Are you in Malaysia now or in the States?
I'll be back in KL for holiday from 7 feb till 7 march. This sound crazy but are you interested in meeting up? I know we're both different in anything but maybe we could just meet up and put all our virtual friendships through blogosphere to reality? Lemme know!
Regards,I screamed and said “yes” to myself. Feeling excited but exhausted at the same time, I gave in to my lazy bone and went to bed without even replying. Why? Typos such as misspellings as well as grammatical and punctuation errors drive me nuts. Because my brain was already half-dead, I told myself, “You might as well just go to sleep.”
Just as I was about to send out my reply the next evening, I received another email that went:
You all are the few I've known to be in KL or will be going back to kl.My eyes went wide opened and my mind went blank for a while. “C’mon, you gotta reply Quinn this time,” I said to myself, “What’s wrong with you, Pei-Lin!?” I did eventually. The first few emails started out with only the six of us.
I follow all of your blogs diligently and have voiced to meet up.
I'm hoping we could all meet up at one go because I cannot afford to meet up with all of you all separately.
Is it possible if we meet up tpgether.
We can confirm the dates and details and number later but I just would like us all to meet up together.
Please if you all have the time, can you all please comment on my blog post here:
I've started generating negative comments from it and people think I'm crazy.
Tell me I'm not, please.
Over the course of 1 month, we corresponded with each other via optical fibers from the U.S., Australia, Malaysia and Singapore respectively. It took us 85 emails. Finally on the afternoon of Feb 27, 2010, we had 11 bloggers physically side by side at Mid Valley Megamall! They are, in alphabetical order:
- Bee Bee, of Honey Bee Sweets
- Elin, of Elinluv’s Tidbits Corner
- Gertrude, of My Kitchen Snippets
- Joanna (Elin's daughter), of Musings of a dreamer
- Joslynn, of A Nyonya’s Kitchen … for all seasons
- Pei-Lin, of Dodol & Mochi – that’s me!
- Quinn, of Quinn’s Baking Diary
- Reese, of ReeseKitchen
- Sonia, of Nasi Lemak Lover
- Swee San, of The Sweet Spot
- Tracie, of Bitter Sweet Flavours
Deep in conversation with a full tummy. From left to right: Quinn, Joslynn, Reese, Bee Bee, Sonia, Elin & Gertrude. (Bee Bee, sorry for showing only part of your face! The latter three all have their back facing the camera. Sorry for the lousy shot!)
Living in various parts of the world, 11 bloggers converged at one point. I reached the mall just 10 minutes before 12.30 p.m., the time that we all agreed upon. I was fortunate to have extra 10 minutes to give myself a last-minute grooming and to find my way to the spot that we first decided upon.
Restaurants galore. It didn’t matter when pastry shop SR didn’t have enough room to accommodate us. We still managed to find ourselves a cozy spot to snuggle at restaurant MK, which serves homey Malaysian fare and it was just one level above us.
Great time, great food, great chat. From left to right: Joslynn, Reese & Bee Bee
This is a food bloggers’ gathering. So, food was an absolute must! Plus, we were already hungry for lunch. Shame on me, I didn’t snap pictures of the food we ordered. Hop over to Elin’s for some really mouthwatering shots of what went into our tummies that day. (Blame me on my talkativeness that day! I just kept yadda, yadda and yadda … Right, everyone? LOL!)
For a fairly big gathering like this, an ice breaker came to us naturally. That was the point: We traveled all the way to unveil the great minds behind the blogs. What could be more exciting than that! Sonia even jotted down all the names, which actually came in handy. Hahaha …!
We're happy food bloggers: (from left to right) Bee Bee, Swee San, Sonia & Elin
What surprised me was I couldn’t stop talking that day because I’m usually shy and reserved! (I’m monstrous at home though.) We’ve known each other through blogging for quite some time. And yet, we talked like as if we were high school pals who hadn’t seen each other for centuries! We have so much in common: We celebrate cooking, baking, eating, photography, blogging, sharing and the goodness of the home-made. (Note: We’re food bloggers who blog about home-made food – for the most part.) So, you can probably imagine the never-ending list of topics that we could ramble on! I was kind of surprised to learn that blogging even has politics! Thanks all, it was an eye opener! (Why can’t everyone blog peacefully?)
Magical moments on a late February afternoon: (from left to right) Joanna, Tracie, Quinn, Joslynn, Reese, Bee Bee, Swee San, Sonia, Elin & Gertrude. (Sorry that I have the first five facing the camera with their back AGAIN! Argh ...! Hope you guys don't mind. It was rather awkward for me to take pictures that day without too much space to move around.)
I know it just happened last Saturday, but I’m already missing the sparking chemistry and the burning enthusiasm in us. It was a magical afternoon. We sat around in a rectangle by joining several tables side by side. Actually, it was hard for us to settle on one topic. So, we had multiple conversations rolling simultaneously. For someone who was seated at the farthest left, I felt awful as I didn’t get to hang out much with Bee Bee, Reese and Sonia, who were seated at the opposite end.
Nonetheless, it was amazing how we could clique instantaneously! And, the phenomena continued for more than 2 hours! I guess if it wasn’t for other commitment in life, we’d have stayed longer. Also, here’s a shout-out to:
Sonia, for the Klang's bak kut teh mix
Joslynn, for the lovely red daisy and red packet
Elin, for the cute molds for turning hard-boiled eggs into fancy shapes
Reese and Gertrude, for the red packets 利事 or 紅包 (the other one is from Joslynn)
... And, the 11 of us who put in efforts to make this dream come true! And Quinn, you weren't crazy! Could you believe it ACTUALLY happened!?
Anyhow, I’d like to share with you one of my experiments from this past weekend. To be frank, it wasn’t something that will make you gasp and go, “Whoa!” It’s just that I’ve been fascinated by French cooking. How I wish I could visit France and try all its food someday! J’adore la cuisine française! (I love French cuisine!) So, I invested quite a bit of money in a cookbook on Provençal French cooking. Have been reading it almost every night. I love my French lessons!
This experiment was inspired by one of the recipes I saw in the book. Instead of pork, I applied it to fish. My itchy fingers decided to give it a touch of the East, too. I know we can consume raw salmon, but it’s just as nice when cooked. Mustard and fresh cracked black pepper get rid of the fishy smell. Maple syrup adds an earthy scent and sweetness to the meat. Soy sauce adds saltier kick, with an Asian flair. Cooking in butter gives it a unique buttery taste. So, here is my simple “East-meets-West” pan-fried salmon! My baby brother and I gobbled up the fish in minutes! Hope you’ll like it. Bon appétit!
Simple Pan-Fried Salmon
About 500 g salmon (any fleshy part will do, you know), washed to clean and then patted dry
About 78 ml (1/3 cup) prepared mustard
*I used English mustard. I wanted to use my fave Dijon mustard, but couldn’t find any here, as of now.*
60 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup
1 – 1.5 Tbsp light soy sauce 生抽, to taste
43 – 70 g (3 – 5 Tbsp) salted butter
2 – 3 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Some English parsley, to garnish (optional)
- Mix (A) together for the marinade, then generously coat the salmon with it; set aside to marinate and develop the flavors for 1 – 2 hours
- After you’re done with marinating the fish, heat a nonstick frying pan or skillet over medium-low heat briefly before adding in the butter to melt it completely.
Once the butter has been melted and gotten heated, stir in the garlic and sauté till aromatic.
- Gently lay the marinated fish onto the skillet to pan-fry over medium-low heat. (Warning: It may splatter!) Cook till it looks somewhat browned on both sides and is cooked through. While it’s being cooked, “flip” the fish over to cook both on the sides and remember to sprinkle enough salt and pepper over it. (Duh! Of course, don't overdo this step.)
**Pan-frying the fish over medium-low heat cooks the fish up slowly and thoroughly without burning and drying it up.**
***I couldn't find my darling nonstick frying pan. So, I resorted to using the wok. But, it's not a good idea because it burns the butter and the fish up easily!***
- Dish up the cooked salmon and the crisped-up garlic slices, then garnish with some English parsley.
- Serve immediately while the fish is still hot. Don’t wait! It tastes best now!