Oh, December 2010! Thou must have kept me on the brink of insanity!
I shall keep this post relevant in the sense of being a blogger. A bad blogger as a matter of fact. I’ve not been able to write as frequently as I did.
So, will you be spammed with stale news? I suppose. Pardon me if that sounds like a bad idea. Allow me to ramble on before I can shut up and move on in a spanking new year …
Dec 09, 2010
What: Bloggers’ gathering
Who: Ann of Pig Pig’s Corner, Swee San of The Sweet Spot, Wendy of Table for 2 or more…, You Fei of loving baking, and me
That fateful Thursday evening was hard to come by. It was just 2 days before when I learned about You Fei’s short trip to Kuala Lumpur (K.L.). In the midst of organizing the meet-up, I got slightly panicked. Fortunately, with help from Swee San and Wendy, everything fell into place eventually. Phew!
As for Wendy, it was a beautiful coincidence. Her family decided to drive down from Kuala Kangsar to stay in the city over the weekend. At the same time, Ann, a Malaysian blogger based in England, is back in town for vacation. Since mid-2008, I’ve been following Pig Pig’s Corner, which is a food blog co-run by Ann and her hubby Jeff.
Now that we’d found the perfect
excuse reason, why not a meet-up!
|Me, Ann, You Fei, Swee San and Wendy. (Photo courtesy of Swee San.)|
After my Singapore trip in August 2010, on which I got to see You Fei for the first time after “talking” to her for close to 3 years, I’ve since wanted to let my Singaporean friends try out local street fares. Something truly Malaysian. K.L. Hokkien mee was a great choice to start with.
(In these two countries, noodles are known affectionately as “mee” whereas “Hokkien” refers to the Chinese province of Fujian 福建. The dishes must have invented years ago by some Fujian immigrants here.)
While Singaporean Hokkien mee (新加坡福建麵) is a dish of braised egg noodle in thickened clear shrimp stock, K.L. Hokkien mee (吉隆坡福建麵) is a dish of stir-fried lye-water noodle (鹼水麵) darkened with dark soy sauce (老抽), spiked with smoky wok hei (鑊氣) — and saturated with lard. But once in a blue moon, a treat like this shouldn’t have you killed on the spot.
|Think black, think K.L. Hokkien mee.|
Besides the main course and hours of yakking, we also had side dishes and desserts to go along!
The restaurant’s famous deep-fried calamari rings. Great appetizers, Not overly greasy. Stayed crisp all the way through.
Romaine lettuce stir-fried with garlic (清炒油麥). I love dishes likes this when there’s wok hei to zip things up!
Swee San’s home-made marshmallows. Egg free. Malt-chocolate flavored. Lethally chocolaty! Absolutely to die for!
Wendy’s pumpkin butter cake. Moist. Light. Fluffy. And sweetened to perfection!
And, I brought some Snickers macarons for them to try. Sadly, I generously filled the macs with my salted butter caramel, which made them taste a tad too sweet.
Dec 11, 2010
What: Bloggers’ gathering (again!)
Who: Ann of Pig Pig’s Corner, Melody and her sons of Meldylocks and her Three Bears, Swee San of The Sweet Spot, Tracie of Bitter Sweet Flavours, Wendy and her daughters of Table for 2 or more…, and me
|From left to right: Wendy and her girls Lydia and Lyanne, Melody and her boy Ee Sync, Tracie, Ann and Swee San|
For a new driver and KL-ite who is pretty ignorant about the roads around, while navigating the route to the shopping mall, I got lost (and wasted lots of expensive gas) until I finally reached there. Worse comes worst, I had a minor accident in the parking lot. Oops!
Pretty much like what happened at the late-November meet-up, I came in just in time for dessert! I skipped Italian main courses! Lucky. Nay?
Swee San’s L’Opera! When I was told by the pastry chef herself that she was going to make this classic Parisian pastry, I went nuts! Almost. L’Opera has got to be one of my all-time favorites. What’s so sensually appealing about the dessert is the harmonization of flavors of the nutty almonds, bittersweet chocolate and perky aroma of coffee. (Pei-Lin is quite a caffeine junkie.)
I also packed some Russian tea cakes for the ladies to take home as I reckoned our tummies might not have enough space to accommodate more food by then. Hop over here for the recipes. And, how could I not thank Wendy and Melody for the souvenirs they’d given us!
We were fascinated by how Ee Sync, Melody’s eldest son, and Lydia, Wendy’s eldest daughter, could get along so well. They just clicked! I have this crazy notion that these families may become in-laws in 20 years’ time … *LOL*
Ms. Lyanne, Wendy's youngest girl, is happily “juicing” tomatoes in her hand. Oh, a happy belated birthday to her too! She just turned 2 on New Year’s Eve.
|Tracie, Ann and me|
Honestly, December 2010 had been a seriously busy month for me. I’ve been feeling jaded. Almost wanted to give up on blogging. In fact, I did something special last Winter Solstice Festival (冬至), which was something I’d like to share but didn’t have time to do so.
Knowing that a colleague would be having his birthday on Winter Solstice Festival, on a tiring Sunday after a wedding the day before, I whipped up a batch of glutinous rice balls (湯圓) and filled them with homemade azuki bean paste (紅豆沙). We then served them in sweet azuki bean soup (紅豆沙糖水). Glad that the birthday boy and my other colleagues liked the dessert! (It’s a Chinese tradition to do so, just so you wonder.)
Now, am I a party animal? Nah. I didn’t go all out and have myself stuck in the crowd of revelers. Armed with my darling camera, I soaked up the excitement and rang in 2011 with these fellas in my neighborhood.
|Everyone stayed up. We got out onto the street a little before 12 a.m. of Jan 01, 2011. Boy, were we glad to be surprised with firework displays!|
|Watching the massive firework display at the Petronas Twin Towers from afar. Gorgeous!|
|There was another firework display right on our street, too!|
|It was deafening and we were slightly intimidated at first. Our rabbit Fifi and dog Chevy were no exceptions. *Chuckling*|
On every New Year’s Eve and Day, I no longer resolve. I confess. I confess that 2011 will be rather demanding and challenging. It’s all about balancing my life between career and hobbies.
I love baking and cooking. I love food photography. I love writing. They form part of my identity. And nothing shall snatch away the things I hold dearest to my heart, no matter what.
Stay tough and stay strong, my friend. There shall be more good news awaiting you in 2011. Happy New Year!