Archive for September, 2010

Strawberry season

It’s been a while since I’ve had the kitchen to myself. I’m home alone tonight and really enjoying it πŸ™‚


I didn’t cook anything fancy for lunch tomorrow, it was just a very basic Chinese bento of fried rice, baby boy choi and oyster sauce chicken with onions.

It’s strawberry season now. The other day Gerry’s family came home with punnets of freshly picked strawberries from their farm visit. Many days later, I’m wondering how to finish up the last of the wilting strawberries. The answer came when I saw the strawberry muffins sold at the coffee counter at Lowdown (yes I had a Lowdown coffee today and it made me happy).


While I am yet to discover the best basic muffin recipe, these will do for the time being. It’s getting warm in Perth, Spring has really settled in.

Mandurah long weekend

The long weekend is over. (T____________T). And there won’t be anymore public holidays till Christmas! (T___________________________________T). I am so depressed.


We headed up to Mandurah, a city about an hour or less away from Perth. Despite having train lines that go direct from Perth to Mandurah, I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never explored the city of Mandurah. The city that weekend was very quiet and peaceful.


My impression of Mandurah was water water water. Everything was linked to the clear blue water,Β  there were protected waterways, canals, ponds, beaches. The canals were very pretty, and I could imagine how tranquil and lovely (plus expensive!)Β  it would be to have a holiday home in Mandurah.


It must be nice to be able to sail out to the sea whenever you feel like it. I loved being surrounded by the blue blue water and listening to the quiet lapping of gentle waves.


When the walking and discovering was over, it was nice to stop for a coffee and a traditional breakfast of toast, bacon and eggs.


I enjoyed the long weekend. Why would I want to go somewhere even slower than Perth (with Perth constantly being described as Dullsville)? But it was really nice to get away, to leave all the responsibilities, tasks and questions away for a while, life did stop for a second.

But now it’s back to reality again. Just opening my email inbox brought me back to reality in a jolt. And I just feel miserable. I guess this is long weekend aftermath blues.

She makes no sense

I think I might have bitten off more than I can chew.

Beyond all the hustle and bustle, mad dash activities and non stop action, there’s a little voice going off in my head saying ‘what are you doing?!’

I look forward to the day when everything settles down and I can sit down and reflect about what I really want, need, and should do.

Right now I’m just surviving day by day, task by task and trying to keep positive and happy. I’ll face the demons when I have time. Might be cowardice or avoidance, but it’s also a method of survival.

εŒε–œδΈ΄ι—¨ Double Happiness

It’s my mum’s birthday and also Mid Autumn Festival today πŸ™‚ I’ve been invited to a Mid Autumn feast at my own house, cooked by Gerry and his family, Papa Liang is cooking up a storm as I type, there’s prawns, fish, pork and chicken on the menu. Wuahaha.


Jo and HC will be coming too, so we’ve temporarily joined the Liang family instead of the Wong family as usual. Ooh, Jo is here, time to eat! We’re going to hang up lanterns afterwards.

Happy birthday ah ma, happy mooncake festival everyone!


It’s been such a big month, first Asrul came, then Cheng arrived and now Gerry and his family are here! We had lots of fun during the weekend including a crazy freezing ocean dip session *glares at Yee Cheng*. Will blog about Cheng’s Whirlwind Tour of Perth soon.


Then Asrul left, and Cheng left, sigh… and now it’s back to the office again. I was so exhausted from the weekend that I floated around the office in a dreamlike haze today.


There are still lots of big events to come, my mum’s birthday,Β  the Royal Show, Pasar Malam and Mooncake festival on Wednesday… speaking of which, I received my first box (or two) of mooncakes today, from who else but my sweet sister Jo of course!! Hehe, very happy, I love bingpi mooncakes, thanks Jo!

Another big event tomorrow … 2 years ago, I wrote this emo and quite embarrassing entry:

Sunday, August 19, 2007
再见 ζˆ‘ηš„ζœ‹ε‹

As I type out these words, Torres has just scored a beautiful goal for Liverpool v.s. Chelsea, the boys are watching the game at the 24 hr pizzeria and Gerry has left the country. My weekend is officially over.

I’ve been through a lot with Gerry. I think that might even be a bit of an understatement. It’s weird to think that he won’t be there at the next futsal game wearing his Man Utd jersey. Yelling out adopted Malayisan Hokkien swear words in his Chinese accent and causing us bystanders to giggle.

I wanted to blog about Gerry anecdotes, talk about what we’ve been through, what he’s been through but I stopped myself because I didn’t want to write in the past tense.

I don’t want this blog to be about my memories of a very dear friend.

Because I want him to return. Because he must return.

Please come back Gerry. I need new memories to blog about. Another bird leaves the nest and I am miserable.

Aiyah, so shy and paiseh to read this now, but anyway, Gerry is graduating with his Masters degree tomorrow!! And he just received his PR approval a week ago too, it’s amazing how much can change in a space of 2 years, which goes to show, when you’re at the bottom, there’s no where to go but up. Congratulations Gerry! I’ll be there to claim half the graduation cap again πŸ™‚

Guinea pigs

The weekend was so nice and relaxing, I wish it could happen all over again.

feast 2

Jason and Wendy invited us over to their house where they cooked us a lovely dinner. They must have spent most of the day in the kitchen because they cooked up a storm for just the 5 of us. Everything was yummy though and we managed to polish off a lot of it.


After that we had a movie night and it was fun watching movie after movie that didn’t require much thinking or stressing.

chicken curry

Most of my Saturday was spent in the kitchen too. I was trying out my recipes for the food fair stalls. Which come to think of it was a bit silly because I didn’t take down any measurements at all, sigh .. First dish is yellow rice with chicken curry. Would you buy this at a food fair?

ayam masak merah

How about yellow rice with ayam masak merah aka red cooked chicken?

close up

Another close up shot at the ayam masak merah which is tomato based with a slight hint of spices. I’ve passed the boxes out to my guinea pigs and they’ve all come back with good feedback and suggestions. Everyone has their own favourites though so I’m now considering cooking both including Sarawak Laksa, will it be a bit too much?

Yee Cheng is arriving in Perth tomorrow, lots of eating and Perth sightseeing ahead, it will be fun!

Kuih Bingka Ubi

I have been so busy lately that at night, I dream of work, at work, I obsess and think about the other million things that I need to do that have nothing to do with work, then I go home, and I do none of the million things that I’m supposed to be doing. What am I doing?! Nothing obviously.

And yet I still find time to eat a lot, cook,bake and test out new recipes. Sigh, I am not good at prioritising.

bak kut teh

A great big pot of bak kut teh means not much cooking for the rest of the week.


Haven’t featured any lunch bentos for a while. Stir-fried lemongrass chicken with sambal okra and steamed rice.

kuih bingka

A new Malaysian kuih recipe and possibly the easiest one yet! Kuih binga ubi aka baked tapioca cake is fragrant, buttery and moist. Only problem is, my kuih turned out a bit too soft, I knew immediately that it was because I used frozen cassava/tapioca which when grated turned out really watery, so note to self, squeeze out every inch of water from grated tapioca.

kuih piece

It was so easy to make this cake, I might even sell it at my stall in future! I’m putting in my registration forms this week, quick, start spreading the word, Daitaoha’s selling food at UWA Spring Feast and Curtin Pasar Malam! I still haven’t decided on the final products yet, but have roped in a few guinea pigs to do some taste testing, Jo and HC definitely, and perhaps Jason and Wendy? Anyone interested?

It’s a big day, we’ve got a new female PM!

Baking Sio Pao with Ah Ma

It was Gloria’s last dinner in Perth before heading to the far far land of Kalgoorlie. She came over to pick up some spare crockery and utensils and stayed for a meal.

green papaya

Salad was Thai inspired green papaya salad with grilled charsiew chicken. I like the crunchy texture of green papayas, but my personal favourite is the tartness of green mangos.


Entree was tamagoyaki, I love cooking eggs in different methods, steamed in a chawan mushi, or half boiled drizzled with a yummy sauce, but tamagoyaki, sweet egg rolls are possibly one of my favourite ways of eating eggs.


We did have a miso soup as well, so it was a Japanese themed dinner, probably because I was lazy and didn’t want to worry about cooking something new and difficult. Tried and tested teriyaki chicken with mashed avocado mayo is always a hit.


Pear tarte tatin for dessert again? Well sort of, only it was a banana tarte tatin which was nice as well, caramelised banana is yummy, I think I’m going to keep trying this with different fruits until I find a favourite.


This time I finally bought the vanilla icecream and we had it with a slice of tart.

mee pok

It was Malaysia’s National Day on the 31st, unlike last year where we had a Malaysian themed food gathering, I completely forgot about Merdeka Day this year. I went home thinking ‘what can I cook that is Malaysian?’ I was out of coconut milk, sick of curries, couldn’t think of anything. So I went with simple and had a mee pok instead, not sure whether it’s Malaysian but it did remind me of Kuching a bit.

agar agar

For dessert we had agar agar, it was orange and gula melaka flavoured. Looked quite pretty but I didn’t like the taste much, I prefer agar agar with coconut milk.

I don’t know how others decide what they’re having for dinner, but my day usually goes like this. (Sitting in the office) ‘hmm… what should I cook today’ (google for recipe) or ‘i think i have chicken in the fridge, something chicken’, then I get an email from my Ah ma telling me that she’s just tried a great siew pao recipe and the skin is flaky and crumbly and all my pre planned ideas are gone. ‘Tonight I’m making sio pao’.

sio pao

Best of all was smsing my mum on the way home asking for tips on the buns, and then calling home to ask her to explain the exact rolling method. Hahaha, she even directed me to a video to see how it’s done. I noticed that we’ve been swapping recipes and influencing each other to bake or cook the same things. During the same week, my sister in London, my mum and I all made honeycomb cake, and then my mum started baking chiffon cakes. And now I’m making sio paos. The sio paos (literally translated ‘hot buns’ in Hokkien, or ‘shao bao’ in Mandarin) turned out pretty good.

sio pao2

The skin was crumbly and flaky, the filling of chicken, peas, mushrooms and onion satisfied my craving for sio pao. It’s really fun cooking with my mum!

September 2010