Sunday, April 30, 2006
So the adventure continues .... Its Karipap time!
The weekend is here again, again I drove into Calgary to get these little bits of karchang, this driving up and down is getting boring can't wait to move.
a rolling pin
I wasn't exactly over the moon on my first attempt, got waylaid with a wrestling a dough.
So this time around, I am making my own dough. Got me the flour, the karchang and proceeded to make my own dough. Now as I said before I have NEVER made any dough before (last week didn't count since it was ready made), so its my first time and I wasn't really expecting anything to turn out. Already had the dough recipe from the the curry puff recipe earlier. Alright, lets get going.
Took out a big bowl, poured in the flour approx 2 cups worth, start small eh, added about 2 table spoons of margarine, added about a cup of water, a sprinkling of salt, got out the big wooden spoon and proceded to mix the whole lot together.
Wah! hard work mixing the mix! Through a process of adding bit more flour, a bit more canola oil, abit more water, I eventually ended up with about half a bowl's worth of dough. Hmmm just nice, can squeeze it like Playdough, was nice and stretchy. Tried rolling out a bit of dough, hmmm seems to work. Ok back to this later.
Then started work on the filling. Got me my pototoes, carrots, onions and ...alamak where's the chicken???
Aiyoh just remembered I cooked it a few days ago and I forgot to get more. Die lah, now how.
Then I got rescued, I spied a box of swedish meatballs in the freezer, hallelujah! salvation is here, will make beef curry puff instead!!! I also grabbed some fresh shitake mushrooms that was convenient nearby. Not gonna repeat how to make the filling except it made my biceps bigger stirring that thing. Go here to read about it.
After the filling was ready, it was time to work on the dough. Wielding my miniature japanese rolling pin, I pulled off a ping ball sized piece of dough, put it on the table over wax paper and proceeded to roll me a nice flat piece of dough. Hah! all that time watching TV is paying off. I'm pretty happy how the dough turned out, nice, pliable.
So roll roll, roll your puff, happily down the street...humming as I made the puffs, rolled out one piece, tossed in the filling, crimped the edges, started on another, was afraid the dough might break, but wah I made it really pliable, somehow.
I managed to make about 9 pieces of puff, albeit in varying sizes since I was experimenting with bigger and smaller pieces of dough.
Not having a deep fryer, I chose the smallest piece to fry first, anticipating a possible deja vu moment of disintergrating puff. But no! It held! yippee!! did a quick dance and then slowly one by one fried the others. So finally after a lonnnnnng time, dilly dallied too much, next time I'll turn off the TV and prepare either the dough or filling earlier. VOILA!
The final product. Yummy, looked good .... (Oi Helen, where the mold? quick quick, LOL)
Tasted even better! Had incorporated some lessons from the prototype for the filling.
Ahhhhh...now I'm happy....but my hands smell of dough...
Next...maybe a pie?
Friday, April 28, 2006
A Bike and A Kampung in Janda Baik
Whilst at Banff on sunday, the video shop finally got this dvd tv series - Long Way Round off the one day rental shelf and onto to the one week one.
It features Ewan Macgregor aka Obiwan Kenobi and his riding buddy, Charlie Boorman and a pair of very sexy BMWs. Basically, Ewan had this idea of riding around the world, from london thru europe, the ukraine, khazakstan, russia, mongolia, alaska, canada and the us. So I grabbed both dvds for all the episodes and I just sat through 3hours of the first one.
I am soooo sad. Not sad for the series.
Sad for me. I can't do anything like that for now.
My old Goldwing, do I miss her....
It brought back so many memories I had of biking. It was deja vu watching them prep for the trip. It really mirrored what we did, I guess its the same all over th world. One interesting bit was the hostile environment training they went thru, don't have anything like that in SG then but did have lots of malaysian relatives and friends giving advice on how to outrun or stop (depending on who you listening to) someone in a car trying to outrun you and to rob and pointing a shotgun at you in the far reaches of West Malaysia or Southern Thailand, but that was in the '80s, but personally I never came across anything like that, but southern thailand really like a cowboy town then. Watching them get seriously prepped for medical emergencies also reminded me of the time my group did something similar. When out in the middle of nowhere, better know some emergency first aid.
As the show progressed, watching them stopping at places in khazakstan sooooo alike malaysian road kopi stalls, complete with resting lorries, having people crowd around you, not to see you but your bikes. in those days, having a 1000cc bike was more rare in malaysia than a ferrari. having a goldwing was as good as driving a rolls. the show really brought back memories, those were fun days. malaysia and thailand has since gotten really developed. so much so, no need maps anymore nowadays (except KL tobalek!) read road signs good enough and can't get lost! Damn, I miss those days. Before the North South highway opened, it was fun overtaking cars easily with a twist of the wrist on the old trunk roads, in a car I did a lot more praying that I could overtake. The cows at the roadside were also more worrisome than another oncoming overtaking car. Then along came the highway and before the polis figured out they can make money with speedtraps, there was the occasional blast in the upper 200kmh zone.
My motor cycling days is now on the back burner whilst I sort out my status here, to move or not, time needed to save up more $$$ and do I actually qualify for credit now? But one day soon, I'll be back to my biking days...now let me find a job and pray it will allow me to pay for a bike and give me enough time to actually go riding!!!! Gotta be patient
This morning, right in the middle of work, this song suddenly popped into my mind.
Something I haven’t remembered in a while, but was first heard whilst on a training course at Kampung Janda Baik somewhere near Genting Highlands. That was a really nice time there, cool weather, a beautiful location, a small kampung compound, dormitories and a small river running through it. Learned some things those few days, I can memorise stuff if I wanted to and surprised myself and everyone else that I came in 2nd in a 4km run/walk race (huh training course got running meh?) which to this day I still haven’t a clue how I did it, since running fast is NOT my strong point. There will be trying times ahead, somehow things come back to remind you of what is possible.
But it was fun those few days in Janda Baik, strangers getting together, leaving as friends.
If We Hold On Together
Don't lose your way
With each passing day
You've come so far
Don't throw it away
Dreams are for weaving
Wonders are waiting to start
Live your story
Faith, hope & glory
Hold to the truth in your heart
If we hold on together
I know our dreams will never die
Dreams see us through to forever
Where clouds roll by
For you and I
Souls in the wind
Must learn how to bend
Seek out a star
Hold on to the end
There is a fountain
Washes our tears all away
Words are swaying
Someone is praying
Please let us come home to stay
If we hold on together
I know our dreams will never die
Dreams see us through to forever
Where clouds roll by
For you and I
When we are out there in the dark
We'll dream about the sun
In the dark we'll feel the light
Warm our hearts, everyone
If we hold on together
I know our dreams will never die
Dreams see us through to forever
As high as souls can fly
The clouds roll by
For you and I
Just watched episode 5 watching them go through Mongolia, so beautful, so desolate
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
How I wish I could be like this Bighorn Sheep just laze around, this guy is big, sitting down and is already half the height of the signpost, standing he as tall as the car! Took the scenic route back home after my excursion to Banff on Sunday and came across him and his harem. I think if he charge my car, the car siong already. Lucky he just eyeballing me….
Boy am I seriously Jet Lagged.
Today is Wednesday and I’m still feeling the effects even though I came back on Saturday, 4 days ago.
I usually don’t have it so bad. Maybe age is catching up,
Like now its 6pm and I‘m like where’s the bed?
I just wanna crawl into in and hide under the covers.
Coupled with a slight cold today;
A gout attack and being overloaded on NSAIDS as a result
It makes things really weird.
Eyes wide shut
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Adventures of Dough Boy
Whilst strolling about in ole SG, I spied this shop and my mouth started to water. Not quite as good as Selera's Curry Puff next to the old Rex cinema but good enough! Now I'm
So while over here, I had completely forgotten about these little critters, reading LB and May's blogs on their pies and also partially being egged on by their infectious enthusiasm, so the challenge is on, to make a curry puff!
Starting as usually by googling for the recipe, came across lots, like this one:
454g minced beef or chicken
2 Tbsp Madras Curry Paste
1 cup water
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 green chilli (sliced) (optional)
1 large or 2 medium potatoes (small dice)
1 packet (2 blocks) short crust pastry
1 stick cinnamon
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Heat oil in a pan or wok and drop cinnamon, cloves and cardamom into the hot oil.
Add chopped onion and sauté until onion starts to caramelise.
Then add curry paste and sauté for 5 minutes, adding water a tablespoon at a time to stop paste from sticking.
Add minced beef or chicken and continue to stir until meat is sealed.
Add water, cover and cook curry over medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir from time to time and keep adding water ½ cupful at a time if curry is too dry.
When meat is half cooked add diced potatoes and green chilli and stir well. Cover and continue cooking for further 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Season to taste.
The consistency of curry should be tacky but not dry. If it not, turn up heat and cook with lid off until extra water has evaporated.
Skim off oil and allow curry to cool.
Roll out pastry on a floured surface and cut rounds.
Fill pastry with spoonful of curry mixture, run water round half, fold over and seal. Crimp pastry with a fork or fingers.
Place curry puffs on a floured tray.
Cook in a medium oven for approximately 20 minutes until cooked.
One website that said it was easy to prepare. So how hard can it get? I wondered, lets see how it goes.....
So early sunday morning I drove over to Banff to get the ingredients. I being the short cut guy, only got the potatoes, onions, used carrots instead, Thai red crushed chillies (spicy!), chicken breast and then came the kicker. I couldn't find any ready made dough!!! (warning warning) Hmmmm so I got me something called phyllo dough sheets and a pie pastry dough, i wasn't quite sure if the they were the same, get home then will find out.
Now the first headache. What I thought would be the easiest turned out the hardest. As it turned out, the phyllo dough are very thin, wanton skin thick, sheets of dough and then the pie ones were thicker but came complete lining a pie tray. Hmmmmm.... errr....use both, I figured.
Like MacGyver improvising, I used several sheets of the phyllo dough, layering them like a kueh lapis cake to get the necessary thickness,had to use water and oil to get them to stick together since their consistency was more like wanton skin. Quite a bit of work. But the combined layers looked....funny! Although this will be excellent for making Prata as I accidently discovered... got a lot leftover.
Then for the pie dough, I popped them out of their trays and were easier to work with, flattening them was easy.
Comment: Please note that I have NEVER in my life worked with dough, (ok ok a looonnnggg time ago when I was still a little kid, I helped out in the kitchen with a cookie cutter) so I had no idea how to work with dough prior to this ....
Meanwhile, after that, I got the filling ingredients diced and sliced. Btw that curry powder is really good.
As per recipe, cooked the filling, which I must say turned out pretty good, but lots of work!!!!! non stop stirring and turning over to get that desired consistency, although next time I'm going to cook the chicken first then shred it, rather than shred before cooking.... hummppff
And then the second headache started. Since the phyllo dough was layered, trying to close them up resulted in something that looked more like a wonton than a curry puff. So the net pre-cooking result was that I ended up with a rectangular curry wonton !! sorry no pics, tooooooo ugly... besides my hands all covered in dough and oil....
The pie dough one was easier to put together, popped them out of their trays, kneaded and somehow made something resembling a puff, sorta. Pardon my amatuerish attempt....
Finally I managed to put everthing together, started the heating the oil in the pot (no deep fryer!!), since I prefer mine fried instead of baked. Put one of the pie doughed puffs in and it's skin disintegrated!!! Aiyoh....
Hmmmmm..... dough must have been designed for baking I figured so did a quick about turn, heated up the oven and then chucked the whole lot in it, using the now empty pie trays (at least got some use for them) and this was the end result. Curry Puffs
To my surprise, the phyllo doughed wonton looking ones, turned out the nicest looking and the pie dough ones looked like some kind of cookie turnover. The phyllo ones also tasted the best of the lot, maybe cos the skin was crunchy.
I need to work on this more!!! Although I had a good laugh along the way. Looks like I will have to make my own dough next time, time to get that rolling pin.
PS: I am gonna kotok that website recipe writer who said it was quick and easy to make, dough fun aside, the filling was some work!
Ahhh the joys of trying something for the very first time. Wait for Curry puffs Mark I
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Home Sweet Home... I think
I got to do this someday, just take a bit of time to bask in the sun. A lot of ppl said I came back I very peh peh (white) haha
Ahhhhh back in mountain country
Its been a whirlwind 2 weeks.
After spending some time overseas, being immersed in the Canadian culture, going back to SG and MY I noticed things I've never noticed before like;
The first thing that springs to mind are the girls!!!
Well actually what happened was that whilst browsing around KLCC, me in my tatty tee and shorts (travelling light! besides I haven't worn shorts outdoors for a year...)
I noticed somewhat interestingly how pretty Malaysian gals are.
Hmmm they seem to dress more formally than some Singapore ones who tend seem to have a problem of wanting to dress like a combination beach chick, japanese chick and milan runway chick (complete with heavily colored hair and ruffles on clothes, [speaking of which I saw this young 18/20 y/o lengchai complete with flawless skin, slight reddish purple hair coffiered till it looked like he just came out of a photo studio or maybe he was wearing a wig LOL] whereas Malaysian chicks dressing seem to be a bit more subdued but with a touch of sophistication sans ruffles, maybe cos the beach not so near..
I've also mentioned before that Malaysian chicks are slimmer, actually come to think of it, the slimmest ones seem to come from, in this order, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia (it's the good food!) and somewhere are the bottom Singapore (want to be slim, but not want to lift any fingers, but then again how to get slim with chicken rice every other corner, its 750 calories a pop), no wonder I had a roaring PT business, but these are the places I've been to only so far.
ok ok I think what really made the difference was that SG char bohs all walk with their noses high up in the air, thinking they are god's gift to man and will never look you in the eye
I actually made eye contact with a lot of MY chicks even if it was unintentional or fleeting, who don't mind returning the favour, somemore me in my tatty clothes
....but then again it was probably my tatty look that they were looking at and rolling their eyes ! hahaaaaaaaaaa
I guess trying to cram so much into that 2 weeks must have screwed my eyes and brain....
Friday, April 21, 2006
Till We Meet Again
Its been a very fast and short 2 weeks. Ate loads, saw loads more.
It's a weird feeling to come "home" and basically act like a tourist, albeit a very well informed one.
I met up with some of the nicest people on the planet, Mother Superior, SeeFei, Leonard, May, Cocka Doodle, spoke with Jomel over the phone and sent Helen plenty of Text messages (all good I assure you).
But now its time to go.
Very mixed feeling as I leave, a lot of wonderful friends here, a lot of wonderful new things to explore over there. Damn what a choice, but I should be thankful I have a choice in the first place eh.
Just the other day, I picked up a small booklet at MPH. The Year of the Snake by Lillian Too, noted Fengshui author. Basically for the Snake this year, he's gotta go search for his own fortune/future/destiny..you get the drift. Thinking about my decision to move on, funny how things seems to fill in sometimes.
I oso picked up a few more books to bring back, The Strait's Times Fun with Chinese books (all 3), cos I'm an english potato and its about time I could write more than my own name and Conversational Malay (so I know when I'm being dissed) so I know whats going on at the Malaysian blogs when Malay is used. Didn't help with the luggage allowance though.
Over the next couple of days or even weeks, I'm sure I'll have a lot more opinions on my time here.
But tonite, I got to meet up with more friends, including one who is also migrating to Canada and one, the more important one whom I've shared many an adventure since Primary School.
But I'll leave Singapore with my jaw hanging, what have they done to Clarke Quay!!!!! Those canopies look like alien ships, but I must say the changing lights are pretty though...
So until I'm back on Terra Firma in Lake Louise, later.....
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
KL part 2 and JB only 1 part
Whilst waiting for my train home at KL monday night, I was hanging out with a buddy Boon from KL at the Starbucks and hoping my all-time favourite rock climbing baker in the whole world will turn up. It was about 7ish and with the notorious KL traffic I wasn't too hopeful, but suddenly I had a call on my mobile! It was May! she had made it after all!
So after giving directions, this Starbucks is really well hidden, I finally spotted this gorgeous female walking towards us and amazing how pics of her you see on her blog hits home and truth be told, the pics don't do her justice, (LB gonna snatch your cooking and maldives buddy away from ya soon! :P) very pretty lah this lady.
So I blushingly greeted her and she is just as bubbly as might have imagined. .
The rest of the night went right by really quickly, so much so I have trouble trying to put everything in words here. (yeah right, muz remember might have G rated readers here and big brother oso watching :P) but needless to say, I really appreciate Boon and May for making time to catch up with me and from the bottom of my heart a hearfelt thanks. I just wish we had more time for a more leisurely chat but my train called..darn
I oso got a peek at her new Dell and I wan!!! now gotta work harder :(
So may another date soon yah? :P cos I owe you a dinner!!!!
So flabbagasted at meeting you I forgot we hadn't eaten! paiseh
JB only 1 part...
This morning, I took out my passport for yet another trip back into Malaysia.Johor Bahru to be exact, my my what development
This time I had an appointment with my eye doctor. About a year ago, I had my eyes surgically lasered for the Fatt Hou look, no more glasses!! no more contact lenses!!! (btw contacts are bad for your eyes, I should know, I used to sell and teach people how to fit them.)
So a year ago, my power was moderately myopic.
Now a year later, its at Plano!!! (i.e. Zero degree, with a slight bit of astigmatism in the right eye), wayyyyyy better than I expected as post operatively it had been hovering at about +75 for each eye. Yippee! but sadly like Lance Armstrong said, I can't argue with my birth certificate, so I have a leettle teensy weensy bit of problem with reading near these days but's its still livable, now I can really look like a grandad these days when I wear my reading (!) glasses. But overall I'm, pretty happy with the results. Somemore the clinic has a lifetime warranty...yay.... but only if I don't poke myself in the eye ...
Then after this, I walked around City Plaza, then I spotted this cutest of gadgets, its a rocking horse chair! its designed to mimic the actions of when you sit on a horse and you need to control your waist to stop the moving around and therefore you get a slimmer tummy as your muscles tighten up, so you have a slimmer waistline....... whew what a spiel, aiyah just just diet and save a bundle, but the lenghts people to will go to avoid exercise! but then again, if you use this, you WILL exercise anyway! if not you'll fall off the horse! LOL
But the best part of the day was yet to come. After nefariously conspiring with one particular JB Rooster, following whispered directions I ended up near the New York Hotel admiring the various car washes available and cursing Lake Louise for not having one (damn the washes here got makan, drink and architecture to admire somemore, like will it fall over???)
Then I spotted the Hansum comb of Cocka Doodle, walking towards the makan place, "Oi, I called out, despite never having seen the Cock before, but somehow I had a gut instinct it was him (that and his ohh so manly moustache, thanks to his personal voodoo doll). So the distinguished Rooster turned around and yah boy! Its Him, its Him!!!
So we sauntered over to this really really really lovely place in the middle of JB, alamak I thought I was in Thailand but I WAS in Thailand, this was a Thai restaurant! Damn shiok, even if we don't eat, I admire the place happi liao
waaaaahhhhh that elephant is taking a pee
We had a lovely time talking cock and how I may have inadvertendly moved to the wrong country, Canada has no outdoor eating places!!!! Just two guys, thai food and a beer ahhhhhh this is what holidays are all about....
We had a great time chowing down Thai food and beer;
Got Pineapple rice, special Thai Otah
Thai Chilli fish, Pandan Chicken and Tang Hoon prawns. Yummy!!!!
We had a rip roaring time, chowing down and Cocka it was great meeting you!!! Thanks a bunch for catching up, you have to swing by Canada sometime.
Then on way home, on the MRT, I had a nice reminder of the Singapore National Pastime, texting!! plus a few nice ladies to admire.
And I swung by someone's workplace, sorta
For Simple American, a scene of our famous goverment flats otherwise known as HDB pigeon holes, darn couldn't get pics of the hanging flags.....
But.....Damn even in Singapore, my squirrelly pals are following me around.... a Starhub cable tv ad poster...
Some replies to comments, faster here lah....
I was thinking about LB's bidet!! LOL
ahhhh so I don't forget!
yeah nice flowers eh
what like that you can oso see near your place, you masquarading as one of the birds there issit? LOL errrr dunno if its county valentine, next time I go see! but my driver turn here there until I blur ....
chant after me...food food food food food food
go go go! errr got to pay $2 meh?
truth be told, the train ride was awful, I'm taking the bus next time
glad you got your wish :D but voluptous is oso good eh? ;)
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Ipoh Trip Pics
Ahhhh we aim to please.... a Loo along the North South highway
Old Ipoh Town
Snapping away whilst waiting for our soya bean drinks and Ipoh White Coffee!! My old man bought me a ton to bring back home
Famous temples set into the mountain sides, now if the lampost will only move aside
Wild Love in Ipoh
I am wondering what I'm doing in the rockies right now
Where's my bike!!!!!
The land of Land Rovers
Visited a strawberry farm along the way
Stopped by a plant place
A carnivorous plant, should have had one at the food place for the flies
A really interesting looking plant,
Haven't seen a fountain in a long time!
Huge leaves! after seeing pine needles for a year this is nice!
A stag beetle, big! size of my fist
A sunflower and a bee
My best pic! cos I just stuck my arm out the window and aimed the camera over the roof of the car while it was moving and prayed!
Kampung Chicken! Yummy
Hakka mee yong tau foo
Fresh Freshwater fish
Our Cameron Dining guests
Ipoh Bak Kut Teh!
Ipoh Easter Egg! The dog ate it :P
My Cousin's farm!
Rows of roses
Flowers ready for shipping
A bit stormy that day, this kind of clouds in the rockies really means trouble
The obligatory tower shot
Jalan Petaling shopping!
Its changed a bit since
KL traffic still same ole same ole
A bidet in a public toilet! at KLCC
KLCC! hmmm I think M'sian gals better dressed than S'pore girls and on average, dare I say this? They are slimmer too :P
Train - my ride home
Bunking down, get the lower bunk! I got a upper bunk haiz!
Of the old days