Sunday, February 26, 2012

Summer Wear

Summer Wear

Can't wait till I can fit into these glams again! :)

Dreams for kawai Digital Pianos

Moons ago I remembered my good friend Kartini and I begged for our moms to get us Kawai digital pianos so we would be extra diligent in  practicing our lesson pieces. That time, our moms happened to be good friends (that explains why we go to the same piano school) and always wanted us to do things together while they spent their time chit-chatting and shop away while we got busy on tuition and music classes.

After several years begging (and forgetting what Kartini and I asked for), Kartini finally got what she asked for during her 20th birthday -- a spanking Kawai digital piano while I got a simple (well playable) three octave Yamaha keyboard for my 16th birthday! When she told of what seemed to me a distant wish, I visited her home one day and laid my fingers on her own first Kawai. Believe it or not, although the digital piano was a hundred times better compared to my three octave Yamaha, and everything seemed to be almost perfect, I didn't have the slightest envy for her having what we both had wanted so badly before! I was actually thankful that my mom only bought a simple keyboard, in which I practiced most of my exam pieces on and still managed  to pass (Kartini passed all her piano exams too). 

After a two years of abusing my keyboard to the max, I left for college and my sister didn't picked up piano until she was a teenager. So long story short, the keyboard was left unattended, unless my mom dust it and play hymnals once in a while and the last time I went home to check on it, several keys aren't working anymore. As for Kartini, she left for college several months after she got her Kawai digital piano. No one besides her in her family plays the piano, so the piano was left sitting in their living room unattended unless Kartini spent her holidays at home. Latest I heard, her mom decided to sell it to one of her cousins due to space. So much for wanting something but can't really use it to the fullest. One big lesson I learned and has helped me a lot with my shopping these days! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Homemade Ang Ku Kueh

I have been craving for something made of glutinous rice flour and I suddenly thought of my all time favorite kuih at the tamu (market) back home...ang ku kueh! So I dragged my lazy bum-bum and heavy penguin feet to knead the a pink dough and stuff in some red bean paste in it until everything is ready for steaming.

A bit of a background for those of you who aren't familiar with ang ku kueh, we Chinese and even half of my other blood, the Kadazan-dusun, love to devour this type of kueh (cake). Derived from a Hokkien dialect, Ang means red, Ku means tortoise and kueh simply means cake. So basically ang ku kueh represent a long living life to the Chinese since tortoise is considered a long living animal to them. This cake is served in many special occasions such as birthdays, New Year, etc. For me, I simply buy and eat them whenever I want since I love the taste. The fillings come in different varieties. Sometimes you find them with crushed peanuts and sugar, sometimes red mueng beans paste and sometimes coconut with caramelized sugar. 

Since this is my first attempt in making them here in Bangkok, I replace the supposed-to-be banana leaf base to simply using a kitchen foil. So here is my simple ang ku kueh! Made about 20 pieces in 30 mins. while listening to someone on his online floral arrangements! It's that simple! :) 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Grief for One or the Millions?

"So what if she died?" I know many will hate me if I orally say that or who knows many would even agree to "hey, people die of hunger and diseases so what's the big deal?" Maybe the question to ask in respond to the above image is "What is wrong with this world?"

I was on my yoga apparel, busy with school work last Sunday when Hobbit all of a sudden shocked me with his loud "huhhhhhh????" I was worried and thought he read of something from home on FB but apparently he was on the news. "Whitney Houston died!!" Phew... Yet to know that Whitney had passed on did make me sad. I grew up with her music and had very much admired her phenomenal voice! To quote our friend Reynold, he said "Good music died in the 90s..." Hell yes! Of course we still have Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Adele to name a few...But their concepts are no longer the same. Everyone wants to catch up to the latest kaboom because only by doing so, their banks and popularity would remain. 

So back to my main point, I do grieve for Houston but I dislike the kind of life she led herself into that partially contributed to her short life. Well, we never know why a person choose to live the way he/she live until we are in his/her shoes.  Therefore, RIP Whitney Houston. Hope we don't just sing to your song The Greatest Love of All but to live it like how you have sung the message across to many!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Basket Weave Baby Blankie

the edge is still crooked a bit but doesn't matter! :)

The blankie has 28 single crochet to start with and 26 rows vertical/horizontal
Hiatus in between the two weeks I brood on purple and cream colored yarns, I finally managed complete a basket weave baby blankie! Crocheting seems easy -- you move both arms in a sitting position and play on those cute fingers, comes a finish product. Yet, for a petite person with a big belly like me, it did post some challenges when I was on it. Difficulty breathing while actively swinging my arms and raising my feet up on a stool was one. Adjusting to get a good butt rest and a spine rest was also a challenge. Basically, I was having quite a hard time doing my 'relaxing' hobby but still, better than doing nothing! So this blankie would probably be my last one until the special someone comes along and to mention a next blankie, who knows when I will start one again...Yet I'm praying to have time for all my 'messy hobbies' as Hobbit puts it. Now where should I place the bead bracelet??

Homemade Char Kuey Teow

After we moved to our new place, our Saturday night dinner venue moved too! We have been a frequent at the famous cheap eatery, Sukhumvit Soi 38. We never miss our pa tong kor (char kueh) and soy milk, swapping between khra pao gai and the Thai version of char kuey teow, and of course now and then trying new dishes. 
Yesterday night however, we decided to just pack and take away our favorite pa tong kor and cook char kuey teow, the Malaysian style, at home. Since we had all the ingredients already, I decided to 'char' or fry in my own style with an electric stove instead of a fiery wok! Guess what, it turned out quite 'char' (at least we got a bit of the burning taste from the sucky stove) and we enjoyed it immensely with our newest addiction, the sriracha sauce! I never knew it was such an easy fix and fast too! Hobbit almost gobbled the whole plate of it! There! I'll definitely prepare this again, especially now that I can't go out as I wish anymore! 

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