Saturday, January 31, 2009

Steak made easy

Simple home-made western meal in times of recession:

Buy a kilo of potatoes and a few slices of marinated lamb shoulder or steak from Giant/Tesco/Carrefour (pronouced as car-four as in kereta empat).

Cut potatoes and put onto a baking tray.

Into the oven they go. Meat on top, potatoes below. The goodness and richness (a.k.a. animal fat) from the meat will drip onto the potatoes. You do not need to do this if you consider it sinful.

Use high temperature, about 220-250 Celcius. "Bake" it for 15-20 minutes on one side, then flip the meat over, and continue for another 15-20 minutes. The meat should be done by now.

Now switch racks. Bring potatoes out, coat them with the goodness and richness, then put them on the top rack. Put the meat onto a plate and place it at the bottom, just to keep warm till serving time. Continue for another 15-20 minutes.

As you can see, the timing and temperature are just agak-agak. Hey I am teaching simplified cooking technique, not rocket science! If people ask why the meat not cooked one, say you meant it to be "partially done". If it's cooked to perfection, well, it's called "well done". If it's burnt, then say you like it "crispy". If it's very burnt, say it's "the portion meant for the dog". Hey I think I am sounding like a politician. If it's burnt beyond recognition, say some bullshit like "it's an act of God".

End result... drumroll...

... my dinner for tonight. Add a banana for the Malaysian-ness and mandarin orange for the GongXiFaCai.

No smoke in the kitchen, no splatter to clean up. You can enjoy your TV show throughout the cooking.

Dare to try?

Adult Lego

Happy Chinese New Year

As of previous years, we flew back to Seremban in West Malaysia for Chinese New Year. And so we did, last Thursday morning.

Took the earliest flight of the day (maybe coz it was the cheapest fare available when I made the booking about half a year ahead). Guess what, the plane was full! Since we boarded the plane almost last (due to waking up late), there wasn't a seat for Ryan. So he had to sit on the lap lor.

Anyway, flight was smooth, and we arrived KL with the rest of the day to spare.

And so we went to KL for some last minute shopping. Midvalley Megamall it was.

Well, there were some good bargains around, and lots of choices. Too much of good thing could be bad. With so many choices, much time was spent on choosing, and choosing, and turning back and choosing again.

The decorations were really nice. Better than those we see in KK. Midvalley had huge displays of the Chinese paper-cutting art.

The Garden, beside Midvalley, chose a pink lantern theme with Japanese flowers, which I found very tasteful and not too money-ish like those in OneBorneo.

Ryan couldn't care much about decorations. He had a great time at the amusement park, abusing every toy there.

Window shopping isn't cheap in KL, let alone real shopping. You gotta eat right. And food there easily comes to RM 15-20 per person. Then again, it's not everyday we go there. We found a little stall which sold grass juice...

Wheat grass ler. A mouthful cost RM 3.50. The sweetened wheatgrass syrup tastes better than this original form, which tastes like... grass. Moooooo000o that's the spirit, it's the Year of the Ox.

The next day, it's KL again. Stopped over at Central Market to see if there's anything interesting. Also to visit the Photography Exhibition organised by PhotoMalaysia, an online photography forum which I frequent.

We found a great way of earning money from your pet fish, while saving on the cost of feeding them!!! GENIUS!

It's called Cute Fish Spa.

With some convincing advertising, you can get streams of naive and curious folks paying RM5 for a 10-minute pleasure of your pet fish kissing the dirt off people's smelly legs. Now where can I find an aquarium in KK...

Guess where can you find the most number of Sabah people on a Sunday morning in Seremban?

The SIB Church of course! Yes, there is an SIB church in Seremban, if you ask.

And we were so right.

The church pastor was Irene's distant cousin and schoolmate, an energetic Lundayeh guy. And a new pastor gave his maiden sermon on that morning. A Lunbawang guy from Ba Kelalan, deep in the Sarawakian highlands, a wonderful place which I had the priviledge to step foot on many years back. His was an inspiring sermon, about how his family dealt with tough challenges in their family and working life. But Ryan slept through it all. Well, that's better than having him running all around and screaming.

On CNY eve, me make the annual pilgrimage to Melaka for the Reunion Dinner. Used to be a steamboat affair at my uncle's place. Due to rapid increase in participants over the recent years, the meal is now taken at a restaurant.

Usual CNY stuffs la, yee-sang, sharkfin soup, mushroom, little pig, prawns, fish...

After dinner, went for a little sightseeing at the historical sites of Melaka to soak in the CNY atmosphere. Unfortunately, it was raining. So, had to take some quick shots and left.

See, we have been to Christ-Church... (the real one in NZ if got $$$).


The party has increased over the years...

... new kids on the bloc.

We drove to Melaka again. This year, we needed 3 cars.

The usual makan-makan and angpao exchanges. Weather was HOT there!

At a relative's house, they hired a lion to dance. The clever lion could peel oranges really well. See the pattern it made on the floor.

... more usual CNY stuff...

... playing adult Lego.

Went to a few relative's houses to check on the other new kids on their blocs.

Then went to look for the famous satay celup. The famous shop was packed to the brim, so we settled for the new shop just next door, which was quite empty, therefore providing pretty good service. Yum yum and hot hot!

After that, went back to the historical sites for some quick photos.

Ryan can boast that he have been to A-Famosa when he goes to kindergarten.

Colourful trishaw rides for RM40 an hour. The gwailos must be chirping all the way... cheap cheap cheap cheap.

The next few days were for hanging around at home... waking up late, eating more than enough, reading newspapers like pensioners, afternoon naps, shopping, ... well, in summary, living like you've made it big in life.

Ryan was more interested in playing with his cousin and fighting over toys.

Then it's back to real life in KK.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Basket fun

Bet you never knew that baskets can be this much fun.

Kampung boy stuffs.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dancing boy

I will dance like David did.

But with more cloth on.

David, wearing only a linen cloth around his waist, danced with all his might to honor the LORD. And so he and all the Israelites took the Covenant Box up to Jerusalem with shouts of joy and the sound of trumpets.

2 Sam 6:14,15

Big toys

We went walk walk at the City Mall last weekend. Chinese New Year is round the corner. People are up on the shopping spree. And the big boys are pushing to sell their big toys too.

Understandably, rich Chinese (and non-Chinese too, in case you call me a racist) like to have new cars to usher in the new year. Those wonderful folks that give real meaning to the Gong Xi Fa Cai that you rehearse annually around this time of the year, but don't really mean it most of the time.

Do you think I would miss the chance to caress the big toys? No, I manhandled them.

Top of the pick: Toyota Land Cruiser Cygnus.

Price tag RM 400K plus.

Big, spacious, tough on the outside, gentle on the inside. Good for the family man to pack his whole family inside, if he brings his family along for his buddy trips, that is.

Second favourite: Land Rover dunno what category.

Price tag RM 400K plus also.

Parked just beside the Cygnus. If you ask me ah, the Cygnus feels nicer la. More family car. This Land Rover is a bit... insensitive.

Third favourite: Mercedes AMG.

Price tag RM 300K plus.

The car window got no frame one wer... Just the piece of glass coming up, and up, and touch the roof. The interior ah, really salivating.

The others were just some cheaper Mercedes and BMWs. Just a bit above RM 200K, nothing to shout about.


My little Myvi can can also sit 5 people and move around with reasonable comfort, for about RM 50K. Minus those canggih gadgets. And unfortunately the car window got frame one. If you got some spare cash, can throw in RM 150K to travel in the level of comfort that most common folks would drool upon.

But to buy a car for double, or triple that amount?


I am reminded of how RM 10K could build a pastor's house in Kampung Minitampak. OK fine throw in another RM 10K and that guy will be living in heaven on earth.

Or how RM 50K could build a church, or a school in interior Sabah. Or feed a family for a year. A few families, if they don't eat too much and don't reproduce too many.

Would I burn so much money on a car, so that it makes me move around faster, classier, comfortabler, and cockier?

What a dilemma. Would you?

Until the dilemma is solved, kiamsiap me will have to play with small toys for the mean time.

Sigh. Need a bigger mind to make bigger money to buy bigger toys.

Me and my fren

Maybe it's good to send little boy to a nursery.

Then he'll more little frens to fren fren with.

Then his mummy can find some moolah, like what Auntie Liz is doing these days.

The manja face

"Can I have a toy ah? Pleeeeeaaaaasssseeeeee?" Wink wink.

Cannot la. Your grandma said soft toys not for boys.

Next time we go buy guns and knives ah. Man stuffs.

Small shopping

Interesting shopping carts they have nowadays.

Never had those when I was a kid.

We only had tarik upih those days.