primary school block with school office and headmistress office, I was in Kelas Satu Kuning in 1982, the class was at the corner adjacent to the toilet..a girl next to me said 'don't cry baby, don't cry'...but I did not cry at that time, but I like the way she talked...

At standard one I already freak out thinking what will happen to me when I grew up and became a teacher and I can't speak English with other teacher in the staff room know la at that age, dalam kad 001, ambition no.1 = cikgu, no.2=doktor....bla day during P.E I overhead this one girl said..'nineteen eighty..something..'..and I was like ..'oo okay that is how we pronounced 1982 or 1984..)..I learned anywhere and from everyone because I was afraid that could be ketinggalan zaman

One lucky day, my drawing of ketupat were hang at our classroom notice board, I was so proud of it and kept on looking at that drawing many many times. And one unlucky day, I asked Chan Suey Hey a talented girl in my class to draw anything and everything in my exercise book..the whole book for me to later enjoy colouring it..when my mom did her spot check..apalagi I hide behind the door and waited for her to come with rotan... :-P

Anyway, the original colour of the wall were white and after few years, few talented pupils were selected to paint them with characters from Snow White, Cinderella a small girl, I did envy them...I wish I had the same chance to paint the wall..I watched them with their brush and happily painting the wall with various colours...can't the back the clock though..

On the left of this photo, nearer to the office were where a small pond with waterfall made of cement ferro and decorated with bangau putih stood . I like the sound of the water running down the rock on hot afternoon.

This is the spot where I stood on the day Miss Sibert left our school compound where she seat on a trishaw and everybody wave goodbye to her. It used to be green with cow grass and primary school sports days were held here...there were kemboja tree at three corner of this school field and various colour of hibisbus line the green grass

In 1986, my classroom was on the left block in this photo, next to the staircase leading to secondary classroom. There were so many memories in this class, one day we were asked to draw below our poetry..draw something that is related to the poem, it was about a robbery, but me with my poor English, confidently draw a robot..what the heck...

Notice that last palm tree..? One day at around 4pm after heavy rain we saw a fire ball around that tree...I don't know what it is, but it fell down from the tree..

Back then Enid Blyton was a must in our reading list..I had so much fun reading them but not enough time to finish all book, therefore on the last day of that school year, I hide the book in our classroom's cabinet so that I could continue my adventure the following year..and in January 1987 when the new term came, I managed to finished it..


Secondary school...where more fun and adventure began

Secondary school pavillion...a place where we held a discussion after school period and it used to be seating area for parents and teachers during Sports Day.

My Oh my...I fell down at this left corner masa saringan untuk sports day..every year few days before the big day, they will paint black lines and it smells of minyak gaih.

We also had a small two days gathering for Girl Guide and Scouts at this field. Guides from Sultanah Asma, Bahiyah and Scouts from KSAH were invited..that was the time where we had the opportunity to cuci mata..especially the Sea Scout in their white uniform... :-P.. but they were a good cheater..during of the cooking contest, they bought outside food insted of cooking it themselves...and they won...hampeh !!

Corridor towards school hall where we girl guides line up during Hari Penyampaian Hadiah. Next to SRT Lab were two science lab.

That orange wall hurt my eyes...

The wall were once plain white and an important background for photo session as well. That is the domestic science lab where we learn to cook properly using the right knife, the right measurement and separate our fork and pan in the wash basin. There were six main working table with cabinet underneath and one big wash basin. We have a recipe books wth hard cover decorated with photo's of pastries and cakes and delicacies cut from magazines and newspaper.

This door is new addition where else previously there were all adjustable louvered window.

There are so many things that has disappeared but the memories still remained in our heart

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I wish for a mini car

I had a bad start today..luckly I managed to punch my card before 8.30am before sending the kids to their nursery.

I made 3 rounds of tawaf around parcel C looking for a parking space, there was one near the saure but someone who was kind enough used two lot for his damn gone that one precious parking lot.

I drove further and found a space near a corner leading to the exit of this parcel and I moved those red cones and try to park there even though it is illegal but I've no choice..I thought that it should be ok but suddenly there was a knock on my window..a security guy asking me to find another spot at visitors area...sigh...

It was fully occupied and the parking space looks like a garage with cars that are blocking and parking on each side of the road and when you pass by you have to drive like a snail and make sure that your side mirror don't kiss other's..

Then I saw a man in white shirt with neck tie..I guess he just finished his interview and he have to pushed a car that are blocking his. From where I waited I could predict that it will not be an easy manoeuvre because there it was only 2 meters wide lane left to pusing kanan pusing kiri before you could park the car and to make it worst it is one way lane with 4 cars queing behind me to find a space...grrrrrr

I finally managed to park my car safely after semua peluh dan keringat keluar and my knee need a massage and my feet dah lenguh-lenguh tekan brek tukar that particular moment I just wish that I have a mini car...

And I officially start my work at almost 9.45am...sungguh tidak cemerlang, terbilang,..whatever !!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sketches and Honey..honey

31 years ago, a pencil and a pen was something that I really was hard to buy even a Lunar set of 12, 2B pencil could last for many months or until they were too short and hard to handle..but back then we were creative and rubber band was used to make it longer...and they goes the 2B pencil..

We did our homework on cement floor, we our feet were numb, we changed position again and again until our job were done. Geography execise book were sometimes rendered with different texture of colour pencil because the cement floor were uneven..or sometimes I did my homework at Mak's house (my grandma) so the pages will have a timber texture... :-)

Sufiya with her abah's old book..she loves to sketch nowadays...and that yellow Habib's paperbag has become own bag to keep all her pen and pencils...

She talk a lot now and her vocab are increasing but still pelat..she speak with loghat Utara sometimes...'mama, nak nasi'..'nak ayakk'...'nak makan'...and her favourite song...'ani ani..cepat..'---she wants me to sing ABBA's 'honey honey how you thrill me ahaa..honey honey..'..over and over again..

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday :02-07-09

What a spoilt child...don't blmme me..point your finger to her abah...

She had three birthday cakes..not one not two but 2 years old, with celebrations at three different places..

Sufiya with her best friend- Nasha..

Party pack..with her photo from holiday trip in Genting...i think her abah was more excited than the birthday girl.. :-P

Two cake for two places : Blueberry cheesecake for Alor Star and Chocolate cake for Penang...

I never had this kind of celebration at that age...dah sekolah menengah baru buat...but that was just a balloons and party pack... long as dear husband happy..Sufiya and friends happy...i'm happy too

Monday, February 09, 2009

Heritage Trail: Malacca town

When I proposed to go to Malacca for a short holiday, some said that it was a boring idea.."ada apa di Melaka..?" and so on..but to me any trip to Malacca is never a boring journey even thogh I've been visiting the same place many times. The place is there but it change a little bit or some rather tremendous compared to last few years.

We left for Malacca on Saturday morning after having nasi lemak daun pisang and arrived at Emperor Hotel at Jalan Munshi Abdullah at 1.30pm, it was just a decent hotel with only 3 star rating but at least the location is near to Oldtown not hard to find but En Haffis who went adventurous on his own at night could not the way back to the hotel...I think that you're relying too much on GPS rather than memorizing the landmarks.... ;-p

view from Emperor Hotel overlooking Straits Of Malacca and oldtown

Even though I'm familiar with this area but there are some places that has been upgraded and lost it's charm just like this one:-
Dataran Pahlawan, building with shops like Mc Donald, Euro Moda...etc.
A row of food stall has been replaced by so called 'modern attraction'...stu*i*

This is where Padang Pahlawan used to be, it is historically significant in our country's independent but look at what happen when we try to please and attract tourist. We forgot that by doing this dramatic changes, we've lost the sense of place in the name of tourism. This new development comprises of well known company like MNG, Mango,Padini,Gulatis,McD,..and the list goes introducing this mega mall and what not, we are not only destroying the sense of history but we make future generation to totally forget about the hardship and struggle of of past ancestor. I don't see how are we going to connect to the past even though they provide a square or something at roof level and these new shops at sub-basement..but to me the square should be at road level where people could just walk thru and there should be some kind of vista or focal point.

Natural least they could think of conserving this old tree... not far from those red building- Stadhuys

Jonker Street:
One of Oldtown attraction - Jonker Walk, where roads are narrow and shophouse are full of history and charm of Peranakan legacy. They best way to experience it of coz by walking but don't forget your hat and sun block :-)

But...of coz I could not shut my mouth and dear husband has to tadah telinga listening to me and my membebel about this gerbang or entrance or what ever they call it..I think this is unnessary, I know that they need sponsor and conservation need a lot of fund but these ain't a bill board..sigh...talking about World Heritage...

River Cruise:

I should give a credit on this wall...made of pebblewash..indicating a map of Bandar Hilir, Kg Morten and other places where the boat cruise along..The yellow line in the heart of this map is the Malacca River

Family photo..Hadif was sleeping and Sufiya was so happy waving to each boat that passed us..

I like this facade treatment where light were only on the edge of these grey old building, it really stands out at night

Blue river..reminds me of this song - Moon river...

Kg Morten..a place not to be miss..typical Malacca House that has been restored and conserved..most of the house are like a living museum with antiques and old and rustic furniture including old black and white photos of their ancestor..but the best thing is to go there and talk to them, hear the story and appreciate that moment..

I think that the aim of this River Cruise is a success..the objective has been achieved and most of the historically building has been well uplifted and the river bank are in good condition with board walk...except for some small fake replica of mushroom..??...but I think one major part of muara sungai Melaka telah hilang begitu sahaja..there used to be an old godown with boats full of timber and batter trade were an important element..maybe they have a better reason for that...

Lights and more lights by the riverside

Almost a full moon

Final day

Sufiya's new friend..Ah Meng...

no.. no...they are not our long lost family..but a family from Beijing who loves to show their traditiional dance...

There are many places that we skip due to time constraint and travelling with small kids are different all together...but we will definitely come again to trace the history

Monday, February 02, 2009

Dari Kemboja ke Tanah Melayu...

People change with age and are wiser and more open to their surrounding thru experience and knowledge. Our perception change each day upon seeing new or even old thing, because when we reached certain level or stage of life, we understand how and why things are or the way they were.

I hate or maybe not that harsh, but I don't like going for family gathering or kenduri when we were small, not entirely because of scared meeting many people but the thought of waiting for bas bandaran no.2 under the shade of trees in front of an old wooden house with black planks and railing that look like they gonna fall down..and sometimes that house looks a little bit spooky for my wild imagination..(this is just part of the reason anyway)..the journey itself from Seberang Perak will take about half and hour or more despite it short distance to the final station which is stesen bas baru. Riding a bus was not a first choice back then, but we can't afford to have a car so bas bandaran was the most economical way to travel. From Seberang Perak it will travel to Stesen Bas Lama and head to Stesen Bas Baru where another waiting session awaits us, there were less seat, it was smoky and full of people especially on Saturday where people from all ceruk of Kedah will come to Pekan Alor Setar in their most best attire..and this is also why I hate to attend kenduri...We have to wait for bas Gunung with its green body and a small picture of Gunung Keriang proudly painted on the side and the bus is always full but normally we managed to grab a seat. When we arrived at our destination, we have to walk again..sigh...and again....just like going back to my farther's side...

But that was then..I grew up and matured now, have a kids of my own..have a small car that could accommodate anything and everything and look like tin sardine cap ayam....

Lately family gathering is full of surprises and interesting facts , it was more than just makan-makan session anymore, we hardly see each other and that was the only time to meet long lost family members, new addition or even discovered our roots that has been buried by time and history.

From this meeting I discovered many things that could explain many other things that confused me when I was a kid...

I met an uncle who's working on finding facts on our family line, and he laid out the roots and explained that one of our ancestor were from Kemboja!..travelled down to Tanah Melayu and started a family here and the family grew and have their own family name that sounds like typical Kemboja's name.Somehow the name dissappeared thru times and thru marriage.

Another line were originated from India..that explained why my late tukang rumah grandfather had a strong jaw and prominent nose and so does my mother who on her wedding day, the grooms family said ..'tu diaaa...hidung boleh sangkut baju...'

Another interesting fact was a bit spooky and hard to explain to anybody who don't really understand Malay culture especially the way of life of orang dulu-dulu with their beliefs and pantang larang tok nenek.....'Abdul Rahman' was born with a twin that have his own family line now...but 'Abdul Rahman' is still single but they said that he's in everybody's blood...he is no homosapien..only few people had seen 'Abdul Rahman', people who were closed to my late moyang Tok Dah. She was a bidan and her skill we passed down to my mother who are brave just like her Tok Dah.
According to my mother, Tok Dah on certain night will carry a white cloth with some bertih inside and head to the riverside opposite Istana. Back then she did not understand but she just willingly followed her grandmother everywhere she went.
This story only came out when one of our relative has been diagnosed with a strange sickness that a medical doctor could not cure and even the doctor adviced us to seek a bomoh's help..! By then each of them started to revealed many things that I never heard of before...

It was believed that before Tok Dah died, she had promised that the 'thing' will stop with her anak cucu cicit will follow any ritual pertaining to 'Abdul Rahman'...but something never stop, it will run thru in every vein of the family, some will have her strong and brave character, some will be able to help other people just like what she did and some will just admired her story.

Now I'm waiting for more family gathering and appreciate them even better and don't mind the long journey anymore coz that long journey is a journey to discover the roots of everything.....

This is only part of the missing pieces that we discovered, it is only on my grandfather's side (my mother's side) grandmother's line were originated from Malacca and Johore (Bugis) and my grandma's father was called Tok Man Melaka.

When I was at Kg Morten, Malacca doing Urban Study, we visited one old house and the old lady asked us to ketuk gong....after my turn she said to me..'macam Orang Melaka'..and I just smile to her....

My daugther with her Dada's(Benggali for grandpa) prominent nose with my uncle's daugther at our family gathering. She is a combination of Malay and Benggali..hmmm that will be another story