Thursday, 31 December 2009

Hainanese Chicken Rice

I was invited to have lunch in one of my friend's house last two weeks. The lunch was so nice and impressive. we had had Hainanese chicken rice with the soup, cranberry, pecan and white chocolate cheesecake as dessert, all were prepared and cooked by my friend. She is really a wonderful wife!


The Hainanese chicken rice cooked by my friend, Ling. It is nicely decorated. The chili sauce is hot and spicy, it complements the chicken perfectly.


Cranberry, pecan and white chocolate cheesecake, made by Ling.

Alright, it is my turn now! First of all, I am not a good decorator and neither in photography, I only "focus on eating", haha! It takes about 3 hours to prepare and cooking it. There are divided into three steps, first: cook the chicken and then put it into a cold water bath; secondly: use the chicken soup to cook the rice; third step: prepare the chili sauce. The recipe was taken from the Steamy Kitchen.


The Hainanese chicken.



Chong likes bean sprouts and therefore specially cook this steamed bean sprouts together with the chicken rice. This became our home-cooked "Asian" Christmas meal. He likes it very much and keep asking when will I cook again.

The snow and sub-zero temperature

video

It had been snowing heavily before and after Christmas. The snow on the ground and the untreated surfaces are too icy, it tends to make people fall. The temperature was just below freezing but with a brisk wind, the chill factor will probably make you feel bitterly cold more like -9oC.


The streets are so crowded during this time of the year (Before Christmas). Everyone was busy with their Christmas shopping. I had been busy shopping for food a few days before Christmas having realised that the shop will normally close earlier on Christmas eve and Boxing day. No shop will be opened on Christmas day. I remember the day when I arrived in one of the local supermarket, I was shocked as all the poultry in the display racks were sold out. I then ran to the other supermarket for poultry. The journey was prolonged as the icy roads were slippery and I nearly fall for some times. It was really tiring. I was thinking then to invest on sensible footwear to keep me balance.


The streets become quiet during Christmas day, you can hardly hear the sound of the car pass-by. All shops were closed. Everyone were at home celebrating the cold Christmas. The traditional Christmas dinner would be roasted turkey with some trimmings. Instead of sitting at home doing nothing, I cooked the Hainanese Chicken Rice for the first time. It was successful. Chong said, “Thumbs up”. I will upload the photo someday later.



Snows- The magic blankets, it hides those ugly and makes everything beautiful.


The thickness of snow on the ground impede motion, prolonged one's journey, it is at least 10cm.



We normally saw this in the freezer (the older version), but I saw this in the car park beside train station. The effect of supercooling!



I was so excited and dreaming about the white Christmas when it started to snow, however, it actually snow before and after Christmas!



Row of small Christmas trees were covered by the snow.



Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Uncle Tan, You'll be fine!

昨天在Facebook 看到表哥的留言,心里忽然酸了一下。

姑丈在前天晚上的晚餐后,

突然晕倒,目前还在医院的加护病房里。

听表姐说他昨晚有醒来一下下, 但还未完全清醒。

我们都很担心,也不知所措,

医生说这可能是中风的状况,需要再详细的检查,

姑姑也担心地哭了。


表姐和我都在国外,没办法及时赶回去见家人,

这也是我们留在国外最不方便之处,

我好讨厌那种感觉,

每当家人或亲戚发生事情时的不安,

我什么都做不到,

只能默默地祷告。。。。


昨晚也发了个简讯给弟弟,

问他啊妈有没有打电话去问候姑姑,

啊妈说姑丈到现在都属于昏迷状况,

我好希望姑丈能快点醒来,

希望他平安无事。


I am praying hard for my Uncle Tan,

Wish him get well soon,

He is a tough man, everything will be fine,

He will recover soon…

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Christmas Market Belfast 2009

Christmas market signified Christmas is around the corner. This might be my very last time of visiting christmas market in Belfast. I will be moving to Aberdeen this coming Saturday, for goods. Anyway, Belfast Christmas Market is considered the best to me, as I never been to other christmas market in the UK. Traders from various part of Europe are gathered in the market. There are a variable mix of things to buy in Christmas Market, e.g. gloves, hot water bottle, candy, christmas decorations and food from their country. I planned to visit Christmas Market this afternoon, and therefore I went on an empty stomach (so that I can try those food!)



This is Dutch Pancake, with baileys and icing sugar as topping. There are also other toppings such as honey, toffee, strawberry, whisky and so on. All sweet sweet topping.




In Malaysia, I can only buy chicken burger, beef burger; or the famous one so called "Ramli" burger. In Christmas Market, I get the chance to try these "Meat of the World" burger, however, I only buy my Kangaroo burger everytime when I visited Christmas Market.






In Malaysia, you don't see pork selling publicly, but you can get it here. Instead of chinese roast pork, this is the European style roast pork here. Chinese eat roast pork with rice and other dishes while European eat it with bread (sandwich). I dare not and never try it, because I couldn't bear the strange pig's smell.






This is the music bar. Everyone seems to enjoy the music and drink inside. Drinking a beer during the cold winter time may help to warm you up. Too bad, I am a lousy drinker, I feel dizzy even for the very first glass. Luckily a cup of hot coffee with one shot of baileys help to keep my body warm.




video

Sunday, 15 November 2009

爸爸妈妈


看了刘墉的 <<疼爸爸妈妈>>博文,心里感触了。。 我真的很想家,很想能够回到那温暖的家,跟家人、亲戚朋友聚在一起。离家至今,快两年半了,每当过节过日,打电话回家,听见家里热闹的欢笑声,我又更想家了。

很多人说外国的月亮比较圆,刚到这里念书时,我也这样觉得,这里的月亮的确大了一点,哈!无论月亮怎么大,我还是处在“别人”的国家,“别人”的地方,少了亲人的陪伴。

还记得两年多前, 我将要来英国的时候,刚从英国回家的表哥问我,“英国真的那么好吗,为什么要去那么久?” 我当时只是笑笑地回答,“我也只是过去念书而已,两年很快过的!” 一转眼,两年过了,而我也毕业了,想法也变了,现在的我,又想在这留多两年,想试试看这里的工作环境, 又开始忙找工。每次打电话回家,啊妈就会问我几时回家。我总是回答说“现在经济状况不好,我得先找份工,一找到工作我就会回家看你们了!” 这句话,从我还没毕业前几个也说的,说到现在,不但没找到工,家也还来不及回。年老的外婆问我,“本来说好两年,现在又要等多两年,要多少个两年你才要回家”。 我真的很内疚,我应该在毕业时,就回家探望他们。 年老的外婆在今年六月末的时候,过世了。那天一早接到弟弟的来电,整个人都傻了,哭得很狼狈!爸妈叫我别伤心,外婆知道你有心就好。

过后,在表表弟妹的生日会的照片里,看见了爸妈,他们真的老了很多, 白头发也多了。我真的不好,他们拼命的省钱,拼命的赚钱来养孩子, 我却拼命的帮他们用钱,还想要买好的、用好的、住好的、什么都要最好的。我之后打电话回家,告诉了啊妈说明年新年, 我一定会回家!她却担心我回了家,工却找不到,要我慢慢来。我知道她一直都想我回家,但却不想我耽误了事业与清途。啊爸也叫我想清楚。我会回家!我要回家!爸爸妈妈,我想念你们!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

做个有用的人!

歌曲:有用的人
歌手:陈国荣
所属专辑:小孩不笨电影原声带

谁不希望自己是聪明的人

谁不希望什么都能一百分

谁会希望自己又呆又傻又愚蠢

谁会愿意听到你真的好笨

有些事情就是这样的残忍

有些道路没有直通那扇门

有些游戏结果不一定要获胜

有些收获不在终点只在过程



我们不会心灰意冷

我们会给自己掌声

我不是你想象的笨

我也有我自己的门

其实你不是不能

只是你肯不肯

给自己多一个机会

因为我们都是有用的人



曾经有个时候很疯狂新加坡的电影或连续剧,尤其是他们拍的教育片,有一定的水准。还记得读书时期要面对的种种的测试与年终大考,压力也大。压力大,是因为希望变大了。为了应付考试,捱了多少夜挑灯夜战,就连自己也搞不清为何要临时抱佛脚。每个学期一开始,都会先计划要如何好好地利用时间,但往往都计划白费,总之就是不能自律,抱着那种做不完却还有明天的态度一至到考试前才死拼。在肯书的时候,都会去找一些激励自己的歌或书籍,来降低自己的压力。那时候的我,超喜欢看刘墉的书,尤其是‘超越自己’,‘肯定自己’,也爱听那首“不要认为自己没有用”。


这首歌“有用的人”,觉得还蛮有意思的, 也唱出了许多小孩的心声。我总觉得现在的孩子都没有童年,自学会说话和行走,父母们就把他/她们送入托儿所,迫不及待的要他/她们成材。念完高中,有些父母们还帮孩子报读什么医生律师的科目,父母们都希望自己的子女成材,却没想到这是否是孩子真正想要的。怪只怪现今残冷的社会,不会读书的叫笨蛋,只有聪明的孩子都是人见人爱。



有用的人,对!我们都是有用的人;

如果第一次失败了,别气馁,继续努力;

最重要的是享受努力的过程,和完成后的成就感;

世上无难事,只怕有心人!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Happy Haloween!



Halloween  (31 Oct) is also known as english (christian) ghost festival. This ghost festival is very much different from the "chinese" hungry ghost festival. The activities include wearing costumes and attending costume parties, kids going door to door asking for sweets, and so on. Local tourist centre also grab this chance to attract more visitors by organising ghost tours, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, etc. Conversely, the chinese hungry ghost festival is celebrated on the seventh lunar month of chinese calendar annually. The activities include some ritual praying, preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense and joss paper. At this lunar month, people are advised to be extra careful and beware of the unexpected incidents.

This year, I celebrated halloween in Aberdeen. It was a real happening and exciting night. A huge crowd was gathered in the street in the city centre, pubs and bars were full of "real ghosts". The real ghosts here refer to those people who wearing their costume, from different cartoon characters to pastors. An exciting nite!
















Saturday, 17 October 2009

Edinburgh



I had been so busy since I came back from Scotland. More working days, interview.. that is really tiring!

Scotland especially Edinburgh is one of the nice place that you could not missed when you have a chance to visit Scotland. From the beautiful heritage building, Edinburgh Castle, Scotch Whisky Tasting Experience, historical attractions and so on. You can even light up your day with a glass of scotch whisky and the Scottish music. There are also other places of attraction that I had missed it in this trip, i.e. Inverness, Isle of Sky, Fortwilliam, Lochness, etc..and I really wish to sit on the Steam train, which I actually plan to visit there, but that place only open to public during weekend, nvm, I will visit there again, ha!

Here are some memories and photos taken during my trip to scotland!




Finally, ha..I arrived at this place where man wear skirt. There do not call it skirt but called kilt. These kilt is not cheap, it cost around GBP 25 for the normal one, and sometimes it priced at GBP50 for a good quality tartan kilt. Scottish men wear this costume on their wedding days, and according to rumours, they wear it without a underwear!

 
The Scott Monument. You will see that once you step out of Edinburgh train station or alight from the airport express bus.


Edinburgh most expensive hotel, the luxury Balmoral Hotel. A friend of mine told me this. A simply B&B will cost GBP 260 and a suit will cost GBP 535. wow! That is really luxury..see if I have a chance next time, to go in and enjoy my afternoon tea, hehe

This is one of the famous street in Edinburgh- Victoria Street. Take a closer look, you will find that the upper part is the ancient building while it has a relatively modern look on the bottom part. Victoria street was a dark and dangerous place in ancient times. It was a place full of prostitution and smuggler. There was a story about a couple living on this street, had had lucrative career selling dead body to those who study medicine at that times. I knew this cruel story after I joined the free walking tours during my trip there. The walking tours was interesting and enable to explore more about this historical place.

Edinburgh Castle.

This castle was actually built on top of a volcano that was already extinct. The castle is so big and there are museums, exhibition theatre, etc inside the castle. I was just outside the castle and did not plan to visit into the castle, as the entrance fee is too expensive (for me)! That is GBP14 per entry. However, there were so many visitors queueing in front of the ticket counters waiting for their turn to buy a visit into the castle. I then keep my money for visiting scotch whisky factory.


The Scotch Whisky Tasting Experience. The entrance fee is GBP11 and I got a chance to taste the Scotch Whisky. Scotch Whiskies are divided into single malt, double malt, and blended. There are four main scotch whiskies producing regions, picture above shown four different regions colour. Green: Lowland; Yellow: Highland; Blue: Speyside; Red: Islay. Different regions will have different water sources and produced different taste of scotch whisky. For me, that is all the same, haha...I am not an expert in tasting whisky, one small shot already made me dizzy.
A collection of fine quality whisky.



The Royal Mile factory outlet. Specialises in weaving and making tartan.

Time simply not enough for me to explore the whole edinburgh, I will go visit there again and those places in Scotland that I have not been there before..Unfortunately, winter is approaching, weather is getting cold and I am getting lazy to move, animals in the Zoo also start to wear jackets! I have to move my plan to next year summer, but the Scottish told me Edinburgh during christmas is very cold plus very beautiful; who know I might be celebrating my christmas in Edinburgh this year, ha!



Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Scotland~Edinburgh

Photos of my trip to Scotland.

video

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Off to Scotland!

I will be set off for Scotland at dawn on Wednesday. I am so excited as this is my first trip to Scotland after living here in the UK for more than 2 years. It is autumn now, weather getting cold. Hopefully that would be a bright sunny day tomorrow.

再过几个小时,我将会起程到一个男子穿裙的地方'苏格兰', 好兴奋哦!这是我第一次到苏格兰旅游,希望秋天的天气不会太过为难我!我要好好的留念一下下!
听说那里的风景很美。。
听说苏格兰的音乐很好听。。。
听说那里的男人穿裙子的。。。
不用再听说了,明天我就去亲身体验!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Oreo Cheese Cake

那天看了"Mikiko 爱情坟墓"blog 里的Oreo Cheesecake, 决定来试试看,但是我用的材料跟她的有一点不一样,第一次做出来的cheesecake 咸的,因为我用了普通的牛油来和饼干碎混合,其实应该要用无盐牛油,因为懒得出去买,所以。。。。就做出了些带咸的cheese cake, 哈!
第二次,总算成功,没有了咸,味道还刚刚好,芝士那不份,口感还不错、很滑一下!

材料:
Oreo 饼干 150g/1条
无盐牛油 25g

全脂芝士 250g
奶油 100g
白糖 1 tbsp
vanila 香精 2 tsp
蛋黄 2个
面粉 2tsp

做法:
  1. 将Oreo 饼干弄碎(我是用擀面棍把它压碎),牛油隔水煮溶, 然后加入Oreo 饼干碎内搅拌均匀。
  2. 把搅拌均匀的Oreo 饼干碎压入心形蛋糕模内, 压好后把它放入冰箱约20 分钟。
  3. 预热烤箱,180度,10分钟。
  4. 芝士蛋糕上层:把全脂芝士、奶油、白糖、vanila 香精、蛋黄 一起倒入一个大碗内,搅拌至均匀后,加入面粉,再搅拌均匀。把混合物一起倒入模内,置入烤箱烤个30分钟。(建议放一碗水在烤箱内,那么烤出来的蛋糕不会显得有点干)


我的 Oreo Cheese Cake 出炉啦!







Sunday, 27 September 2009

Water Baby

I went for swimming last night. There was a swimming session called "water baby" before the normal swimming session start. There were so many babies in the changing room when I reached there. All of them just finished their water baby session and their mummy were helping them to get bath and changing. They are infants and toddlers and are all very cute.  I see the healthy and good culture here, in the UK (I not sure if there is such culture in other country, but I am sure there is no in Malaysia) Baby learn to swim since they are still infants or toddlers so that they don't scare water and adapt to water. Swimming is the best exercise amongst as you do not actually feel you are sweating. Besides, it is a good way to relax and release tension, while enjoying a full body workout. I spend my free time going for swimming. For me, the word "swimming" simply means aqua jogging. Aqua jogging is jogging in the water with the use of floatation device. I has a phobia about water, therefore I do not really know how to swim and I am learning.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Glutinous Rice 糯米鸡



离乡背井了两年多,
已经好久没有吃家里啊妈煮的糯米鸡了,
还记得端午节前一天打电话回家跟啊妈聊天,
她给了我做“种子”的食谱,要我自己做来吃。
在外面住了那么多年,
最令啊妈啊爸放不下心的,
是一天三餐,
因为从小就娇生惯养,
没做家务,更不用说要帮忙做饭,
连到巴刹的次数,五指手指还嫌太多呢!
昨天,心血来潮,自己煮了糯米鸡来吃,
味道还不错,
但更啊妈的比,就比不上了,
有待改进!



 材料:
糯米 1 饭碗
香菇 5朵
鸡块 250克
蚝干 5只
虾米  1/2茶匙
葱头(剁碎) 2茶匙
油 2 茶匙
水 2 饭碗

调味鸡块:
蚝油 1茶匙
玉蜀黍粉 2茶匙

调味料:
蚝油 1 汤匙
胡椒粉 1/2 茶匙
盐 1/4 茶匙
黑酱油 1/4 茶匙


做法:
  1. 先将香菇,蚝干浸泡过夜。取出香菇,将它切成0.5cm 厚。
  2. 把糯米洗净,置放一边。用蚝油和玉蜀黍份,将鸡块腌一腌。
  3. 热锅,加入油。待油热后,加入葱头和虾米炒香。加入鸡块、香菇及蚝干炒熟,随后加入调味料稍微炒匀。
  4. 将糯米倒入锅内,炒匀后倒入一个大碗。将两碗水倒入糯米鸡饭的大碗,放入饭锅隔水煮至糯米饭熟为止。
*以个人而异,也可以拌炸花生一起吃。

Monday, 21 September 2009

Time is Money!

Too many books to read, too little time;
Too many food to try, too little time;
Too many friends to meet, too little time;
Too many people to know, too little time;
Too many places to travel, too little time;
Too many things to do, too little time;
Too many things to learn, too little time;
Too much..
How many is too many?
Be self-discipline, organise your time wisely, get plan ahead!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Home Tutor

I was in a conversation with a woman in the sauna room yesterday. I told her that I had been actively looking for a job of my field lately. I had been graduated for a year, and still could not get a job, I am in despair. Due to the recent economic crisis, she suggested me to stay back to academic field, such as doing Phd or to be a tutor in the local University. I was always wanted and ever plan to study Phd when I was studying my master degree. I enjoy doing research, inventing new stuff but I have problems in writing up dissertion. Thesis writing and some other reasons had pulled be back to be a Phd. I never think of being a tutor in the local University in the UK. I am afraid I am not capable of and I have no confident with it.


Up until a few years ago, during my college life in Malaysia, I was working as a private tutor in my spare time, giving tuition to secondary school children. Being a tutor in your free time is enjoyable, and it could help you to earn some extra money. Other than giving lesson to the students, you have a chance to revise and recall what you had studied in the past. I believe tuition centre and private tutors are earning more money than those teachers who only teach in the schools, as students depend very much on private tutors. Most of the time, students came to me were those who claim that they could not understand what teacher had taught in school or those who hardly pay attention in class. Sarcastically, they will pay attention in my class, not because I am a teacher of genius, but they have to pay for the classes they attended. However, the examinations result gratified me. Some of the students turned up and told me they got an A for Science subject and parents called me to say thank you when they see the improvements of their children. Being a tutor is really enjoyable, you are able to help and motivate students, although it challenges your patience sometimes.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Bad Weather

The weather recently has been changing at all hour. It would be a warm sunny in the morning before it start to have heavy downpour in the afternoon. At night, the weather has become freezing cold. Maybe this hint is enough to tell the coming of lovely autumn.
It was a freaking hot day today and I intend to do some groceries at the local Tesco. I was walking out as usual, reckoned without the possibility of this inclement weather, consequently, I was caught in the rain. I ran into my friend when I reached Tesco. He told me he caught a cold and was worried if he have had H1N1 flu. His housemate's cousin, who were admitted H1N1 flu, has been told to quarantine at home for a week. I then told him not to think too much, that is just a cold that caused by recent bad weather and he will probably recover it soon.
The H1N1 flu is getting serious and cases are increasing tremendously. Many people are worried and concern about their personal health problems now because even people without underlying health problems would probably die from this disease. Sometimes, people who become infected will not realise they have had H1N1 flu because only very few symptons were found. Hopefully the disease can be cured as soon as possible

Monday, 31 August 2009

Swine Flu Pandemic



Found this funny video the other day, from Mr Brown Show. I think this is quite an effective way to raise up public health consciousness.
Swine flu has spread across the world since emerging in Mexico and is now officially the first flu pandemic for 40 years. If you or a member of your family has more than one of the following symptoms, please call or go to see your GP (doctor) as soon as possible.
Swine Flu symptoms:
  1. fever (body temperature > 38 degree celcius;
  2. cough;
  3. headache, tiredness, chills, aching muscles, limb or joint pain, diarrhoea or stomach upset, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, or lost of appetite.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Tall Ship Atlantic Challenge 2009

Tall ships had finally stop in Belfast at 13th August 2009. According to newspaper, over 40 plus ships from the Tall Ships were set sail for belfast from Halifax, Canada since last months and Belfast is the finishing port of the 2009 Tall Ships event. This is Belfast and Northern Ireland's bigger ever event and it had successfully attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world. This is my first time to Tall Ships and it was an amazing experience. I would want to visit this event again and recommend it everyone around me.