Thursday, March 21, 2013

Memories

Isn't it funny (and wonderful) how certain things can invoke different and very particular memories.

I'd be taking a hot shower and my memory flashes back to my younger self, almost twenty years ago, taking a hot shower in a hotel in Miri.  I was attending the pre-departure briefing before my trip to the UK, after being awarded a scholarship to pursue my degree there.  It was an exciting time and I was also anxious and tired from the long day of listening to what to expect when we arrive in the UK. The briefing room and the hotel was cold and the hot shower provided much solace and relief at the end of the day.  I don't know why my memory flashes back to this particular moment in time.  I have taken many a hot showers through these years, some in places that are probably much more memorable than that small hotel in Miri.  But I suppose it had to do with the fact that it was a point where I was just embarking into adulthood and independence. I just made a decision and signed a contract that would forever change my life from there on, without really knowing what I was getting myself into.

I'd walk past a bakery and inhale the aroma of freshly baked bread and pastries and this takes me back to Manchester.  I loved the piercing smell of bread that came from the bakeries in Marks & Spencer, my usual weekly haunt.  Later on, I moved to a hall of residence that was on top of a row of shops. And my room was right above this small pattisserie where I'd stop by to grab my favourite cheese and onion pasties en route to my little abode.  Add in the soundtrack of Ronan Keating and Mojo and this picture of Manchester is complete.  It was a different and more empowering time in my life.  I had grown up somewhat from those days of insecurity and following everyone else's suit.  I was pursuing my masters, I had a job that I was grateful for, I had met some friends who had somewhat changed my perspective and I was living in a city where I barely knew anybody. It was refreshing, I knew what I wanted and who I was.. somewhat.

This morning, I was making fried rice. And suddenly, I was transported back to this time where I remembered my mom or my grandma cooking in the kitchen.  The smell emanating the whole house was that of comfort. I would sit back and enjoy what I was doing, knowing fully that I would have a nice meal to devour before heading off to school or making it a night.  And now, here I am. I'm the one cooking for my family, for my kids.

And the memories keep flooding by, different things will remind me of different parts of my life. Make me think of the things I wish I knew back then. How things could have turned out differently. How things are now. I suppose it is like this when you grow older. Memories are all that you have. Some of them need to be told, else there will just remain that and it would be as though they never happened..

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Don't Give Up



Not loving Jason's scruffiness, but totally loving this song.

Keep looking up, don't give up, make the difference that you can make. You're worth it

Monday, November 26, 2012

Try a New Tune

Sometimes I like to press 'rewind' on my iPod and listen to the same song over and over again. But it occurred to me that if I just listen to the same song all the time, I may miss out on what great song may be next (mine is on shuffle).. 

And even if the next song isn't as great as the last, at least I gave it a listen...

You can never know what different things you'll hear each time or what it might add to your day that day...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Going Mobile

 I only recently just changed my mobile phone simcard to the new 3g simcard. Yes, all this while.. I was still on my old simcard, from the first mobile phone I owned (a Nokia, can't remember the model name/number, but it had an antenna! ) and the simcard was a TMTouch simcard! Remember way back then when mobile phones just emerged and it was considered so fancy back then. Heee..


Well, I been through a number of other mobile phones since then. From Nokia to Sony Ericsson. And I am still (happily) stuck with Sony Ericsson until now. Though I guess the next one won't be, since Sony Ericsson is no more.

When the whole wide world went mobile, I was still blissfully minding my own business. Happily using my (then) phone for nothing more than making calls, sending and reading smses, taking pictures (then having to transfer them via cable) and playing some simple games here and then. I didn't know what I was missing.  When hubby got his first smart phone and was suddenly able to check the internet on the go, I was impressed. In awe.  Still, I declared that I didn't need it anyway.  I was happy just checking my email and facebook on my laptop.  And the thought of having to pay hundreds upon hundreds each month for mobile internet bills (as rumour has it), scared me. Na-ah, no thanks. I'll just stick with what I had and knew.

Then, hubby upgraded to an iPhone. And there I was, still in the dust with my old SE K750i. What's Siri? Apaitu Whatsapp? Haha...kasian kan... Memang in blissful wonderment :-) Until hubby decided to upgrade me to an SE Xperia Mini Pro. And wooooahhh... what had I been missing! Seronoknya pulak, being able to check internet on the phone, Facebook, e-mail, blogging. Still, I wasn't able to utilise those apps like Whatapp since I was still using the old TMTouch simcard. And now that I finally made my way to Celcom and upgraded the card (it's free by the way!), it seems there's a whole new world waiting for me to explore. Heee....sounds so cliched? The Linachu has gone mobile :-)

I still haven't signed up for any mobile internet plan. I'm happy to just use wi-fi at home and any other places with free connection.

It's said that 75% of internet users these days are on their mobile phone or mobile devices.  Amazingly awesome this technology that we have these days.  Blows my mind everytime I really think about it.  Even blogs can be viewed in a mobile version.  This is what In Blissful Wonderment looks like in mobile!


Cool, eh?

So I guess it goes without saying that if you are a website owner, you'd want to have a mobile version of your website as well.  Check out the mobile website builder from Mobstac and get in the face of all those internet users who are now mobile.  Go mobile with Mobstac

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Makmur

Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir Batin (not too late to say so, right?)

I managed to make kuih makmur this year! Incredibly proud of this feat! Heeheee... and I think I was the one who finished off the majority of it anyway. But since I already know how to make it and I still have the ingredients, which is incredibly simple and minimal.. I can whip up a batch anytime I please! Weeee... Well, granted it is not perfect but it tastes and looks like kuih makmur and it is yummy, so I am happy.

Sejak awal Ramadhan lagi saya bercita-cita untuk membuat kuih makmur ni. Googled up the recipe, asks around from friends, getting tips and tricks here and there for the simplest yet most delish recipe for the little round tikes. Heee..

Here's what you would need:
  • Plain flour
  • Ghee, at room temperature (some recipes use butter or margarine but what I've heard is that ghee keeps the dough softer)
  • Peanuts (roasted lightly without oil and then beat them up to bits! Depending on preference, it's a nicer crunch if you don't beat them up too much and leave them a bit coarse)
  • Coarse sugar (mix this with the bashed up peanuts to make the filling)
  • Icing sugar
  • Optional: a wee bit of salt
The first step:
Cook the flour. Dry fry it in a wok, meaning no oil. Basically just heat it up and stir and stir. Until when? Hah, good question! Heee..I was wondering that myself.   Some say to stir up it is lightly browned. My SIL says to stir until it feels light and airy. Some said to stir with a little bit of peanut oil or ghee.

What I did was:  I basically stirred until it was nicely heated overall. It didn't go brown (impatient me). And I didn't stir with any oil. This step is supposedly so that it won't feel so floury when eaten and won't stick to your mouth (yeah right).


Once the flour has been fried, it's time to make the dough.

Measurements:
A friend told me that an easy method to remember is for every one cup of ghee (or butter or margarine), use three cups of flour.  It doesn't matter what cup you use, as long as you use the same cup to measure both ingredients.

This measurement did not work for me actually!  I found that at 3 cups of flour, my dough was still gooey and runny. So I added probably another 2 cups of flour.  I think it is because the ghee that I used was semi-melted, some bits were still solid. So my original one cup of ghee was actually more than one cup.

 Mix the flour and ghee and a bit of salt if you want, until it forms a nice dough. By nice, I mean, not too soft and not too hard (tough) but nice enough to be able to mix by hand without any gooey bits and not sticking to your hands. This takes practice actually. I guess once you've made enough you will know by heart what the perfect dough looks and feels like.

Then, the fun part! Mengkasi bulat-bulat. And oh, I put my filling in the middle.  My first batch was a bit too brittle and floury.  The bottoms went flat, which meant they were still too soft.  Thankfully, it was just a small test bunch.

I put the remainder of my dough in the fridge and left it there for two days (since I didn't yet have time to make anymore) and this actually helped make the dough tougher and more rigid.  For the second try, I decided to mix in the peanut and sugar mixture with the whole dough, instead of just having the filling in the middle.  And this made a whole good difference as well.  It was less floury to the bite.

Second round of mengkasi bulat-bulat (hee..) and I decided to make them smaller this time. Easier to eat, not too much of a mouthful of flour. Then bake them for around 30 minutes at 170deg C.



Once they are done. Leave them to cool and then cover them with a generous dusting of icing sugar. And voilaaaa! We have our kuih makmur :)


Baking is such a beautiful and therapeutic act that I wonder why I don't do it more often. Well, I know why actually. Because I will usually end up eating the whole thing!  It's art and science (and luck!) rolled into one.  It's chemistry and feel. It requires patience and consistency. Learning and trying again.  And the satisfaction you get at the end.. priceless.

Must must bake again soon. xx