Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hello From Sibu!

We're here at the Paramount Hotel in Sibu waiting for guests to arrive for Grandpa & Grandma's 64th Wedding Anniversary & Grandpa's 90th birthday bash.

Nee will be MC-ing tonite with Uncle Morris. We've been eating a lot non-stop. Done a lot of sight seeing of the old Sibu.

Just want to say a quick hi to everyone out there!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Muffin Madness

2 nights before Christmas we were on a mission to prepare 200 gift packs for the Church's Children Christmas Party. The party was on Sunday, the next morning.

The game plan was to distribute 200 of these muffins, plus drinks, cookies, cream puffs & jello...

... into 200 of these boxes.

Yes, it was almost mission impossible. If it was only up to the two of us, we would have ended up like this:
But we knew we couldn't pull it off ourselves, since Nee has been baking for the whole day, and both of us were flat. So we called in our cell group friends for backup.

We had Eng Hean & Doreen, Alvin & Alvina. And we knew we needed extra hands. So we pulled some kids off the streets to help out.

We had Heather, a Vietnamese boat girl.

There was also Jordan, a Cambodian boy who escaped the Polpot regime.

And finally Emma Jane, from the poppy fields of Cambodia.

All they needed was a little bit of orientation & training, and they were ready to roll.

And this little bunny could really work fast.

And guess what? We started at 8pm, and we finished the whole thing, with the boxes closed & sealed & packed into larger boxes by 8.30pm. That was some effective production line there.

And we even had time to decorate Heather's birthday cake. Or rather, she did the icing designs herself.

And then something happened. Alvina decided to try the extra muffins that were lying on the table. And we realised that all of them tasted funny. It was as if the sugar was replaced by salt!

Oh, by the way, Nee didn't make them. We got them from who we thought was our trusted friend (who's a baker & trainer as well). It was horrible. All 200 pieces of them! The kids didn't even want to eat them. So we knew it would be a disaster tomorrow with 200 salted muffins.

And we knew we had to get the 200 boxes ready by hook or by cook. So we drove over to UNACO to get extra snacks & biscuits tp replace those ridiculous muffins.

We got another few hudreds of these biscuits & also some Chipsmore.

They were not exactly healthy, but they'd work. We asked Heather if she'd eat something like that. She said yeah. So that was it. It should work with the other kids.

Coming back, we had to remove all the 200 muffins from the 200 boxes, and refill each of them with the new goodies. This was what the workflow looked like.

And this is what the final gift pack looked like.

There were some discrepencies in the number of items in some of the boxes. But by then, we didn't care anymore. If God had a hand in it, the naughty children should get the cacat ones. It's a funny thought cos Nee has been teaching the kids at Sunday school that God loves all children 101%, no matter who they are & what they've done. haha.

Special thanks to Eng Hean, Doreen, Alvin, Alvina & the kids for helping out! It was an unforgettable experience. Hope you guys had fun!

Nee's Christmas Madness

Nee has been busy baking in the kitchen.

If you've heard Flight of the Bumblebee before, that's pretty much how the scene was like in Nee's Kitchen a week before Christmas. Imagine that tune in your head & read on.

This is the war zone.

These are the casualties of war. This is the place where 240 unhatched eggs die.

These are the machines of war.

This is also the place where I am barred from. And believe me, I also don't want to be there.

During crunch time, my role is automatically redesignated as an office boy, secretary, photographer, driver & delivery boy.

Not that I'm complaining. I get to savour the leftovers.

I'm glad to report that after over forty cakes, she was finally done yesterday evening, right on time, right on the dot, & ready for a family Christmas dinner.

Greg & Nee presents a snippet of this year's Christmas delights!

Here's wishing all our readers & friends & family members a Blessed & Happy Christmas & to a great year ahead!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Bloggers' Meet

In Kuching when someone talks big, you response by saying 'yerday'. It means 'yeah, right'. You've got to drag it when you say it - yerrrrrdayy. I have no clue where this thing actually originated from. We just kind of grew up with it. It's just culture now.

So when I say there was a Meeting of The Great Kuching Bloggers last week, it's appropriate to say yerrrdayyy! Cos the only bloggers there was me & Nee, CK Go Places & Wombok & his quarter-blogging-sister Brede (she writes comments only), and we were just a bunch of amateurs with zero advertising revenues.

That night was potluck. So everybody brought something.

The brother-sister tag team Wombok & Brede brought homemade spaghetti...

and also wine from Argentina.

Wooo... so exotic.

CK brought these char siew puffs. And there's a long story behind this. It's supposed to be the best in Kuching from a little shop called Chong Choon at India Street.

But instead, he didn't get what he ordered. The shop accidentally sold his puffs to someone else, and replaced it with a different kind. What a sucky move. The original ones would have been heavenly.

The meetup was interesting because it's the first time we had actually met Wombok properly. In person, he talks exactly like how he writes.

He moves fast when he eats. So it was kinda hard to capture his moves. I think a National Geographic wildlife photographer would do much better than me.

You will always be able to identify a blogger from a mile away.

Food is important to them. But photographic documentation takes precedence over everything else.

Here's the spread on the table.

Nee tried making mushroom cream soup but it turned out to be water with clumps of cream. NEE: Ehmm the soup actually is really tasty. Just that when i add cream the soup was too boiling hot. Hence, cream separated. khmm khmm... and that is what precisely what you should not do.

Nee's Pork Roll with baked potatoes & apple sauce.
It'd be RM100 on the menu. Yerrrdayyy!

Nee's Roasted Leg of Lamb. Mary HAD a little lamb with 4 legs, but not anymore.

And so we ate & we talked & we joked. Cheers to blogging brother-sisterhood, a blessed Christmas & a good year ahead with lots of readership & advertising revenues.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Night at the Sahara

Sounds excitingly romantic doesn't it? Sounds only lah.

This is the closest thing ever to the Sahara desert in Kuching.

I don't know why but this place always reminds me of a sleazy pub. Maybe it's the people standing there. Maybe it's the guy in blue who looks likes he's at a urinal.

It took us a while to get to know the place, and now we're regulars.

The only thing that indicates this restaurant has got something to do with Sahara is the camel on the door, other than the name of course.

We were there on Monday nite to celebrate Nee's birthday, in a small way, just the two of us only.

In Kuching, there are 4 places where you can get good meaty meals:
1) Carvery (Pending area)
2) Mr. Ho's Fine Food (Crown Square - Expensive!)
3) My Restaurant (owned by Carvery's ex-chef)
4) Sahara (owned by Tom's brother - near UNACO Countryside in Tabuan Laru)

Like I said, I don't know why this place is called Sahara.

There seemed to be more Christmas themes than the desert.

But anyway, I was dressed for Hawaii that night.

The place also has a wine bar which doesn't seem to be happening.

The birthday girl.

Pardon us for not looking excessively lively. We were really hungry at that time.

Here's the menu so that you can have an idea of what they have. The prices are very reasonable and the portions are ok.

We started off with Ceasar salad, which was excellent. Could have been a little too sourish for Nee. But I was walloping like nobody's business. We stopped halfway & realised that we forgot to take a picture.

Ceasar Salad - halfway gone.

Whenever you're in one of these 4 heavenly restaurants, you should always try the mixed grill where there is an assortment of different meat & sausages.

It's a good dish for people who don't know what they want cos almost everything's in it.

And finally we had the Lamb Shank. The meat was tender and well seasoned and sauce is definitely appetizing.

We had also tried other things on the menu the last couple of times with friends. The Grilled Pork Ribs is wonderful and the Fish and Chips is good as well. What we like about this place is you get very standard western meal at reasonable price ranging from RM 9.50 for salad to RM38 for mixed grill. Go in a group and share different dishes. Definitely rate 8 to 8.5/10 for Western Food establishment.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another Porridge Detox Project

We have really really have been overindulging ourselves. After two nights of meats, we could not take the third round. And it is back to good old porridge.

This time plain porridge with some simple side dishes that can be whipped out within one hour.

Here are some our favourite porridge side dishes ideas:

a) Perserved Salted eggs, Century eggs with some soy sauce, bottled chai sim

b) Steamed pork mince with egg

This is an absolute must-have with porridge especially when you are sick, or have a bad toothache, or no teeth. Otherwise, it's a simple & yet tasty dish on a lazy day.

150 to 200 gm of pork mince
1 tbsp of onion, minced
1 teasp of salt
1 tbsp of light soya sauce
1 tbsp of huatiaw wine
2 tbsp of water
2 no of eggs

1) Mix all ingredients together till even and steam on high heat for 12 min or so. Doneness can be tested by poking the dish and if the juice run out is still pink, steam for another 3-5 min.

c) Perserved radish (chai po) omelette

Another porridge good friend. Depending on the radish, it should be washed slightly. If really salty, soak and wash.

50 gm of perserved radish, chopped finely
1/2 no of medium onion, chopped
3-4 no of eggs
2 tbsp of oil

1) Heat oil in wok till hot. Stir fry onion till fragrant. Add radish and fry till radish is cooked. Add whisked eggs. Cook for 3-4 min on one side and flip to the other side and continue cooking for another 2-4 min. Dish out and serve.

Another similar dish is Luncheon Meat Omelette. Replace perserved radish with 1 small can of luncheon meat sliced to small strips.

d) Ribs with black bean sauce

This one is yummy. Top the sauce onto the porridge.

300-400 gm of pork ribs
1 1/2 tbsp of sweet bean sauce (tau chuo)
2 tbsp of huatiaw
1 1/2 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of minced ginger
1 tbsp of dark soy

1) Marinade everything together and add a little cornflour. Season for an hour or so. Steam on high for 15 min.

e) Stir fry vegies such as chai xin, little cabbage.

f) Sardines

1 small can of sardines
1/2 no of medium onion chopped
2 tbsp of sugar
2-3 local lemon (limau), squeezed out the juice

1) Stir fry onion til fragrant. Add sardines, then the sugar. When mixture starts to bubble and right before serving, add the juice. Dish out and serve.

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