Aug 27, 2007

Food for people sick from...

Last year, when my mom was hospitalised, the whole family took turns to camp outside her ward. Seeing that my family grew sick of eating fastfood at the hospital's foodcourt, I took the liberty to cook for them. Soon, my relatives(aunties, uncles and even cousins) had to fight with my sister, brother in law, my dad and also my niece with a share in the food too.

These are the food I cook for them. It wasn't anything special. But it was something that was cooked with love and attention.

Playing with food

Well, it is not what you think. It is just me, trying to find more ways to take a good photo of food. These are gummy bears I made some time ago. Using a special plastic mould with shapes of the Chinese mythical lions. The ornamental ones we see that was often carved in stone and sits outside a Chinese home of the rich and famous in China.

It proved so popular that friends have ask me for either the recipe or to make them as gifts for them to give to their friends. Home made gummy bears are less sweet. Or at least you can control the amount of sugar added. If you like to have the recipe, do check it out at

Aug 25, 2007

Haunting melody from Japan

I have to talk about this. I just have to. I chanced upon this blog many years ago while downloading Macintosh icons. I felt in love with the kitchen waltz the author wrote. You must go to Yoshi's site to read about how he came about writing this piece of music for his friend.

Click Kitchen waltz from the left panel of the screen. It tells the story of how Kitchen Waltz was conceptualized. Since then, I have written to Yoshihiro Kondo and ask him to send me the tunes so I can put them into my iTunes and listen to it anytime I want.

He was kind enough and zipped all his music pieces and email the file to me. Since then, I have been listening to them. But the all time favourite is still his Kitchen Waltz piece. It gives me great peace whenever I play it on my Mac.

Yoshishiro is a very talented man. He will compose music pieces, can paint and also takes beautiful photographs of flowers, scenery. We have been online pals since the late 1990s.

visit his site and see for yourself!

Down by the river

Some photos I took a couple of months ago. Of birds, life on the river. This river is just opposite my flat.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

a Bag of Air?

Some years ago, as I was cleaning a large seabass, preparing it for cooking. When I slit open the stomach, I found a bag inside. I haven't got the slightest clue what in the world it is.

So I took great pains not to burst this bag. I poke at it, it seems to be filled with air.

Then I took photographs of it and uploaded it to my forum and ask everyone if they knew what it was. Soon, everyone gave their thoughts. Some told me its a bag that keeps all the fish roe(eggs), a few said it is a cyst or fibroid. Although some wrote to say its the thing that makes fish maw when it is harvested from fishes and dried, and deep fried.

Although a fellow blogger also told me its something the fish has in it to helps it to float. And I always thought that a fish is born with natural abilities to float.

It proves to me that there is no end to learning new things each day. I am still learning.

Goodbye Beauty

The vet, Dr Lee, who took care of Beauty since her puppy days have told me the best way to let go was to write about her or talk about her and how much she has affected our lives. It took me some time to look at her old photos, to scan them and to put it up.

My old faithful dog, Beauty has been ill for some days now. I knew her days are numbered. So I prayed and ask God to let her have our last Chinese New Year together. And true enough, God answered my prayers. The vet came to see her and drew some blood. But she is suspected to have kidney failure.

The whole night (March 7), this old and loving dog is unable to sleep. She is not allowed to go into the bedrooms and was trained since young and she knows that. But last night, she went into each room and sat by the bed of each family member in the if to say Goodbye..

The next morning, Melody got up for school, I told her to give Beauty a hug and to pat her head. And told her that when she comes back from school, Beauty will be gone and Jesus will take her home.

Beauty spend the entire night howling, yelping. She seems to be in pain. I rang up the doctor and he told me there isn’t any pain, maybe she just want to be seen and heard..trying to talk to us because we are sleeping. As if trying to tell us not to worry for her as she is going off.

I told Natasha the night before about what has happened and though it sounded cruel to put her down, its the best we can do for her. She lived a good life and a happy one. She was one of my girls, not just a pet in the house. She was never treated as an animal but a family member.

That morning when my hubby was reading the papers, she yelp at him and struggle to get up and walk to his side. She sat next to him and I told him to give her a pat to comfort her.

Beauty has passed away peacefully. No struggles, no pain. Its what I wanted and ask God for and He has answered my prayers. She passed away at 12:40pm March 8 2007. The doctor came and gave her a tranquillizer to calm her down. As she was having seizures and was shaking and shivering. Before he could give the jab, her heart stopped beating.

Natasha couldn’t bear to see her so she went to her room to cry. I stood by Beauty and held her till she breathed her last. She was cremated and her ashes will be thrown into the river. Dr Lee was very sadden by her passing. He adores her as if she was her dog. He would keep photos of her in his clinic.

The blood test results showed that her kidney was 75% damage. And that causes bleeding internally. Thankfully, she didn’t suffer much or bled too much.

Even in death, she still looks sweet and beautiful like her name implies. She's 13.5 years at the time of her death.
Goodbye Beauty, you will always have a special place in our lives.

friend and friend

Recently, I took Jing Jing to a friend's home. M has a pair of beautiful shetland sheepdogs. It was an adventure for JJ. While we talked, the dogs have a good time playing and chasing each other in M's home. Then I also took this time to share a cooking tip with M. We cooked nasi lemak and I also gave her a jar of my home made Nasi lemak sambal chilli.

M and I talk about life with grown up kids, of what she wanted to do when she retires in 2 years time. We talk about God, of Christianity and our pets. She wanted to give me her tri coloured sheltie named Pryce. She knows how much I loved shetland sheepdogs and believe that Pryce will be in good hands if he stays with me.

I am more worried about flaunting the AVA ruling for 1 dog per HDB flat. Although Pryce is sweet natured and loving..he is no doubt a huge dog as compared to Jing Jing. I don't want to have the AVA people coming to my flat and asking me to rid of one dog. Which one do I give up?

But seeing Pryce, reminds me of Fable. my previous Tri coloured Sheltie which hubby dearest bought for me soon after we moved into our first marital home. I was alone all the time during the first year of our marriage. As he works late and comes home late too. And Fable kept me company all the time.

When I had Natasha, my eldest daughter, Fable became a wonderful baby sitter for us. He would keep watch and stand guard of Natasha if I had to cook or dash to the toilet.

All my dogs shared many wonderful moments and memories with me. And I feel that I could never tell anyone of this except to a friend who keeps a pet. Someone like M. She understands me when I say of things that my dogs used to do or the way they behave. Sometimes it almost seem like they have a human soul in them.

A cherished moment I spent at M's house that day. I left happy and contented. Its been a long time since I had a nice cup of icy cold lime juice and a quiet afternoon with a good friend to catch up on life and dogs.

Thank you M, for sharing..

I still remember her

sigh...its been almost 6 months now. I still think of Beauty once in a while. Especially when it rains. She would be so frightened and she will whimper and cry and ask me to hug her. Jing Jing is a fearless puppy. She loves the rain. Because it meant that I would mistook her for something she don't quite understand. And get free hugs and get to sleep inside the room.

Beauty fears the rain because it comes with thunder and lightning. Something she never could figure out or understand. Something that frightens her. When I use to work, I use to think of her and be worried for her when it rains. There is no one at home and she is probably hiding in the storeroom, shivering and whimpering softly.

They say time heals. For me now, it slowly healing.

My Grandfather's clock

Recently, I had a talk with a friend. For some unknown reason, we sidetracked and talk about clocks. And it jot my memory of a very old clock that my late grandfather used to have. It pauses me to think about it and realised that none of my cousins knew anything about this clock. So I wrote a story about it and send it via email to all cousins who are living here in Singapore and those who are abroad.

It was something Ah Gong use to have when they were still staying in Chuan Hoe Avenue, that terrace house that was very near the old Japanese cemetry.

Maybe Dennis and Connie would have remembered it more as they grew up in that place. But I feel that I am always the only one in our big family of cousins that remembers such details.

Ah Gong had this very big clock that sits on the floor. It was so big and so tall that it was often mistaken as a wall cabinet. Ah Ma used to say that it was such an eye sore to be put in the living room. so he moved it to the kitchen and place it next to the fridge.

I remember fondly of this old clock. Because it brings back so many wonderful memories of my childhood. Of days I spent playing hide and seek with my little cousins(mostly Dennis and Connie). I remember hiding behind the clock and no one would find me there.

The old clock had to be wind up using a special key. It doesn't need batteries or electricity. It runs purely by the key. And every day, without fail, Ah Gong would open the glass door, whip up the key which had been attached to a long chain and he would turn the key 3 times. The clock would run for 24 hours. Then it will stop.

Ah Ma use to say the old clock was no good. It never kept time. And it was noisy and too big and took up so much space in the kitchen.

But to Ah Gong, it was always his pride and joy.

In a way, it was the clock that not only tells the time but also tells us when he is unwell or unhappy. The clock would stop and not move a second even.

I don't have any photos of this clock. When they moved house, ah Gong moved the clock to his shop at Middle Road and later they found it missing.

When the years passed, ah Gong grew old, frail and senile. He had a little milk tin can which he insists must be with him all the time. When he passed away, my mother put this tin can in his coffin. We found some dollar notes, coins and an old key. No one knew what it was for. But when I saw that key, I knew what it was for. The key that winds up the clock.

For the case you don't know what is a Grandfather's clock, I got this from the NET. There's the old nursery rhyme song that goes with it too.