Friday, July 19, 2013

Kari Kapitan

Today I cooked Kari Kapitan for the cell. I wanted to make the real thing, not wanting to resort to all the curry pastes that you can find in the market.

After scouring through my library of cookbooks, I finally decided to use the recipe in Dr Ong Jin Teong's book "Penang Heritage Food." And here is the rempah I made.

My fingers were yellow from handling the turmeric and that reminded me so much of my mom. She often had yellow fingers from cooking all the curries she was famous for.

And here is the finished product. My first Kari Kapitan to be eaten with Bengali roti. Not bad even if I say so myself. Now to find out the verdict of the cell members.

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Got Whacked!

Sometimes you get hit out of nowhere. It's like an ambush and you walk straight into it. One moment you are on your feet. Next thing you know you are lying there, bleeding and without the faintest idea of what hit you.

Ok, that was an exaggeration but I could identify with the bewilderment caused by such an unexpected and uncalled for attack.

This morning Hubby alerted me to a comment on one of his Facebook posts.

See the last comment? It's from someone who visited our cell a few times and disappeared after that.

To set the record straight, I don't recall ever meeting her on the street. And I am ashamed to admit that I wouldn't know it's her even if she were to greet me.

That would be more embarrassing for me and it would certainly upset her even more. And If that had been the scenario, I would most probably be labelled with far more derogatory adjectives.

Anyway, I am just curious. Her gripe is with me not greeting her, but why didn't she greet me instead? What's the big deal?

Whether you are recognised and greeted by someone or you recognise and greet someone: is there a difference? Could it be that the former gives one a sense of superiority?

That, I think, is something important for someone who values humility to think about.

My Not-Too-Successful Nutella Swirl Pound Cake

There was a bottle of Nutella amongst the lucky draw goodies that I received from Brandfest. We don't eat Nutella (at that point in time but it's different now that I've tasted it) and I didn't want to just give it away so I decided to bake something with it.

I surfed the net and found a recipe for Nutella Swirl Pound Cake from Sally's Baking Addiction that looks easy and interesting.

I thought using a recipe from someone who is trying out a recipe would make it doubly correct. Unfortunately Sally's recommendation to shorten the baking time proved to be a disaster.

The original recipe from Food & Wine gave a better estimate of how long to bake the cake.

But Sally's recommendation to reduce the amount of sugar was accurate. In fact the amount of sugar could be further reduced because the Nutella is already sweet.

Next time - if ever there is a next time - I must remember to let the cake cool down completely before cutting it to prevent the Nutella from oozing out.

Anyway the cake tasted even better the day after so I've got to exercise patience.

My Nutella Swirl Pound Cake

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

10th Brandfest

This year, with the exception of yours truly, Ken Ray sent new delegates to Brandfest 2013.

Posing in front of the Brandfest poster with newbies Sook Yee and June

We didn't plan it but somehow June and I ended up looking very yin and yang.

I like this!

Besides the good speakers and interesting topics, the thing that I like most about Brandfest are the goodies that appear every morning and after every break.

The newbies really regretted not bringing bigger bags.

These were the goodies we received on the first day

The next morning, we were inundated with lots of Malay magazines but I didn't bring back any of them.

I won't be reading them anyway.

Then came the lucky draw for the day. Last year the organisers gave out plenty of lucky draws. Then somebody complained. Spoilsport!

And so this year the number of lucky draws were slashed drastically but I was fortunate enough to win one that morning.

June jokingly mentioned my name and to our shock and surprise my name was drawn. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! What a God-incidence!

Lucky draw goodies

More goodies from the second day

And so Brandfest ended with more loot for us to cart back to Penang.

Age Has Its Privileges

At the Immigration Department Hubby dropped me to get our queue numbers while he parked the car.

I was asked our ages before the officer issued us our queue numbers. When I told him my age he looked skeptical and asked again, "Kamu 57?"

I'd like to think that he was skeptical because I look younger than my age. :) Impossible that I look older than my age, right? Haha, such ego, tak malu.

Anyway he issued us two different sets of queue numbers.

My queue number

Hubby's queue number

There were only 3 persons ahead of me and I had finished the renewal process and paid my fees by 9:50am. It only took 12 minutes!

I was told to come back at 11:45 to collect my passport. No priority for senior citizens so it was a longer wait here. About an hour.

Poor Hubby only managed to reach the counter at 1:50pm. After waiting more than 4 hours!

I believe the thought of a long wait in the overcrowded, stuffy and poorly ventilated Immigration Office (imagine the amount of germs and bacteria in the air! "shudder") is surely incentive for more people to opt for a passport lasting 5 years instead of 2 years.

Our timing was bad. Online renewal used to be available. Dunno why they stopped the service.

To Make Passport

This conversation ensued as we left home this morning.

Me: Do you know what we need to make passport?

Hubby: Photo, old passport and IC!

Me: Wah! So clever. Do we have all that?

Hubby: All with you ma. The most important thing is me.

Me: Have you prepared payment?

Hubby: Huh? Need money meh?

Me: Of course la! You think the government will give you passport for free ar?

Hubby: Can use credit card ar?

Me: Dunno but I have the cash. I have to prepare everything. What are you going to do without me?

Hubby: Don't make passport lo. I also don't go anywhere.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Man's Brain vs Woman's Brain

Human Brain Analysis 

Man vs. Woman......!!

Women - Multiple process
Women's brains designed to concentrate multiple task at a time.
Women can Watch a TV and Talk over phone and cook.
Men - Single Process
Men's brains designed to concentrate only one work at a time. Men can not watch TV and talk over the phone at the same time. they stop the TV while Talking. They can either watch TV or talk over the phone or cook.

Women can easily learn many languages. But can not find solutions to problems. Men can not easily learn languages, they can easily solve problems. That's why in average a 3 years old girl has three times higher vocabulary than a 3 year old boy.

Men's brains has a lot of space for handling the analytical process. They can analyze and find the solution for a process and design a map of a building easily. But If a complex map is viewed by women, they can not understand it. Women can not understand the details of a map easily, For them it is just a dump of lines on a paper.

While driving a car, mans analytical spaces are used in his brain. He can drive a car fast as possible. If he sees an object at long distance, immediately his brain classifies the object (bus or van or car) direction and speed of the object and he drives accordingly. Where woman take a long time to recognize the object direction/ speed. Mans single process mind stops the audio in the car (if any), then concentrates only on driving.

When men lie to women face to face, they get caught easily. Woman's super natural brain observes facial expression 70%, body language 20% and words coming from the mouth 10%. Men's brain does not have this. Women easily lie to men face to face.
So guys, do not lie face to face.

If a man have a lot of problems, his brain clearly classifies the problems and puts them in individual rooms in the brain and then finds the solution one by one. You can see many guys looking at the sky for a long time. If a woman has a lot of problems, her brain can not classify the problems. she wants some one to hear that. After telling everything to a person she goes happily to bed. She does not worry about the problems being solved or not.

Men want status, success, solutions, big process, etc... But Women want relationship, friends, family, etc...

If women are unhappy with their relations, they can not concentrate on their work. If men are unhappy with their work, they can not concentrate on the relations.

Women use indirect language in speech. But Men use direct language.

Women talk a lot without thinking. Men act a lot without thinking

Monday, July 1, 2013


That's the cost of our dinner last night.

I am recording this because it's such a rare occurrence. Can you believe it? That's the actual cost without the rounding adjustment.